Ana Cavagna Martinez
An Interview

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Boundaries II

This month we had the chance to talk with Ana Cavagna Martinez, an Argentinian artist based in the U.S. Her work deals with the ethereal and sensory paintings and spiritual connections between thoughts and things belonging to the living world. She works on paper and canvases with fluid acrylics, watercolor, carbon, plaster, ink, pastel paint, and collage. Her works show us that interdisciplinarity can bring new interesting possibilities, and, without names or boundaries, becoming a bridge towards spirituality.

BEATRICE SACCO: As an artist that grew up in an environment filled with art – your mother being an artist herself and your family collecting art since you were a kid and going to exhibitions together – how do you feel this background has influenced your path? Did you know from the beginning you wanted to make art? Was your choice more difficult or easier for you to experience? And also, how do your own kids and husband respond to that? Are they involved in your practice both practically and emotionally?

ANA CAVAGNA MARTINEZ: I was definitely influenced, I do not believe in absolute originality and that belief gives me a lot of peace in this competitive world and at the same time also leaves me room for action. I was and am collecting inspirations that impact me as a person and as an artist. I am very observant and my five senses are very sensitive, so I perceive and treasure small gestures throughout the day… lights, looks, smells, sounds that make up a sensation and from that sensation I start to paint or perhaps it is a need to let go. All this baggage captured on a piece of cloth or paper, if I don’t do it, it can become a heavy burden. I could not create what I create without the constant presence of my past (my parents, family, Italy and Argentina) and my present where I constantly let in things that touch my soul and then paint.

 

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Oblivious V

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Holding a Pattern

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Mother

BS: I read that your practice has its roots into the study of philosophy, poetry and psychology. Can you tell more about the beginning of your journey from them to visual art? Were they always intertwined? And how do you use them to empower each other?

ACM: My family is eclectic, there are scientists, philosophers and lawyers, but we all share a love for art, cinema and music. And above all, we are a family that is sensitive to nature, animals and of course to all artistic manifestations.

BS: As a huge fan of C.G. Jung myself, I felt an instant connection to your thoughts and works related to him. Would you like to tell us more about the importance of using archetypes and ancestral symbology in your practice? How do you experience the fruition of your work connected to that?

ACM: I am constantly learning from this great teacher who was Carl Gustav Jung. I am a lucky owner of a huge and beautiful edition of The Red Book with all the pictorial work full of symbolism and studying along three years with the Spanish translator of Jung’s work Dr. Bernardo Nante, who is another great teacher that life brought me. I try to establish a constant dialogue between my conscious and my unconscious… through meditation, anamnesis and my walks in nature. I see the collective archetypes present in my dreams, in my art and in life itself without ignoring the particular traits of the individual. Although when I am painting my mask remains silent and I try to do a process in which the anima/animus is present and dialoguing. I even have a series of paintings titled ANIMA/ANIMUS. My creative process is nourished by my contact with nature, my walks through the forest or by the sea, my eye for beauty and harmony.The beauty that he found in nature inspires and connects with the traditional symbols of humanity, that is when I become polytheistic like the Greeks or the Egyptians, with that powerful ray of sun having made its way through the dense green of the forest. With the ease and strength of the sea, with its white foam gently touching my feet and cooling my body in seconds, is when I kneel in front of the cosmos and when surrounded, I recover the vertical strength and I am able to create something new and at the same time a respectful child of the old.

 

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Oblivious II

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Searching for Magic

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Anima/Animus V

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Magna Terrae

BS: Can you tell us more about your process of creation? And the value of taking breaks and moments of reflection during the realization of a painting? Has your practice evolved during the years? If so, in which way?

ACM: I have a tendency to work in an integrated way, trying to go to the center, trying to work on my inner life and from they’re being generous with art. Very important is being generous and detach with the work… it is similar to motherhood, to giving everything from the soul and the physical and mental work and then when you are empty, let it go, release it to fulfill its own destiny. I even marvel at the multiple interpretations that art has, that transcends the artist or what the artist wants with true intention to achieve. When released, it gains a living identity and multiple visions and meanings. It touches hearts from different places. The gift of any artistic work is alive as long as we know how to step away from our creation so that it takes a life of its own. It is a spiraling process of round trip where I work from the threshold and from the creative imagination. Every time I open myself to the symbolic world, I awaken my internal world and that awakens my imagination and thus I link what is dissociated. When I think creatively, when I intuit creatively, when I feel creatively, I am connecting with my own roots and responding to my own essence.

 

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Arbol IV

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Magic Orpheus

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Migration I

BS: I am really interested in what I would describe as the poetry of small things, something that you told me is a constant part of your life and practice. I feel it is both something that your personality and your paintings have in such a gentle way. Would you tell us how you reached this realization? Was there a specific moment or episode, or was it a process?

ACM: My artistic activity dates back to my birth in my mother’s atelier who was always at home, so I grew up making ceramics mainly with her. The paintings, their smell and the environments of the arts were always present, since then I have painted intermittently and studied painting, literature and journalism as well. Now that my children have left home (one of age 14 remains) I look back at my painting and it was always loaded with symbology that referred to nature, philosophy and fundamental traditions. I try to be in constant dialogue with the external and myself. I identify with a bowl that is filled with stimuli that I perceive through senses and then I plan the work with colors and the idea of its complexion. Then in silence or with music in my workshop the mind disappears and I let myself be carried away in a state of total intuition in which I believe. In the actual act of painting there is no mind. Then I separate myself from the painting and there I can see it with my mind from a certain distance. There I suffer a lot and I try to let it rest until the next day. I try to preserve amazement and admiration for the mysteriousness of the divine and for the wonderful human work. I try to cultivate a sense of humor, sometimes I wake up during the night laughing out loud, then I review the dream and laugh again in the morning at the threshold between sleep and wakefulness, so rich in symbolism.

 

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Cosmos

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Anima/Animus I

Ana Cavagna Martinez, Arbol II

Ana Cavagna Martinez, view of her atelier with Oblivious V / Portrait of the artist

BS: What are you working on right now? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?

ACM: I am currently working on a series of paintings about the frequency of the earth, and the earth as Magna Terrea with a humanistic and physical concept of the earth as a living entity that houses us and governs us as well. Remembering our past ancestors who worshiped every phenomenon of nature as a divine manifestation and this celestial sphere that we were able to observe from the moon years ago. A book of poetry by Giuseppe Ungaretti accompanies me in this series about the frequency of the Earth.

 

Ana Cavagna Martinez / An Interview
By Beatrice Sacco
Visit the artist’s page >

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