Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mentors In My Past

 "Manichini" by Manfredo Acerbo  1977

I grew up in Italy,studying art there... and I would imagine that I am very influenced by the artwork and artists I knew and saw in my travels through Europe as a child and later as an art student and working artist. I attended the Rome Academy of Fine Art as a young 17year old,surrounded by artists from around the world who were there as post graduate workers,all educated in Fine Art. I was an immature teenager, whom the board at the Academy thought had some talent and promise. I always wonder what they would think today if they saw my work and usual subject matter. I also spent several years in a Roman art school [ENALC] studying advertising art.

My mentor, during this time, was one of my professors, a teacher and also a celebrity in his own right. Manfredo Acerbo was a well-known poster designer.Those days in Italy the major advertising medium was posters...plastered all around the cities and towns.
Movies,cookware, tomato sauce, aperitifs....all advertised on posters. Manfredo was one of the famous designers of posters...did a lot of them for the spaghetti western movies that were so popular that that time. But he was also a fine artist  and a good friend of the famous painter Giorgio Morandi, who is well know for his still-life work. I have always loved Morandi's simple design and so Italian palette. I feel close to them both.

The reason I am rambling on about this is that today, the words spoken to me by Acerbo, the words that I will always keep as my reason for doing what I do.....has been speaking to me much!  Acerbo advised me, one day after a grueling painting session with a 'nasty" model....."Kati [that was how he pronounced my name] do not listen to this bitter critic ....but always draw, paint from your heart.The model was upset with your work because you captured her soul and she didn't like what you saw. Never loose that ability you have to capture the real subject.You have your own style and never let it be influenced by another artist, by teachers,or critics.STAY TRUE TO YOUR SELF" 

Those words have become my mantra of sorts.....I only hope that I can live up to his expectations of my artistic abilities......it all seems like yesterday and yet so far far away.


Gaina said...

I really needed to read that today :).

I am disappointing with the degree I ended up with because I was aiming for a higher mark.

The constant criticism of my work has been that I haven't analyzed myself or other artists enough and that my final piece was 'too neat'. But that's who I am! I am a tidy person and therefore my work is tidy. I don't analyze every little thing because I find that really scuppers my creativity.

I thought my course was going to be practical not conceptual, as it has turned out to be and for the last week or so I've been in real turmoil as to weather I can call myself an Artists at all if I keep making the same 'mistakes'.

Reading what your mentor had to say proves to me that if I feel good about what I create then someone else will too and not to focus on a small number of tutors who just don't 'get' what I do.

Kpeters said...

Gaina, If we are going to survive in the art world one needs to stay true to our self...We need to take what we can use from others,and then adapt it to our use.
and always believe in ourselves....always!

Marie Theron said...

And so you went on to become a very unique artist with her own style, and surely you have wonderful collectors believing in what they can see, Kathi! I always tell young people who feel slanted that success is the best revenge!

Kpeters said...

Marie...Thanks so for your kind kudos...and we all know that the next painting is going to be our best!!!