Milan EXPO2015

Expo 2015 silvia casali photography

Last October I visited the Milan Expo with my daughter Matilde. We wanted to enjoy the experience in its wholeness, skipping the long, huge lines to enter the pavillons – actually any pavillons, October showed to  be the worst time to visit Expo2015.

We focused our attention on food instead, eating streetfood in so many different countries that we lost count of the many delicious experiences we had. I remember the tajine from Morocco, a snack from Indonesia, then noodles in Vietnam, stroopwafles in Holland, then fajitas from Mexico, a yummy date cake from Bahrain, something I don’t remember the name from Uzbekistan, coffee from Congo and saffron tea from Iran.

And  since my attention was captured by what I was eating, I did not take any #foodporn image.

In my opinion, at least a week was needed to really understand the educational experience offered by Expo 2015 – too much information in a short time can make visitors dizzy and unable to appreciate the cultural value of it.

But Matilde and I loved this very quick  virtual trip all around the world – we wish we could to it for real very soon!


Artefiera #artseverywhere Photography Contest

Last week end BolognaFiere hosted one of the most important art trade show in Italy, Artefiera, whose past editions I have already documented in this blog. 

asma silvia casali

This year I was honored to participate to Artefiera as a guest – one of my iPhone photographs, Asma, ranked second in the #artseverywhere photography contest organized by Artefiera. I was thrilled, and this gave me enough endorphins to be able to forget the flu that was hitting me, take the train, go to Bologna, say something when interviewed by the Artefiera big boss and visit the trade show.

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I must admit that seeing my iPhone shot displayed on two big wall screens hanging on the main hall was very exciting – it was not that important if my photograph did not win the contest, my happiness was already at its zenith – even though I looked like a zombie!

Artefiera #artseverywhere 2015 photography contest winners

Fuorisalone 2014 | ZonaTortona VenturaLambrate

The Milan Design Week is almost over, and the web is full of images and articles about what happened during these last four days.

This year too I visited Milan Fuorisalone – a faster than light visit to two of my favorite locations: ZonaTortona e VenturaLambrate.  While editing the photographs I took during those exhausting 12 hours, I noticed that there were not many objects that captured my attention. I did not find anything particulary innovative, if not for the works of young designers from Poland, Holland and Germany.

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The most “intriguing” installations were merely installations or work-of-art, not items conceived for mass production. Then a question arose: what is the difference between art and design? Isn’t it the possibility to mass produce the object? Or is it just a “virtual” difference relying on the ability of the work-of-art, unique piece of creativity, to communicate with the masses?



InMotion and Blurred | silviacasaliphotography

Stay Please silvia casali photography

Stay Please  silvia casali photography

You might have noticed that I have been quiet for a while, partly because of my health problem, but I must admit that the main reason is because I am experiencing a sort of dilemma about what to do with my supposed-to-be artistic talent.

I have not yet decided which is the talent I have to devote the most energy to, whether writing, photography or sculpting. I do not even know why I feel so compelled to take a decision among the three. One thing is for sure: I do not want to waste my supposed-to-be talent but I want to use it to create something beautiful and that can leave a track of my being on Earth. Sounds a HUGE thing, but I think that any human being has a talent and should use his or her gift -because we all have one- this way.

In searching for an answer, I have read many books -the most enlightening ones being “Finding Your Element” by Sir Ken Robinson, Drawing on the Artist Within: An Inspirational and Practical Guide to Increasing Your Creative Powers” by Betty Edwards and “Dovresti tornare a guidare il camion Elvis” by Sebastiano Zanolli. All of them provided me with great tools for a most efficient use of my brain and creativity, but did not solve the dilemma.

For a long while, I quit photography – feeling like I was not that good at and it was a waste of time. Buying a new iPhone pushed me towards this pause in “serious” photography. Shooting pictures with this mobile device is so easy, and with all the many interesting filters it is possible to create amazing why spending time in searching for the best light, the best scene and editing when you can get great results in, let’s say, three minutes?

After a couple of months, I found myself stucked in another impasse. After having visited Artefiera 2014 I discovered that sculpting does not sell and it is not that appreciated and “understood”. Even Michelangelo will have hard time to leave a track by sculpting these days, and I am no Michelangelo at all.

Then I went back to my Lightroom archives, browsing all the thousands of images I shot during the last (and first) four years of my photographic journey. And I realized that I shot pictures that I hardly remembered of, and I hardly recognized as mine.

I edited some of them and updated my imaginando|photography experiences website adding new portfolio images and a new project: InMotion and Blurred.

This project really reflects the confusion that governs my mind, where everything is in motion and blurred. There might be beauty in these moving and not well defined subjects, but it is a very evanescent and escaping one.

Please see the whole project at imaginando.


Artefiera Bologna 2014

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Two years ago I visited Artefiera Bologna for the first time. I was marveled by the creativity exposed and was really excited to be able to see all that creativity from very very close.

During the last two years I was very lucky to have given the possibility to become an art student. It is still a work in process: last year I hated watercolors while today they are my favourite.
I still do not understand how to draw or paint following rules because to me art MUST be spontaneous and visceral – but I have to admit that my teachers are right when they say: “First, know the rules, then break them”.  And finally, I have had the chance to meet my “art element” which is clay sculpture.

All the above to describe my perspective when I visited Artefiera Bologna two days ago. I felt like an insider – even though I am a “rookie” – and watched all the art piece with less amazement and a little bit of shame. Yes, shame.

I am very critical about my work of art, and I would have felt ashamed to expose some of the “work of art” I saw at Artefiera Bologna. I understand that art impressions are very subjective, but I believe that a minimum level of proprierty must be ensured by exhibitors.

I have photographed – sorry, with my mobile phone – the works I found more interesting and that made me laugh or think. I would call some of them “work of art”, others I would prefer to label them “expressions of creativity”.

Sculpture workshop with Vasco Montecchi

Last winter I attended an art course where the main subject was painting (which I discovered I do not like that much, but I will talk about it in a later post) together with photography and sculpture.

Actually the sculpture module was a very short one, but I was the one I enjoyed most, in a very visceral way I must add.
I had never touched and created with clay before, and when I did it I felt a sort of primeval pleasure, the one of life out of mud. I know it can sound to exaggerated, but it was marvelous to create a face with all its expression lines out of a very poor material such as clay.

I called my first creation “Francesco Olindo Ferretti”, a fiction character of about 74 year old, ex- boxer with a great heart. He does not speak that much, but he is a very generous and sensitive man.

Then I challenged my teacher, the great (in any way) Vasco Montecchi: I wanted to create his portrait.
He laughed a lot, saying “I am a very difficult man to deal with”, accepting to be my model. While Vasco was teaching to my classmates, I fell into a sort of creative trance, with a big smile on my face and my hands gliding on the wet clay. I cannot hide that I was really proud of what I was creating, I could feel the life in between my hands and that was extraordinary!

The result is the Vasco Montecchi portrai sculpture you see in the gallery below.

Unfortunately I have not yet seen it “cooked” with its  final terracotta color, the sculpture being at the school where I attended the course. But I will get it back soon – together with Mr. Ferretti and the “Lord of the Wind”, another sculpture I created during that week end.

I Custodi delle Stelle | The Keepers of the Stars

Getting back to a concept I designed a year ago, experimenting, testing myself, my creativity and my endless curiosity led me to create this trilogy: I Custodi delle Stelle (The Keepers of the Stars).

I am not into papercraft, that was my first time. But I really enjoyed the process, I really loved the flow and the story that came to my mind while I was designing, cutting, pasting, varnishing and getting crazy with all the glue attached to my finger.

And I fell in love with it. Proudly in love with it. All the details, pictures and stories are available in the minisite I have created just for this Trilogy.

Sand Art | Kseniya Simonova

I am starting to use Pinterest as a source of inspiration. It is not that well known in Italy, but I am sure that its popularity will raise during 2012 even in my “very Facebook addicted” country.

Anyway, browsing this new cool social newtork I have found a video showing a performance sand art performer Kseniya Simonova from Ukraine. This lovely lady won the competition Ukraine’s Got Talent in 2007 and after that date she has performed everywhere around the world – and if you watch this wonderful (and a little long) video you will understand why she is that successful.

Source: via Kelley on Pinterest

Nancy Fouts’ Paradoxical Juxtapositions

I really love when art is not that serious and when it is this “immediate”. Thanks Nicole, another great post!

Nicole Belopotosky

Nancy Fouts is an American-born artist who lives in London for her marketing career. However, it is her fine-art sculptures which has caught everyone’s attention. Her surrealist work poetically marries surprising items; together creating paradox. She has a knack for creating an atmosphere of curiosity and intrigue with her audience. Sometimes her sculptures seem to carry an ambiguous social commentary. Although the artist reassured us, her sculptures are in fact “not [that] deep, but it is entertaining and it makes people smile!” To enjoy more of Nancy’s amazing surreal sculptures, check out her website, here.

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