An Interview with: Agnieszka Ceccarelli, Contemporary Artist in Rome…

A rare interview with a postmodern, abstract genius. Agnieszka Ceccarelli’s star is on the rise! Art Today caught up with her following her recent first prize in the ‘Friendship’ exhibition at the Egyptian Embassy, Rome…


Agnieszka Ceccarelli and her winning piece ‘Delusa’ at the Egyptian Embassy in Rome’s ‘Friendship’ exhibition, 2017.

A contemporary painter born and raised in Poland, Agnieszka currently lives in Rome.  Since graduating from university she has worked as a full-time professional artist, showing at many major exhibitions across the globe.  From the Carousel du Louvre Art Fair, Paris, to the World Wide Art Show, New York, last year – her muted and captivating works are enjoying rave reviews.  As commented by QueenArtStudio Art Director Maria Grazia Todaro in 2016:-

‘Her creations are expressing an unsettled world which is thirsty, and half-visible and half-invisible like most of the material world.  In some measure, they can get close to what makes a romantic, or perhaps new-romantic, vision of the artist’s soul… But she is even more.  We are talking about her anxiety which is included in immateriality and sets metaphysical meanings of the artistic object…  The artist gives form to human shapes and figures and it almost seems she shouts them out.  She fuses them in a universe constantly developing, a mysterious universe…’.

‘Delusa’ by Agnieszka Ceccarelli, 2017. Acrylic and gesso on canvas. 100cm x 100cm.

Recently, Agnieszka entered an exhibition entitled ‘Friendship’ at the Egyptian Embassy in Rome and won first prize…

‘Friendship’ involved international artists and boasted a ‘solid artistic curriculum’ according to this brave, young creative, celebrating art as ‘an expression of absolute freedom and universal language capable of overcoming every space-time barrier…’.

1. Tell us more about the ‘Friendship’ exhibition:-

The contemporary art exhibition ‘Friendship’ and its international art prize was inaugurated on July 4th.  The event was curated by Monica Ferrarini and Anna Isopo, and was sponsored by the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Creative language has become a constructive and peaceful dialogue between intercultural exchanges that makes possible a creative communication that stimulates thought and communion between peoples.  Creativity becomes an input to go beyond the aesthetic image and embark on an introspective journey that involves not only aesthetic but also critical and sensory aspects.

2.  Have you ever won a major art prize before?

The first art prize I won was when I was 13 in a competition entitled ‘Peace’.  As you can see the topic is always up-to-date and important!  I won first prize for an impressionist work.  Now, when I come back to this painting, I find that my work was very mature and original.  People have always liked my art.  I have participated in many exhibitions, and my works have been awarded distinctions by various important galleries.

3.  What subject did you study at university?

My studies (Master of Business Economics) had nothing to do with art.  In that field, I am completely self-taught.  I have never even taken a painting course before, because I have the need to express my emotions freely and spontaneously without interfering with others in what I do.  Experimenting freely with art provides me with the most beautiful experiences.  Therefore I construct, deconstruct, experiment, contemplate, let go and then start again.

4.  What is your favourite art medium?

I previously used a lot of oil.  I was quite the purist in the beginning.  Lately, I have converted to acrylic and plaster, and I’m always open to finding new ways to arrive at a painting.

5.  What do you hope to convey in your paintings?  

‘Afterthought’ by Agnieszka Ceccarelli, 2014. Oil on canvas. 140cm x 100cm.

I would like to convey my state of mind – an emotional state that is not necessarily always pleasant, sometimes shameful.  Sometimes these are the emotions we would never want to experience, and they are always very strong and complex – although they allow us to feel human and feel we are alive.  This is the kind of excitement I’m trying to shed onto the canvas.

6.  Who is your favourite artist?

I love too many to list!  But if I can pick only one, I would have to choose Helen Frankenthaler because of the lightness and misty tones of her compositions, dominated by large areas of colour that seems to have emerged onto the canvas naturally and organically.  They look like explosive landscapes, worlds and distances, held on a flat surface.  Her works hypnotize me.

7.  What made you become a professional artist?

Working as a full-time painter is a beautiful and interesting job.  It has always been my dream – although it is a difficult task and often very frustrating.  I live in a picturesque village close to Rome.  Living in constant contact with the beauty of nature inspires me every day to transfer it onto canvas, and to create my own vision of beauty.  The work of an artist is very absorbing, requiring a lot of time.  Much of the time it would seem that I am doing nothing, but I just need to be with myself, to reach my inner emotions.  I think another profession would just be a distraction that would hamper my creative work.

8.  If you could paint any scene in the world, what would it be?

I paint whatever I want to paint at the time.

9.  What is your most common inspiration?

Mainly meadows, forests and moorlands inspire my work.  Untamed nature is very important to my practice, but I also love simply to play with colour and create abstract pieces.  My work is ultimately my spiritual practice.  Through the prism of my compositions, I try to visualize my inner experiences and feelings.

10.  If your painting could bring about a change in the world, what change would you like that to be?

‘Untitled’ by Agnieszka Ceccarelli, 2015. Acrylic, pumice stone, mortar and charcoal on canvas. 70cm x 50cm.

It would be great if I could change the world with my painting!  If possible, I would like to strengthen human sensitivity around the world.  I would like to be able to influence mutual respect, greater respect for animals and generally for nature.  If there was greater understanding, respect and tolerance in the world and less aggression, the world would be better…

11.  What major exhibitions have you previously enjoyed taking part in?

I have taken part in many interesting exhibitions.  One of the most important was the BA Contemporary 2016, Vienna, organised by the Biennale Austria association.  Great artists took part from all over the world.  Also significant was the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art entitled ‘Riflessioni’ (‘Reflections’) at the beautiful, antique residence of Istituto Portoghese di Sant’Antonio in Rome.  This exhibition was supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Portugal in the Holy See… These were all very successful exhibitions, thanks to which I met many valuable people from the art world.

12.  Where would you like your career to go next?

I do not paint much.  (I do not treat painting as a production line.).  Each of my paintings goes through a long stage of meditations, rehearsals, experiments – sometimes it takes a long time until I reach the intended effect.  Throughout this process the artwork takes on a certain charisma.  I have to feel deep, strong emotions.  Then I know that my work is over and that I have taken another step in my career.  Each work brings me great satisfaction.  So, I can say that, for me, my career IS each artwork.  Exhibitions, art fairs, publications are just an addition.  Of course, all this is very important to grow the right circle of audiences and fans, but my main focus is on my inner development and creating better and better works.  So my next goal is to create an artwork that reflects my emotions even more strongly!

13.  What are your creative goals for the long-term future?

‘Injustice’ by Agnieszka Ceccarelli, 2016. Acrylic and plaster on canvas. 100cm x 100cm.

My long-term goal – as I suspect for most artists – is to create works that will go down in history.  Even after my death!  I would like the style, the emotions, the aura of my paintings – the way they effect my audience – to be universally recognisable.  I would like to reach human hearts.  I will work hard to get my name listed with other big artists!

14.  Who would you most like to collaborate with on a painting?

I really like and appreciate George Condo’s work.  Recently, I visited the Skarstedt Gallery on the Upper East Side in New York, where I was able to admire his ‘New Works’.  I was absorbed in the energy of his paintings.  I was also impressed with his bronze sculptures.  Working with him would be a very interesting experience.

15.  If you could ask an ancient artist to dinner, who would it be and why?

Not necessarily an ancient artist, but my dream would be to dine with Vincent Van Gogh!  It would be a very interesting and unique evening.  Beyond doubt he was an artistic genius, devoted entirely to art, but beyond that I think he was an extremely sensitive and interesting person…

Art Today can’t help but think Agnieszka will succeed in her dream of becoming recognised worldwide, and wish her well in attempting to utilize her own artistic genius to strengthen human sensitivity – including greater respect for the natural world!

View the Biennale Austria website (see below) for more on her bio, catalogue of previously-entered art fairs and references.





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