Earls Court Gallery is excited to launch its 2023 exhibition calendar with “VIEW LIFE” featuring Mimmo Baronello (Toronto), Brenda Nieves (Toronto), and Diana Rosa (Toronto). As a way to get to know the artists beyond their biography write ups, here is a Q & A that gives insight into the artist’s process, technique and what inspires them.
- At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted to pursue the arts professionally?
I don’t have any memory of the moment when I decided that I was going to be an artist. I always wanted to go to art school. It was never a choice for me. In fact, because my grades were so good in school everyone- parents , teachers, and even friends- were trying to talk me out of going to art school and going into some kind of academic program and become a professional-a lawyer or an engineer. I spent my life trying to stop other people from derailing me.
- What must you do to get your ready to begin in the studio? Or how do you get past the “blank page”?
I’m one of those people who hasn’t ever faced a blank page. In fact, I have to work hard to streamline the millions of ideas running through my head. I get inspiration from objects. I collect all kinds of objects. They’re everywhere in my studio. I’m surrounded by things that stimulate my curiosity.
Inside Mimmo Baronello's Studio
- What gets your creative juices flowing?
I get excited about a subject when I first start thinking about painting a new piece. I know what I want to say about a subject from the start, I just don’t know how to say it- what animal to choose, or what other objects to include. It’s when it comes down to choosing the details of an image, the specifics of what I will paint, the moment I decide on what details to focus on to get my idea across, that is really when I get into what you might call flow.
- Describe your artistic style in three words
Pop. Mannerism. Baroque.
- How do you determine the size of your work?
For me the subject determines the size of canvas.
"Value of the Bubble" 2023 Acrylic on Canvas 18" x 26"
- Square vs. Rectangle. What’s your preference any why?
I do use square canvases, but I like vertical direction, so I use a lot rectangle canvases.
- Do you have any phrases or words written in your studio? What are they and why are they there?
I did an interview for a print magazine and found myself saying this phrase “without empathy we lose humanity“. This is a phrase that best describes what I believe and value. It’s part of an article and not written on my studio walls, however, I read it regularly. It keeps me grounded.
"Centurion of Light" Oil on Canvas 40" x 30"
- Name three things that have no monetary value that you own, but you love dearly and will keep forever
I have a number of objects I acquired from loved ones. They remind me of where I’m from.
"Eyes of Lucy" Oil on Canvas 48" x 36"
- If you could have one of your artworks from “VIEW LIFE” in a permanent art collection, which one would it be and what institution?
(choose one to complete the sentence.)
I would like to see “The Eye of Lucy” in the lobby of a corporation
…that has the same values as me about the environment.
…that shares my values about the environment and is committed to protect it.
…that like me is trying to bring an awareness about what we are doing to our natural environment
…whose mandate is focused on protecting our natural environment.
…any corporation that like me wants to rise awareness about environmental issues.