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ROA staff's picks

Personal favourites of the Return on Art team

At Return on Art, we are lucky enough to work with incredibly talented artists from all over the world on a daily basis. In doing so, it is impossible not to, every now and then, see a work come by that you would just love to have in your own home. These are the Return on Art team's current personal favourites. 

"I have always been drawn to Ollie Philips melancholic works on paper. The artist manages to pack tons of nostalgia and emotion into his small works and they really resonate with me. "From a past life" in particular: a dark orange room guiding the viewer towards the window overlooking the sea - it is captivating, confining yet inspirational and it is truly a shame that an Australian collector got the work before I could."

— Amir Akta, CEO & founder of Return on Art

"Daniele Fortuna is a sculptor who works mainly with the traditional medium of wood. However, in Fortuna's three-dimensional works, materiality, form, and colour play equally important roles. His practice is based on a system of references to ancient mythologies and contemporary pop culture. Fortuna's work attempts to visualise the intertwining of temporality with centuries of cultural heritage by using the elements of raw symbolism that we are all immersed in through our personal and cultural experiences. 

Nimpha Clouds juxtaposes the serenity of an ancient statue with the ephemerality and fleeting softness of clouds. The stone statue reproduced in wood seems to float in space. The craftsmanship of this artwork is very apparent. We can easily recognise the individual, handmade elements that built the sculpture. In contrast to the cool, heavy, centuries-old stone, the wood evokes a feeling of warmth and familiarity. Fortuna's visual language is contemplative yet playful. The painterly cloud motif gives the solid sculpture a surprising, new quality. With this gesture the artist seemingly projects the background onto the foreground, the sky onto the sculpture - thus giving the sculpture a cloak of invisibility of sorts. The artist tells a story by reversing the materiality of the object. Nimpha Clouds tests the viewer's established sensory habits and leaves them with a satisfying sense of discovery."

— Marzena Wolowicz, Curator and Art director

"When I think about what I like the most about this artwork, the word 'diversity' pops into my mind. I admire the broad range of objects that are hidden in the painting, which gives you the opportunity to discover something new and amazing every time you look at it. The longer you contemplate, the further you are drawn into the atmosphere of the work. For me, the rampant nature in the background, combined with the playful childhood items in the foreground, represent the inner conflict of staying true to one's inner child while facing the struggles of an adult life. In general, I revel in the layers and depth of emotions that the artwork triggers, as I just love to get lost in a work of art."

— Marie Scholten, Head of logistics

"I really love Daniel Freaker’s work in general. There is something about the combination of these sad, almost melancholic scenes painted in a very saturated colourful way that kind of reminds of children’s drawings. The work that stands out to me most is „Collecting Memory Seeds“. It pictures a woman collecting dry, rather lifeless flowers looking down, probably searching for more of them. Everything in the painting is rendered in very vibrant tones, ranging from a cold blue and purple to very warm orange and red hues. The only thing that isn’t colorful are the flowers she collects."

— Niklas Noldin, Front-end developer

"Vera Vizzi's art depicts human emotions and feelings in a very playful way. Whether it's about love, nostalgia, excitement or loneliness, she doesn't shy away from picking up certain motives and using a lot of beautiful colours and texture. Her artwork "Hug" is fascinating to me because it challenges me to confront certain personal emotions. It evokes the feeling of loneliness and abandonment, as the sea represents outer space - cold and lifeless - and the astronaut is exposed to the risk of being abandoned and lonely. However, it simultaneously emanates a calming and relaxing feeling, as the sea is also a place to escape from everyday life to me."

— Daniel Kajaba, Curator's assistant

"I have been a fan of Ian Bertolucci's work ever since they joined Return on Art. Especially their latest works, such as Lollipops II, really caught my eye, and I am proud to even own some of their pieces. Rendered in a hyperrealistic fashion with an incredible eye for detail, the works draw the viewer in, while hints of thick texture and strong contrast highlight the medium and bring you back to their surface to admire the artistry. The paintings seem to offer a small window into a different place - a place where more attention is paid to the little things. Those beautiful, colourful details of everyday life that we take for granted, yet, when we see them years later, evoke this visceral sense of nostalgia. They show us how a little thing can become a little treasure that brings a whole universe of memories to life."

— Marieke de Kan, Head of content

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