Stella Venturo, also known as Littlepoints, born in Rome in 1981. In 2005 she graduated as illustrator at the International School of Comics. Very important for her education are the teachings of artists and professors Francesco Graziosi and Roberto Petrongari. In 2006 she moves to Milan where starts to work with the communications agency Next Media Lab. From 2007 to 2011 she returned to Rome for the direction of GRAB Magazine – a quarterly publication of street art, illustration, photography and graphics. Many shows will take place parallel to the publishing project, including the Salon International d’Art Contemporain ART MONACO 2010. With the collective Surréalisme des femmes and Surreàlisme des femmes… le retour curated by Togaci and Mauro Tropeano, at the Hulahoop Club of Rome, starts significantly her artistic career. It is right under the curatorship of Togaci that she inaugurated the solo show entitled CORPUS NON ANIMUM CONFLIGETIS – Colpirete il corpo ma non le idee that will later be replicated in 2013 in GalleriaStudio44 of Genoa, the city where Stella currently lives.
Stella Venturo or Littlepoints, you have a very curious name. Explain where it comes from …
I have two memories that I care so much when I was little: the first time I tasted a cherry and the day at school when the teacher explained ellipsis: three small dots indicate the suspension of a discourse, of a word. It seemed to me a kind of magic. It was certainly one of the most beautiful discoveries of my childhood, so significant that, more or less at the age of 15, I began to draw them even on my face just below the right eye and I never stopped. The suspension is a thing I like to imagine, what remains outstanding may be continued or not, freely. I try to recreate this feeling in many of my works, for this small points have become a bit ‘my sign. Ah, the cherry has nothing to do with Littlepoints, but it is very pleasant for me to remember.
Stella, you graduated as an illustrator, but you have experienced different techniques such as watercolor, engraving on linocuts, serigraphs and inks. Over the years, however, you come to a choice and you come more and more to painting acrylic on canvas. However do you continue to research on materials?
I’ve always loved to experiment materials and techniques and continuous still, I find it very stimulating. Canvases and acrylics are the main tools I use. Leave much space for the engravings and prints in general (serigraphs, digital etc …).
Your illustrations are very dreamlike, some have a strong appeal to childhood, but they are all carriers of complex moods. Often perceive an expanse melancholy that can invade and fully engage the viewer. Each illustration is about your surreal characters who seem to have both a past and a future. What does inspire you?
Are subjects that often rework by dreams that I do, including those that are made with open eyes. I like to assume in my work a time line that passes through them. So yes, my inspiration comes from a probability of past and future that subjects could symbolize, I say could because I like to leave different possibilities of interpretation to the viewer.
In your work you use a lot puns in different languages, including Latin. There is a strong link between the image and the text. The word then becomes complementary to the work. Why this choice?
I love the words and find that they can play with each other, which is why I find myself using them very often. The game is a form of lightness not superficial, you can play in all the languages of the world, including Latin, but I also believe it is important not to forget that a drawing is not always in need of a “didactic” support. What I think of art – and in this case I speak of figurative art – is that it is a description, of ourselves, of what we have around, what we hate or love, of sadness, happiness, boredom, nothing, an endless list of events and feelings. Words are important and the most important teaching that can give us is that they are not always necessary, and to accept it is perhaps the most difficult part.
You’re also committed in publishing projects. What do you think of digital publishing?
I approached publishing in 2007 working on the magazine GrabMagazine: a self-produced freepress of street-art, photography, illustration. In recent years I have met so many magazines and people linked to independent publishing with whom I often worked as Cadillac Magazine, Banlieue, Voici La Bombe and others. For a couple of years I participate in the creation of Costola, illustrated anthology of short stories, created in April 2011 by Filippo Balestra and Robbe Ferreccio. Also I collaborate with FAME created by Irene Rinaldi and Alessandra De Cristofaro: a fanzine all in black and white with with a serigraphy on the cover and a screen-printed central coloured poster, born in September 2014; I take this opportunity to thank the two creators because they let me write and draw freely. Digital publishing is a new form of life, an extension of the publications in the world, sometimes dangerous because it can give space to any kind of initiative which become “finished products” too quickly. The professionalism of an editor, a graph or an illustrator who take up a job, before sending it to press, will always make the difference. I have nothing against digital publishing, everyone does what he wants.
You are from Rome, but you have been living in Genoa for some years. How do you consider the two cities from the artistic point of view? What are the differences?
I’m very close to Rome which is a city that has given me so much and continues to do so from every point of view, and I am convinced that I am experiencing it even more now that I’m in Genoa and is a beautiful feeling, strange and important. Move is good, it is a kind of focus on the world. Now I live in Genoa for three years: narrow alleys, sea, container ships, all the things that I love and make me feel good. Genoa and Rome, are both cities that can offer many opportunities from the artistic point of view. Genoa has several galleries and exhibition spaces where to propose exhibitions and during the year we organize festivals of independent publishing, markets, concerts, readings, poetry slam and is also not far from major cities where you can look out as Turin and Milan. In Rome definitely spaces and cultural events are many more, but this, from personal experience, it has not always been a sign of quality. Beyond the differences between one city and another, what matters is how much curiosity we decide to employ: if you are curious you wonder and if you wonder it is easier to learn and discover.
Tell us about your future projects. Are you planning some exhibitions soon?
In December I attended Graphiste, group exhibition at the Hangar Tattoo Gallery in Rome curated by Rossana Calbi. Since September I carry a small exhibition called “Mini Solo Show / Littlepoints …”: a mini exhibition of digital prints made, linocut, shopper cotton, exhibitions that occur in small areas scattered around different cities in Italy: the last was in January at Osteria Letteraria Sottovento in Pavia. For the new year, there are projects that are not yet well defined and of which I prefer not to talk.