"To paint someone is to tell a story that can be re-imagined by everyone, every time you look at the work."
Silvia Sarsano was born in 1981.
In 2005 she graduated magna cum laude at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome with a Thesis about Videoclip as a form of contemporary art.
In 2006 she started studying as Contemporary Art Curator at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome where she graduated in 2010 with a Thesis on Janet Cardiff.
In 2007 she moved to Berlin, where she is still living and working.
She exhibited up to 2017 under the name of Viola Kunst and took part in several collective and solo exhibitions, projects and art competitions in Italy, Germany UK and Tunis.
Common sense depicts the concept of "generation" as the fact of being born in a determined period, and of living a common cultural and social climate, that leaves a trace in our way of feeling, how we think and act. I believe that history has not just been made by kings or wars, but by common people. People who are almost all lost by the memory of time. I do not want my generation to get lost.
My work is dedicated to the exploration of the feelings of my generation. I observe people and I have a compulsion to “fix” them. My paintings are almost a diary of my encounters. They are a reflection of the people who make up my generation.
To me, a constant source of interest is the contradictions that shape our reality, especially regarding women. I get the greatest inspiration from the women I meet on my path, from the strength that they emanate, and the intrinsicate contradiction they (we) live in: the duality between the poeticized image of a woman (as saint, muse, goddess) and the inequality she faces in the real world.
At the same time I am also very influenced by the tradition of portrait coming from my italian roots as well as the arts and crafts from all over the world, therefore I chose to use the traditional format of portrait, adapting it to the era I live in. I aim to portray my generation and its beauty: the beauty of its happiness, the beauty of its pain. And to present real people without idolization. Without pretense of perfection.
My most recent works depict life-size individuals from my generation. Stark geometric shapes are visible on their clothing. However, the shapes span beyond the figure into the background. Each person depicted, in the same moment, blends into the background whilst being the subject.
In the era of social media, we are flooded with content: we scroll past and swipe through thousands of images every day. I want to focus the eye of the viewer; challenge them to “look” and not just “see”. In the same way, we strained to see the magic eye shapes and figures in the 1990s, I challenge the spectator to ask: where does the subject of each painting start and where it ends.