Helena Barbagelata

Born in: 1991, Italy
Lives in: New York, United States
Describe your art in three words: multidisciplinary, socially engaged, symbolic
Education: PhD in Philosophy from the University of Salamanca
See More Work:  https://www.helenabarbagelata.pb.style

The Nameless Silence - Acrylic and gouache on canvas 50x70cm $1500

"For an artist like Barbagelata, art is an open dialogue with the world, where the other side of the mirror reflects a sphere of experiences in which the physical and the abstract coexist harmoniously. It is as if a unique environment of perceptions emerged, mixing the real and the oniric, the lived and the imagined - an intersection between the palpable and the invented."

What themes does your work involve?
I’ve explored work that stands for a social cause and activism against violence and discrimination, but I’ve also worked on narratives and motifs that are symbolic in nature and open to a wide range of interpretation. I truly like to question concepts, ideas, and the validity of social and cultural norms and embed them into my work. Sometimes I incorporate themes that were nuclear to my experiences, other times I reflect upon different concepts or raise different questions. Mostly, I enjoy stirring the viewers mind and emotions, creating work that is an open experience in itself and that leaves room for the imagination.
Describe your creative process.
I take my time to envision my ideas and I allow them to overlap with different fields and different perspectives, this can range anywhere from blending art with the sciences or introducing elements of something that I happen to notice in my surrounding environment that helps solidify an idea. Sometimes it can be a feeling, a color, a verse, the tune of a song. All these interceptions are a part of my organic process of ideation and creation.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Art is simultaneously pleasure, emotion and curiosity, but also imagination. Without that widening field of imagination we could not envision different possibilities or make different choices. The fluidity of art helps us access that stream of endless possibilities, it can turn a closed mind into an open mind, a closed community into an open community, it can make us more conscious and aware of ourselves and others. This is freedom. A freedom that is in constant warring with the rigidity of our social structures.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Art must awaken something in you, it can be a thought or a feeling, but it must reach our innermost core.
What is the role of the artist today?
Today's world gives us the opportunity of broadening our reach and engaging with different types of people, building dialogues through art, and making an impact in various communities.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist