We have had the pleasure to talk with Manuela Guidarini and get to know her and her work better. Guidarini is an Italian self-taught artist with an interest in geometric shapes and compositions, which also shows in her beautiful pieces.
Could you briefly introduce yourself and tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in Italy. My memories from that time are somewhat intense and agitated. After completing my master in Architecture, I stepped away from my roots and moved abroad. I first settled in London where I worked as an interior architect. My time there was extraordinary but very intense. After moving to Copenhagen in 2019, I finally had the opportunity to unwind and start an introspective journey that brought me closer to Asian culture and values. I started painting as a ritual and found peace in the calmness of rigorous and simple geometrical shapes. For someone who has had a chaotic childhood, creating art that is rigorous and minimalistic is a way to find order in a world that, at times, feels overwhelming and uncontrollable. Focusing on the essential elements of my work has allowed me to create a sense of balance that I felt was lacking growing up. Unconsciously, I strive to infuse my art with a sense of calmness and serenity, inviting the viewer to slow down and contemplate the present moment.
Can you shed some light on what paved your way to become an artist?
I have always been much more comfortable expressing myself through graphic art. In my early years, I experimented with a number of mediums, from clay to etching, all the way to watercolour. I simply love observing and responding to an idea I want to develop - it can be simple elements like shading, movement, contrast - and watch it take shape on canvas. I think that when I gave myself the permission to become an artist rather than just an architect, I was allowing myself to be more authentic. My art features many topics related to architecture and geometry, like balance and stillness. It is also a reflection of my personal values and beliefs. Art is a powerful tool for self-expression and healing and it has surely helped me process and make sense of some experiences in my past.
Where do you draw inspiration from for art pieces How has your background in architecture shaped and influenced your work as a painter?
Studying architecture changed everything for me. In particular, being exposed to Rationalist and Modernist architecture - very geometrically defined design with little ornamentation - left such an important mark on my aesthetic that eventually bled into any graphic representation. This series of values didn’t just affect me as a painter, but as human. Stripping away all unessential elements has become a very big part of my daily choices in general.
In your own words what characterizes your artworks?
I paint abstract canvases where geometric shapes form fragmented architectural structures. I strip away unessential elements and focus on the interplay of form and colour. I am very influenced by artists with a particular taste for muted tones - like Vilhelm Hammershøi - and this has intuitively shaped my signature colour combination of reds, sands and blacks.
What does your creative work process typically look like?
Every piece is individually conceived and crafted. Intuitively, I am always guided by the same principles, proportions and tones. I have a beautiful pin board at home that I like to populate with images that captivate me, from colours to patterns, to atmospheres and architectural references. When I have a strong idea, I generally sketch it by hand and immediately understand if it is something I wish to develop and that intuitively represents me. Then I move onto a digital software and study the proportions and tones more carefully before moving to the canvas where I generally spend a long time with tape and rulers. Obsessively so, I take great pleasure from crafting shapes and volumes. Working on each piece gives me focus and peace.
Explore Manuela's art pieces, available at Audo House