For our DOUBLE TROUBLE series, we talked to Irene Cruz and Edoardo Romagnoli who are exhibiting alongside at the booth of Luisa Catucci Gallery at the upcoming photo basel during next weeks art fair week in Basel. Both of them have been like so many before them, deeply affected by the moon, yet with very different outcomes. While the Spanish photographer Irene Cruz pays homage to the moon and the feminine dimension on the outer worldly setting of Iceland, capturing the natural dialogue between her model and the full moon, the Italian Edoardo Romagnoli is focusing on the moon itself, preferably looking for settings without any artificial light, catching its mere essence and movement, stripping it from any foreign debris or influences.
Which of these elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) would you choose in relation to your practice or your self, and why?
Irene: I mostly do photography, cinematography and video art, although I am more into analogue photography. I feel like my images flow through space and time, I freeze moments that I’ve imagined before, that I’ve projected in my inner world, it’s quite a seamless process: it feels like a gust of wind, of sudden inspiration.
My muses are also mostly ethereal, an unknown whisper.
I let myself go with the flow of life, and I allow myself to have it change my mind all the time.I’m also always wondering why things happen the way they do and I try to learn from that what life teaches me. Well, the bottom line is, definitively I choose Air, it might be because my sign is Gemini.
Edoardo: It is impossible to choose. Maybe only in relation to the moment of your life you are going through you can feel closer and attracted by one element rather than another. My bond with nature is very strong.
From an artistic point of view I like to take nature back and bring it into a dynamic dimension. I myself am a part of nature.
Is there a particular place or situation that inspired and motivated you to become an artist?
Edoardo: A place? Yes! Surely the walls of the house that I have always seen covered with works by my grandfather the painter Giuseppe Palanti. I have not known him but I have admired him totally. I tried my hand at drawing and painting and during high school I also won prizes. Then, a deep crisis led me to hang pencil and brush on the nail.
Only after I was thirty I realized I could paint with a camera and the world opened up there.
I don’t think you can become an artist… or you are, or you are not an artist. Maybe you’re an artist and you don’t know.
Maybe you’re an artist and you can’t express yourself. ….but if you are an artist, sooner or later it’ll come out.
The great artists who have inspired me the most are: Lucio Fontana, Mark Rotchko, Richard Long and my teacher Giulio Confalonieri.
The situation that inspires me the most is to be in the midst of nature, Small and Powerful.
Irene: Summer of 2011. That August I found myself as an artist, it was magic, like a revelation. I discovered the light that I feel drawn towards, a light that has ever since felt like I belong to. It happened in Berlin. I can still recall it like an encounter so vivid and impressive that it made me think that these northern countries had always held a light to be found and understood every time as if it was the first. I think the vibe and feel and the experiences that I have here really help on getting inspired, and continue my career as an artist. Berlin is an amazing place to create. The person that encouraged me to believe in myself when I was just starting, will be always part of me and of who I am.
He is Eduardo Rodríguez Merchán, my mentor and Audiovisual Communication and Cinema professor at the Complutense University. He is sadly not with us anymore, but I know that his energy stills helps me and pushes me to accept new challenges and set myself new goals in art, and cinema. He also never missed any of my events or exhibitions. I miss him a lot.
Do you consider yourself spiritual and how does this feed into your work?
Irene: I meditate quite often, my work is a reflection of my inner self, my feelings… my opinions. I consider my art poetic, and also quite introspective. I try to reflect and speak about my place in this world, my thoughts, the belonging of human beings to nature.
Edoardo: If being spiritual does not enter in conflict with being material, terrestrial, passionate, yes, if it does, no.
I like the psychology of charm and I try to exercise it with the Moon …. and also with collectors.
How did you meet Luisa Catucci and what is your experience working with her?
Irene: I met Luisa at an art fair in Paris back in 2017, I think we had an instant connection
due to our energy, both being workaholics and a love for art. It also just so happens that we were (and still are) neighbours in Berlin! She has great intuition and taste for art. I am glad and proud to be part of her “family”. My experience with her so far has been amazing, we have been working together for close to a year now, we get along very well… I hope this is the beginning of some great teamwork, the start of a thrilling journey together. I am glad to be represented by her in Germany.
Edoardo: Luisa was the first to get to know my works. I heard about Luisa from my Turin gallery owner Riccardo Costantini.
Then in Turin at “The Others” we talked to each other for a long time, after that there was a period of silence, then we overwhelmed each other into an explosion of success! Luisa represents my international counterpart.
Please tell us in your words about the meaning of the moon for you as an artist.
Irene: The moon affects me in my regular life, and thus it does affect my art too – since it’s a mirror of my inner self. As a woman I am very aware that I’m affected by the moon, we are all water… I am an active follower of the moon phases and it’s energy. I prepare a purpose/wish-list once per month (at least). I write down all the things that I want to happen in my life, normally during the black morning, and I try to get rid of old thoughts and beliefs that don’t work or drag me down during the full moon. Sounds like I am a bit of a witch, but I genuinely can sense all these things. As I acknowledged that, I went on to create my new series Moonlight that I will showcase for the first time in the upcoming edition of Photo Basel together with Edoardo Romagnoli’s work. I am so excited to share it with you all.
Edoardo: The opportunity of being face to face with a Star loved by Everyone and see that I persuade it to dance alone with me drawing in the sky phantasmagorical and beautiful signs.
photo basel | June 11th – 16th 2019
Luisa Catucci Gallery | Exhibiting: IRENE CRUZ & EDOARDO ROMAGNOLI
CH – 4058 Basel