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Anna di Mezza

ARTISTS • Anna di Mezza

Anna di Mezza

Anna di Mezza is a painter whose primary subject matter are realistic portraits and the odd landscape or two. Surrealism, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Boards of Canada and The Twilight Zone are amongst the many influences in herwork.

Anna Di Mezza’s intriguing ‘Hollywood Surreal’ suite of paintings is reminiscent of the 1950s classic era of film. Some of her paintings are structured with repetitive elements like the negative frames of an old film spool. Others feature images from outer space, or conjure beautiful, but ominous, scenarios inspired by filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick. Models looking like vintage magazine cover-girls are so focused on their self-image they seem unaware of a looming catastrophe. Di Mezza displaces figures from the glamorous lifestyle to unfamiliar landscapes, or thrusts a gigantic crystal into their midst, creating chance encounters with unresolved endings.

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Anna Di Mezza is an Australian artist featured in my previous post Double Take. Anna graduated from Billy Blue Design School and worked as an illustrator for Disney Studios before setting out as an independent artist.
I contacted Anna who very kindly agreed to be interviewed and forwarded me a photograph of her new painting The Elevator (see above). For further information and examples of her work please visit her website Anna Di Mezza and her representatives Saatchi Art .

When I first started with Saatchiart my paintings were more in line with conservative renderings of people and landscapes. Later on, I started to evolve as an artist and experimented with conceptual work, which was around three years ago which brings me to where I am now.

Most of the images I work with are found on the internet. If I am lucky, an image may come by easily, otherwise I have to work hard to look and forage through hundreds of old photos until I find the right one that would work best for my objectives. I try to look for images of anonymous people going on about their daily lives. I want to celebrate their anonymity and uproot the setting for them so they are involved in some sort of narrative that is the fine line between reality and dreams.

The photos I paint from are usually in black and white so that usually dictates the reason why I go for these monochromatic colours. I like the occasional use of colour as I enjoy colour too for added visual interest. I would like to experiment a lot more with colour in the near future. I’m not sure they would class themselves as Surrealists, but definitely the contemporary painters Paco Pomet and Gottfried Helnwein.

There is a lot of collage work by contemporary artists I have seen that I admire. They mostly make their art digitally. Some examples are Eugenia Loli and Sammy Slabbinck. Their works are to what I am doing except I paint the images. I admire a lot of left of centre films that have surreal aspects to them. Films from David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick in particular.

The glitch smear was an experiment in design rather than an accident. It started out as an aesthetic more than anything else. What was interesting about it was hearing people’s interpretations of the work. As the glitches reminded some people of bar-codes, the painting would be about mass consumerism or tuning a TV to the correct channel until one comes upon a random image.

Yes, most of my work is about juxtaposing people with unrelated backgrounds to create an element of surprise so the theory is prevalent in that way.
According to the concept of objective chance, it involved the most powerful imagery which caused the greatest surprise. In order to create marvelous images, Surrealist poets juxtaposed two terms that appeared to conflict with each other but were secretly related. The power of the resulting imagery was directly proportional to their apparent dissimilarity.

I definitely feel nostalgic for a time that precedes my life. The music, the fashion, the culture, the industrial design from the mid-century to me are the ideal aesthetic therefore I am attracted to this era and keep returning to it for inspiration

What he says is true. At the same time the 50’s were a time when women’s roles were diminished and women were being expected more and more to stay home and be housewives. African-Americans in the South, meanwhile, were living under conditions of segregation. There will always be negative and dark aspects whenever human nature is involved.
The space age era would have been a tremendously exciting time to live in thinking about the possibilities of how far humans could go thanks to the power of technology. It is also the idea of the unknown that fascinates me.

Inhospitable, yes and even claustrophobic. These people all seem to be caught in a moment in time that they cannot escape and are forever trapped in. The paintings make them appear as if they were meant to be there due to their seeming lack of concern . I am trying to tap into dreamlike states of consciousness in using these places one could not survive in.

There are several films that are superlative. My favourite movie growing up was The time machine (the original 60’s one). I was completely blown away by that film with its fantastic possibilities of ideas of  fast forwarding time and the vision of the Eloi future. Other films I love are Antonioni’s “Blow up”, Kubrick’s “Space Oddyssey”, Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and “Rope”, Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr”, and more recently “Under the skin” by Jonathan Glazer.

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