If I am to be completely honest, I NEVER truly felt that I belonged in our contemporary world. My idiosyncratic character feels strongly that I was indeed born too late, I’m a perpetual idealist. Our society has no room for rose coloured glasses -- as the majority of humans undergo a metamorphosis as they age -- that could indeed possibility make them seriously jaded with experience. However, that totally does not apply to Anna Mazzotta, every single picture I have seen Anna in, has this altruistic smile that could warm the most frigid heart, add that to the sparkle in her eye and the way in which she creates is truly authentic magnificence. I believe Anna applies that purity to her work, which constantly transports me to a time that was genuinely riddled with depth of art, whimsy and eclectic mirth woven into Anna’s extraordinary body of work. Anna’s pieces speak of a time that was consumed with organic extraction of art, built within extremely theatrical scenes. And the transposition of fish in lieu of: flowers, books, chocolates, or anything else one can hold in their hands, is just not just witty but certainly lends to dramatic comedy -- especially with regards to the undeniable poised facial poses. If you’d like to follow Anna’s artisanal journey I suggest you check out her site http://www.annamazzotta.co.uk/ and do follow on Instagram @annamazottafineart your imagination and optics will thank you for it – trust me!
|Black Widows Catch|
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you overcome it?
AM: Yes, I have. I overcome it by walking away from my work and spending time cafes. Here I can people watch, which helps a lot, as my profession is very isolated and it helps to be around people from time to time. I am not only inspired by what I see, but also by what I hear, for example, the piece ‘But He Told Me His Wife Was Dead’, was inspired by a true happening.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
|But He Told Me His Wife was Dead|
AM: Drinking a coffee – preferably a latte in a glass, as the colour of the milky coffee is calming.
RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critic; how do you contend with yours?
AM: As an artist, there is always self-doubt. Every day is an emotional roller-coaster, with little to no consistency. You must be true to yourself, be thick skinned so that people’s comments don’t throw you off kilter.
|The Woman that Lost Her Pencil|
RMMW: I have to be honest, I'm so jealous of Artists as you have so many tools at your disposal, which one is your favourite? And why?
AM: The simplest: Charcoal and paper. Charcoal is versatile, it’s an extension of my fingers and provides a fluidity to my creative process. I draw fast as there is hardly any break, which allows me draw everything in my mind at that moment. You can’t disguise with charcoal, drawing is the purest form of art. With painting there are always pauses – waiting for paint to dry, mixing colours, etc.
RMMW: Are you a classically trained artist or self taught?
AM: I’m classically trained, originally at the Wimbledon School of Art, then the Royal College of Art including tutelage from Dame Paula Rego, John Bellany and Peter Doig.
I’ve been trained as a purist – my tools are basic: Charcoal and paper or Oil and canvas. I never hide behind mixed media or use artificial aids, such as images transposed through an app and passed off as original work. There is nothing of the artist in the work, only a shadow – fine art is pulled directly from the artists heart, their view of the world and the art created is a direct correlation to this.
|Anyway You're not my Type|
RMMW: I was recently watching a live stream of a show from The Bedford where Tony Moore performed a song he wrote based on your paintings. How did that make you feel to have your work immortalised in his words?
AM: As Tony said, there have not been many songs written about artists. Tony is a very warm, and open-hearted person, helping many with their music careers. I’ve always felt in awe of Tony and I’m honoured that Tony would consider writing such a beautiful song, ‘She Has an Eye’, about me, let alone perform it on the stage at the Bedford.
With lyrics that include the lines:
SHE HAS AN EYE TO SEE THE WORLD WE’LL NEVER KNOW
SHE HAS A DREAM TO PAINT THE TRUTH WE’LL NEVER SHOW
THROUGH SHADOWS AND LIGHT
WE CAN SEE THEIR SOULS SHINE BRIGHT
SHE HAS AN EYE - SHE HAS AN EYE
It’s impossible not to be moved and I was truly touched that a video of my work was playing in the background`` whilst he was singing.
|Funeral for a Fish|
RMMW: What is your process? Do you draw a quick sketch then transfer to canvas or go right to the canvas and paint?
AM: I start with a vague sketch on the canvas and then paint. Invariably the painting develops and changes through many iterations.
‘’When you buy something from an artist, you’re buying more than an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation. You’re buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You’re not buying just one thing, you’re buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul… a small piece of somebody else’s life.” ANON
|Singer/Songwriter Tony Moore|
RMMW: I've just spent the last half hour scrolling through your Instagram and shaking my head in awe -- the expressions that you capture in your pieces are simultaneously human, expressive and beautiful. How do you create such relatable and fun scenes?
AM: There is part of the artist in everything they produce. I don’t plan what I produce, it flows from my subconscious, heavily influenced by my love of cinema, theatre and the timeless virtue of humour, which I think helps us in any situation, especially helping survive challenging times.
RMMW: What is your preference to create in black and white or colour? And why?
AM: Black and white is more powerful and has greater aesthetic appeal. The possibilities are endless to charcoal and paper and offers a truer medium for my vision. It allows the viewer to add colour in their own mind to make it their own. My work isn’t about spoon feeding people, its not all there to see in a matter of seconds... it’s a journey offered by the heart and soul of the artist. Nothing generic, nothing contrived.
|Mourning for the Macho Man|
RMMW: Do you ever people watch to get ideas for your paintings?
AM: Yes – all the time. People watch, and people hear, as what a person says can have a profound impact on my work. Another title example: ‘ANYWAY YOU'RE NOT MY TYPE’ is a common thing men say after being rejected by women: it’s amusing, and provides inspiration in dark humoured capacity
RMMW: What was the catalyst that prompted your career as an Artist?
AM: There was no catalyst, there was never any other option for me.
|The Mens Room|
RMMW: If you could give emerging artists one piece of practical advice what would it be?
AM: Stay true to yourself. Don’t follow trends and do not be afraid to offend – if they are offended, they can look away. You will never make everybody happy.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
AM: Being invisible.