Risa (laughter), beso (kiss), and cuerpo (body) are just a sampling of the delightful Spanish words that Andrea Cavagnaro, Buenos Aires based artist, depicts in her eye-catching felt sculptures. We can’t help but be reminded of Jen Stark’s paper sculptures profiled here, when we see Cavagnaro’s brightly colored and lush layered felt. In addition to these colorful wall hangings, Cavagnaro creates large-scale environmental art displayed throughout Argentina. Pattern Pulp recently had the pleasure of meeting Cavagnaro in her charming studio where she allows her free spirit to guide her to new artistic discoveries. Check out our inspiring Q&A with Cavagnaro and discover how taking new paths led this artist to unexpected places.
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PP: What is your design process?
AC: I enjoy working with fabrics. I love to spend hours and hours cutting, gluing, and choosing relationships between colors: contrasts, gradients, dizziness, agreements and opposites. During textile production, body connects itself, with breathing, energy, with all its invisible parts. It is an innermost moment.
My urban work is developed based on the project and depends on the unique and specific context of the piece. I express the experience of my body on that particular place, using contrasting visual language. I create a project, I draw up a plan for it (sizes, calculations, patterns), and then I prepare the materials and build up the staging. I also make sure to carefully document the entire experience.
PP: As a designer, how did you discover your talent and how has it evolved over your creative career?
AC: I worked as a fashion designer for a long time, so I think there is something unconsciously related to design when I choose colors. I give myself over to color choices without thinking, finding them as if they are given to me…and suddenly, while working, I decide to change them abruptly, taking a completely different direction in the same work and embracing the new combination.
PP: How does the medium affect the outcome of your work?
AC: I chose the medium based on the experience I want the work to have on the body. At the same time, the material defines the shape, dimensions, and colors of the intervention or sculpture.
While I am working with the industrial synthetic felt, lots of possibilities are open to me. It is like a road, I begin to walk and I find other paths so I choose those and so on. It happens with the shape, with the color, with the rhythms, with the sequence, so it is like a trip that I never know where it will finish.
PP: What challenges have you faced as an artist?
AC: The most important challenge of my career was in 2001, during Argentina’s financial crisis. Up to that point, my work was a more formal enjoyment of shape and color. After the crisis, I began my public art interventions, and all of my work became completely conceptual.
Another important change was at the end of 2007. After two years of intense collaboration on urban interventions, I needed a break. I needed silence. I spent hours in my studio alone, and I discovered the felt that I fell in love with and now use in much of my work.
Compiled by: Rebecca Silver