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The Quirky Creative World Of Italian Artist In Tel Aviv, Olga Vanoncini
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The Quirky Creative World Of Italian Artist In Tel Aviv, Olga Vanoncini

Picture of Rachel Kaufman
Updated: 10 December 2015
Olga Vanoncini is a contemporary art specialist and visual artist. Born in the north of Italy, in Bergamo, she earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and her master’s degree in fine arts. She has most recently been working as a creativity counselor for a creativity program for children called Englilush in Israel. Olga has also been working on her own visual art objects, including the featured project ‘Crossing the Blue.’

Artistic Beginnings in Italy

Olga has had many influences and driving forces in her life that have lead her towards the project, ‘Crossing the Blue.’ Olga has a dynamic educational background, with experience in philosophy, visual arts, publishing and organization management. Equally, this has contributed to her unconventional approach to visual art and her method of captivating audiences with multidisciplinary tactics. Her academic path was practical and theoretical, with a philosophy curriculum of aesthetics for her bachelor’s degree; at the same time she worked as an assistant for a university visual art class in Venice. After her studies, Olga became a university class assistant in sociology and in her last two years in Italy was a university teacher of phenomenology of contemporary arts in the fine arts department.

Previously, Olga managed the Thomas Brambilla Contemporary Art Gallery in Bergamo, as well as working as an editor. She continues as a freelance writer and editor for catalogues and other publishing from the art field. Olga dabbled with for-profit and nonprofit organizations, working as a coordinator of the association, The Blank Bergamo Contemporary Art. She finds it interesting to combine her passions together in many places and venues.

When Olga spoke of her path as a visual artist, she described her first experiences of painting and canvas work in her years at the academy. She said that she soon realized that she tended to stray from the single canvas and paint brushes, and found that she did not want to limit herself to one medium, but rather let her inspiration guide her.

Tel Aviv and the New Form of Visual Art

As a contemporary visual artist, Olga’s first performance of her most recent works, ‘Crossing the Blue,’ was at an event titled ‘Aperi Kucha Tel Aviv – Made in Italy,’ an event inspired by Japanese presentation form. Olga featured her works at Tel Aviv’s second Aperi Kucha event, which took place at Casa Veranda Bar on Rothschild Boulevard. The theme for this event series was Italian culture. The event featured many presenters ranging from culinary arts, to visual artists and entrepreneurial use of Tel Aviv’s street art to teach different languages. All the presentations followed the format of six minutes and 40 seconds, making the event fast paced of a certain flow, which allowed for a great atmosphere for new ideas, perspectives and interaction through culture.

Olga presented her works that include components of spoken words, along with visual images of her recycled objects, as well as the interactive thought with the audience as part of the final moments of the presentation. Olga’s objects and presentation incorporated everything into one work which she calls ‘Crossing the Blue/Live.’

Olga’s objects of recycled materials are displayed throughout her studio/home (Le Cosmos d’O/Objects and Le Cosmos d’O/Home). Using tracing paper to layer, decorative lights inside a globe, as well as creating collages from an Italian magazine. Olga uses all the resources around her as her inspiration, which drive her towards abstract and contemporary art. This adds depth, meaning and contrast to her studio and general artwork.

Q&A at Olga’s Studio:

TCT: What is your ideal workspace?

Now, in this home which is my studio and for the type of work that I do now, I just really need my table, the sofa or the bed. I create small drawings, which are often done within small notebooks, or I work on the computer. I want to be light and everywhere. The ideal space right now allows me to feel mobile and nomadic – I want to be comfortable.

I like my graphite pencil, tracing paper, jazz or retro music and some chocolate.

Israel is an amazing country and Tel Aviv is an amazing city. I went around a lot before I moved here visiting and getting to know people. Specifically galleries, museums around Tel Aviv like Beit Ha’ir and Kikar Bialik, because it’s small and quiet and it’s close to Allenby and it’s so different.

TCT: Do you have music or food with you while you’re working?

I have a sweet tooth. So I like to have sweets, Nutella, or chocolate. I feel that something sweet, something with chocolate makes me relax. So does jazz, cake and tea. Not something heavy, but some sugar to keep up my energy!

TCT: What originally inspired your thought for Crossing the Blue/Live?

It was put together uniquely for Aperi Kucha, with the length. The writing project Crossing the Blue and blog Le Cosmos d’O are a work in progress. However, in the beginning, I moved to Israel from Italy a year ago (September 2014), so I don’t know why in the middle of the balagan (craziness), my visa and moving here it came to me. In the first few months of the year I began thinking of this project. And maybe it was really ‘being in the middle,’ it was this crossing that inspired it. Maybe it was the moment of my life. Not in a conscious way, because I’m just realizing this now. Art sometimes comes before the moment in which you understand something. You do something, and this something you do it because you feel it and need it. It helps to live in the moment in your life.

TCT: Advice for the starving artist?

My advice would be to be opened minded and not to limit yourself to just one field. Of course, study a lot, know your field; it could be great inspiration. Be open minded to other disciplines, science, philosophy, literature, music and experience life – that only real life can give. And be aware that inspiration can be everywhere.

By Rachel Kaufman

Rachel is a student at Tel Aviv University studying Jewish/Israel studies and psychology. Originally from Rhode Island, she enjoys writing, discussing and exploring the culture and many facets of Israel. She has been writing for The Culture Trip since the beginning of the year and is excited to continue to explore and write about Tel Aviv.