Patrizia Vignola

Born in: New York, USA
Lives in: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Describe your art in three words: Figurative, Surreal, Imaginative
Discipline: Painting, Drawing
Education: Master of Fine Arts, New York Academy of Art
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"While rooted in figurative realism, I delve into deeper, emotional, philosophical dimensions. The use of ruff collars in my work transcends mere ornamentation and manifests as a symbol of personal significance. My work is a critical examination of societal norms and explores themes of birth circumstances, identity, interconnectedness, and provokes thoughts on the human experience."

What themes does your work involve?
Innocence, socioeconomic status, birth circumstances, the human condition, the human psyche, identity, struggle, universal connections.
Describe your creative process.
Sometimes it is the visual image of someone and an emotional connection that sparks a conceptual idea for a series. Once that seed is planted, I build upon the series by searching for other "faces" that hold the same idea for me. One series usually blends or flows into the next. I work primarily in oils and drawing materials. But,I always start with the drawing. Sometimes it is a finished rendering that is then used to create an oil painting, other times it is just a quick sketch of an idea and then onto a painting surface, now and then I go right from an idea in my mind to the panel I make the painting on. However, often times the concept comes first, then I research faces, other living things from nature, the right ruff collar and put things together to express my ideas.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
What influences and inspires me is the universe, the struggles of being human, the idea of infinity, the ridiculous importance we put on power and money as a society, life in general/human existence, music, my daughter, my students, other artists and the beauty of the world. I make art to connect with others in a profound way. I seem to have a deep need to do this and creating visual art is the language I use to communicate.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
For me good art doesn’t fit in a genre. It is when it’s evident that the artist is fully invested in their work, they have spent time finding their unique way of creating and the means in which they create is how they communicate. Great art exemplifies the artists commitment and dedication to their artistic practice, and it evokes thoughts and emotions in others.
What is the role of the artist today?
I think today more than ever the role of the artist is to preserve what is fundamentally human. Our distinction from other living things on the planet is that we generate ideas in our brains and visuals in our minds eye and from those we create. When a work of art is in front of us that takes our breath away, whether it’s a piece of music, a painting, a poem, or some other form of artistic expression, it speaks to us without descriptions on an unmatched level and it reminds us of what it really means to be human. Artists need to keep doing this as they always have for the preservation of humanity.


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