Discover / Meet the Artist
Interview with Atilio Pernisco
Today, we'd like to introduce you to
Atilio Pernisco @atilioper
Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?
When I am not painting, I read, listen to philosophy podcasts, and write ideas while watching the news. I try finding coherence and order in dissociations of the absurdity in the everyday - establishing an order to paint images. I’m not exactly sure how it happens. It takes lots of tries to create a new image of purpose to paint. It is like poetry, it depends of what is in front of the pronoun, what is the space in between the text, the interruption that makes a poem shine. I think of painting as poetry.
How important is having a personal connection to the subject matter that you choose to paint?
Everything seems personal: people I know and experiences reflect onto the canvas – all based on what I’m seeing or how am I seeing the subject. Nothing escapes my subjectivity and everything becomes an active ingredient on the way to the canvas. All things have a place in time, our individual history holds our past, present and future. All of these moments and ideas can be contained in a painting as a moment of time.
What themes do you pursue and why?
I pursue ideas of “otherness” and ideas of power struggle, all of which I believe are prominent questions in our human interactions. I always come to question why control is related to order, and to satisfy this order, why must we all be so linear to societal expectations. In any scenario, there is always one guiding force with power, and another who is constantly left out of the equation.
How has the pandemic affected your creativity and work?
Throughout the Pandemic I have been able to function and practice freedom, a place I had visited in intermittent occasions. The nights have become days, I’ve slept longer than usual and have spent days without bathing. On beautiful afternoons, you’ll find me in a robe picking veggies from the yard. I begin to question the order of things and the true need of going back to normal! What does normal want from us? Normal is basically corporate oppression. I am feeling joyful with full days and nights filled with intellect and creativity – perhaps it’s sharpening the natural human purpose.
Do you create hidden meanings or messages in your work?
I think there is always something unsaid or not spelled that’s hopeful. The power of the myth, the hidden, the shadow is where meaning shines perhaps. I identify that there will be always language, a way to articulate signs and symbols. Perhaps this disambiguation in my paintings needs to be rebuked at times in order to not become a thing, a repetition, not losing its authenticity.
What role does the artist have in society?
I believe that artists need to have political voice at some level. To be political is to voice an opinion on the way society affects you personally. Because all art is inherently personal, your personality is infused in your art work, and part of that identity is your relation to the prominent powers. Society pressures us to chase after gratification by seducing consumers into buying products that will allegedly satisfy their universal right for individual happiness, claiming that their product is the solution to unhappiness while destroying our environment. As artists, we must be the observers of this societal normalization -We should highlight the invisible, and turn a corner away from the conventional.