Italian artist Davide Monaldi’s solo exhibition at Roman commercial space Studio SALES di Norberto Ruggeri is a delicate yet gloomy self portrait scattered across the space and depicting the artist’s emotional state and professional life through a variety of glazed ceramic objects. Where’s Art talks to Rome-based artist to know more about his research, future plans and cultural influences in his work.
To the ones who are not familiar with your research, how would you describe it?
My work is based upon the narration of short personal stories inspired by the everyday life. Ceramics is the material that I have chosen in recent years for my projects as I can tell about myself and what happens around me in an intimate and direct way.
Drawing and sculpture are the languages you use the most. What function has the drawing in your practice? Does it constitute somehow the preliminary study for your sculptural projects or is a technique in itself ?
My first approach to art was through drawing; I have been drawing for so long that now I need to expand my research. I made a selection of suitable subjects I sketched in the past that I wanted to transform into sculpture; therefore I see drawing as both a technique in itself and the starting point for the development of my sculptural projects.
Which technique/ material you prefer the most, and why?
As I said, ceramics fascinates me. I did struggle to learn how to work it and when I eventually learned I was pretty sure it was the most expressive and suitable language to translate my ideas into three-dimension projects. One piece of clay and a couple of sculpting tools are enough to me to create something unconventional. My studio is a small room within an apartment where I live with my two dogs, which definitely have more space than I do. Yet in my kennel, everything is neat and well organized, and the clay greatly fits with the intimate and tiny working environment, while not excluding any approach to other techniques in the near future.
Thinking of everyday objects you work with such as the doormat, rubber bands and stepped chewing gums, which are later transformed into works of art, what is it in the world that mostly influences your work (music, horror movies, religion, books, economics, mass media, etc)?
Objects of daily use I have selected are not just ceramic revamped version of reality, rather they are self portraits that metaphorically depict my emotional states. I am primarily influenced by books and movies, of which I am a keen supporter. For instance, when I returned to Italy after some time I spent in London, the only things I was carrying with me in my two giant suitcases were tons of DVDs.
The work Figurine (2014) exhibited in your solo show at Studio SALES consists of 500 ceramic stickers representing diverse famous faces in the world of international contemporary art, such as Yayoi Kusama, Antonio Rovaldi, Anselm Kiefer. The sticker recalls the archive and the collection, while calling for a more idolatric role. Have you thought of this while working on such piece? What is your opinion on this interpretation?
The work Figurine indeed can be seen in its idolatric role as one of those posters hung in kids’ bedroom depicting sport idols; but it is also a partial fresco of today’s international art scene. This is a work that reflects my current condition as a young artist looking outside at the milieu of art, and portrays relevant characters I wish I would work with in the future.
Accordingly, is there an artist whose work you appreciate the most?
There are many artists indeed, of whom I very much like the work; I cannot really say one in particular. In general, I’d say I appreciate all the artists whose researches are honest.
Any upcoming projects you would like to share?
I will be featured in the Miart art fair at the Studio SALES di Norberto Ruggeri’s booth, presenting three works that comprise two brand new projects. Also, I have been selected for the Faenza prize that will be opening the exhibition of finalist artists later in June, and will be participating in the traveling exhibition in Italy, France and Germany organized by VAF Foundation in 2016.