“Then we went out and saw the stars…”
Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Anna Poerio
Paul Zimmerman: You tell stories in each of your figurative paintings. Where do you find inspiration?
Anna Poerio: I find inspiration from dancers. I like their harmonic motions and the grace of their perfect bodies. I think that body language is as significant as our way of speaking.
PZ: What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
AP: My work combines human body, nature and the universe. It celebrates the poetry and the harmonic dynamism of bodies dancing in the universe or in open space. It merges man and nature in a conceptual aesthetic definition that combines imagination and reason in representations set in metaphysical atmospheres. At the basis of my work there is the lightning-fast vision of duality present in the nature of human beings and in the entire universe.
PZ: What is your artistic process? How do you create your paintings?
AP: I create my paintings after a thorough research of the most suggestive dance figures. Then I start drawing and I create the suitable setting, inspired by the dancers’ graceful and smooth motions. The colours are chosen according to the message I want to convey.
PZ: Do you have any particular goal in mind when your start a new piece?
AP: Each new piece which I start has the goal to convey love of beauty, in all its aspects. I think that the elegance and harmony of forms and colors are synonymous of spiritual purity.
PZ: How do you know when the painting is finished?
AP: I finish my paintings when I see a pleasing balance between colors and figures.
PZ: Have your practice changed over time?
AP: At the beginning of my artistic career I used to paint figures matched to flower compositions, such as ikebana. I have changed my practice and I think it will change over time.
PZ: Which artists are you most influenced by?
AP: My favourite artists are Dalì, Caravaggio, Bouguereau. I am deeply fascinated by their masterpieces, but when I paint I try to express my own personal style.
PZ: How would you define art?
AP: In my opinion Art (not only figurative art, but also poetry, music and dance) must express the deepest aspect of life. It must reveal the secrets of the human soul and push the viewers to look inside themselves in order to discover their inner beauty. The mission of art is to create a purer world, free from the ugliness that destroys human relationships and pollutes society.
PZ: What are you working on now?
AP: Now I am working on women in red long and wavy dresses with amazing drapes. I am using oil colors and golden leaves.
PZ: How does the pandemic influence your work and sensibility?
AP: We are all worried about coronavirus and our lives are negatively influenced by it. But I would like to give a message of hope and courage through my work. That is why I have done a work entitled “E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle” (Then we went out and saw the stars), inspired by a line taken from “The Divine Comedy,” a long poem by Dante Alighieri, begun in 1308 and completed in 1320.