Alessandra Sicuro studied languages and literature at the universities of Bologna, Milan, and Lecce.
Her studies include the sociology of art, aesthetics, and the history of theater. After moving to Denmark, she attended various courses in painting, drawing, and ceramics. In addition, she has taught language and literature at Copenhagen Business College.
Interwoven in her classes are themes of art: Surrealism and the avant-garde, the European fairy tale, and female identity. She began to exhibit sporadically since the 80’s. Since 2006, she regularly exhibits in Copenhagen or in her studio, as well as for artistic associations of some institutions including the World Health Organization, the City Court, NovoNordisk, and Multidata.
I come from South Italy. I moved first to Bologna and Milano and then to Copenhagen many years ago. I came to Denmark—and I stay here—for love and curiosity about life and diversity.
How have your life experiences, and your journey, influenced your art over the years?
My art of course reflects my origins, my background, and what I learn day after day, meeting not only Scandinavians but also people and things from other countries. Talking specifically about visual art, in Denmark I met Nordic “cold” colours and atmospheres (Hammershøj, Ring, Zahrtmann, design from the ‘50es). It was a sort of sobriety, with implicit religious and cultural connotations … such a difference from my Catholic and southern background, which comprises bright colours, contradictions, drama, guilt and indulgence. In any case, I went on exploring my interest for art from all over the world: European Impressionists and Expressionists, Indian painters such as Amrita Sher Gil and Bhupen Khakhar, Japanese manga, Chinese contemporary art and such. All of this influences my art, or rather interacts with it.
What is your favourite piece that is being exhibited during Artival 2016, and what is the history behind it?
I am interested in the European art history—our cultural heritage—and like the idea of a dialogue with the past, a reflection about cultural patterns. For example, the relation between man and woman, or feminine and masculine identities, which I often express through the personages of Adam and Eve. In this exhibition, there are two large paintings about theese biblical personages. “Il comodino di Adamo ed Eva” shows them as lovers, and focuses on their passion, immersed in a a dreamworld … but called back to reality by their child. The second one is titled “The rebuke of Adam and Eve. The guilt” and is inspired by the Italian Baroque painter Domenichino. Was guilt incarnated by women? As in Domenichino’s painting, Adam is pointing at Eve trying to excuse himself with such a sincere naiveté … I cannot believe it!
You can choose it or you can be forced to choose it.
What has your participation in Artival 2016 meant to you personally, and to your life as an artist in Denmark?
I appreciate the intention behind Immigrant Art and Artival and the huge work done by ( the organizing committee and Nicol Savinetti. My participation to Artival has been giving and pleasant. I met interesting artists and incredible life stories.
I must admit that initially I was in doubt about participating because I don’t consider myself a migrant. But, in fact, I am a migrant. By participating, I show my solidarity with artists who come from other parts of the world and share my similarity with them. In addition, I hope to bring more attention to the condition of migration.
Italians do not consider themselves migrants, which in reality they are. Today many young Italians migrate: the percentage of well- educated individuals leaving Italy for a work abroad has greatly increased in the last 5 years. They simply cannot find a job in their own country. A recent debate in the Italian Culture Institute in Copenhagen was basically showing that this new young intellectual Italian community cannot find a place at home.
Furthermore, in a broader perspective, migration is a global phenomena. Contemporary Europe is experiencing a mass movement of people, migrating into EU because of civil war and terror or looking for a better life. Migration is a substantial, current and often dramatic issue and raises questions about tolerance, inclusion and responsibility. I enjoyed being a part of an arts festival that highlights these issues.
Alessandra has exhibited widely, for instance at Byretten, Novonordisk, Multidata and WHO. She will exhibit some works in her atelier during the last weekend of November. For further information visit www.alessandrasicuro.com or Instagram: alessandra_sicuro.Alessandra’s paintings are part of the ongoing Artival 2016 exhibition at PH Caféen, Halmtorvet 9A, Vesterbro until 30 October 2016.
Opening hours: Daily 11.00 – 22.00
ON GARDENS, THE SEA, HOUSES, CAKES, AND TABLE CONVERSATION
I grew up in a country village in Southern Italy. Our house, which belonged to a priest, included a mysterious unusable room, a stone cistern from which one day a salamander appeared, and a garden with huge almond trees where we would hide or build nests, between caper bushes with waving pale white flowers. My father told crude, harsh stories of the past and my mother read fairy tales to us at supper, around a red formica ’60s table.
In my aunt’s house, swans, roses, and walking guardian angels painted on its walls watched us — observing those swans I learned how to paint dancing ballerinas. Sitting on a flowered sofa, we would skim art books (Lautrec, Degas), an Easter rabbit illustration book, or play The Wonderful World Tour on a richly illustrated old map were I dreamed over pictures of the black Congo or the mysterious Thule.
At lunch, on Sunday, we were served beautifully and simply decorated desserts; every shape and plate had its own importance.
In the summer, together with aunts and cousins, we met at a summer house, where year after year we spent long periods together, talking, listening, and sharing conversations about ourselves and our families under a strawberry grape arbor. Other cousins were met in autumn, under fig and walnut trees, and other groups of relatives at the Christmas table.
Around us were books, voices and plants. There, I learned about natural relations and eagerly absorbed a love for art, literature, and nature. This is the world which makes me paint.