" I like to make noise with my work"
Emilia Rinaldini, artist and student, is pursuing her passion for the arts at the University of Art and Design in Downtown Miami. I met this lady hanging at the schools lounge one foggy morning last month. Her work is full of bright colors and strong emotion, which immediately made my day. Here is an interview that I conducted with this lovely artist!
Name: Emilia Rinaldini
Birthplace: New York, NY
Education: High School: Milton Academy, Milton, MA
College: Miami International University of Art & Design
Most influential era:
High School – My first art teacher there was named Anne Neely (a well known artist around Boston and New York) who said one thing to me: there is no such thing as line - everything is made up of light and shadow. When she told me this everything clicked, and that’s when I really wanted to get serious about making art.
Don’t laugh, but I mainly listen to Chris Brown when I paint. I remember hearing him sing in an interview he did the year before his first album came out and I was hooked. His voice “fits” my ears. His music isn’t the best, I’ll be the first to admit, but he’s an amazing talent and listening to him inspires me and instantly puts me in an amazing zone. Otherwise, I listen to a lot of Anthony Hamilton and then Jazz & Blues while I paint.
I love anything Fitzgerald. He is my all-time favorite! I wish I had a time machine to go back to the 20’s, so that’s probably why I love his writing so much because it’s as close to a time machine as I can get for that era.
Classic, Established? Chuck Close, Francis Bacon, Daumier, Tim Burton, Michelangelo (as a sculptor, not a painter), Peter Tunney, Roxy Paine, Louise Bourgeois, and Alberto Giacometti. Artists of today? Jeanpaul Mallozzi, David Kassan, Samuel Stabler, Ben A. Jones, Stephen Arboite, Cynthia Fleischmann and Wendy Coad.
Not really. There’s no specific time, or period that I can truly say is an influence in my work. Really it’s day-to-day, and whatever I experience (naturally) comes through in my work.
Pop culture influences:
I wouldn’t consider my work to have a strong pop culture influence, but a lot of people think it does. I’ve done celebrity portraits (some for commissions, some for fun); but mainly the celebrity portraits have been of Chris Brown and Josh Harnett. I’m a tiny bit infatuated with Chris Brown’s voice so painting him comes easily to me, and his voice inspires me so why not show my gratitude to him through my work, you know? And Josh Hartnett because, well… I wanna touch his face and have wanted to since I was in 5th grade haha. But, back to my main point, though I do make “celebrity art”, I don’t see my work as having a real pop culture influence because that’s not what I intend to express in my paintings of celebrities. Simply, I use them as subjects because I have infinite access to good quality photos, which makes finding subjects easy and pretty instant.
First memories dabbling in art:
I grew up around art. My mom, her sister and the majority of my dad’s family members were/are artists or involved in art. As a kid, I remember spending a lot of time painting, making things – my mom and I made most of the miniature things for my dollhouse. In high school was when I really got serious about painting. I loved anything to do with coloring, painting – some of my favorite toys (that I wish I still had) were those color tablets you could drop into your bath that would dye the bathwater, I fucking loved those!
Acrylic paint. I like sculpture and other mediums, but I mainly stick to acrylics. I work quickly and go right into the details so acrylics are great for me because they dry so quickly.
I don’t think there is one. It really depends on who the subject is or what characteristic that specific character is showing. The perspective changes for each portrait so it’s hard to really pinpoint any one emotion in my entire body of work.
The essence of your art:
I love capturing momentary expressions, and making the portraits a little more vivacious than a standard portrait. I also like to use bright, loud colors to make my pieces pop. So I guess I like to make noise with my work. I want the viewer to be stopped in their tracks when they look at or walk by my paintings.
The piece that you’ve created that you hold dearest to your heart:
Shockingly (insert sarcasm), my favorite piece is one I did of Chris Brown. I can’t really say why beyond I LOVE looking at it haha. I gave him one of the paintings I did of him, planning on giving him both, but I couldn’t separate with this one. I actually get a lot of shit from people for using him as a subject. The typical reaction when people see him in my work is “Is that Chris Brown? You know he beats people, right?” and what I want to say, but don’t, is, “well it’s really lucky for you that he can’t jump out of this canvas, isn’t it? *insert: “you’re an idiot” face*” It’s frustrating that people, 1: look at my work and think about what the person in the work has done, rather than what the specific piece says, and 2: look at or hear Chris Brown and only see the one time he beat up his girlfriend. Chris Brown is an amazing talent (singer, writer, dancer, actor, producer, director, philanthropist, clothing designer & painter) so why ignore all the good he puts out and focus on the one time he fucked up? I think about the pressure of being a celebrity and I would probably be the worst because I curse, I smoke, I drink, I don’t care about what I’m wearing, or if my hair looks ok. And for a celebrity to even just go to the grocery store is a chore. So I can only imagine what the pressures of being that famous can bring out in people…especially celebrities like Chris Brown who are so young and have been a part of the industry since they were kids. …sorry for that rant :-P
I love the emotion evoked in the faces you paint, what draws you to the human face and its vast expressions:
Faces constantly change. Light, color, emotion, expression give them an endless variety of ways in which they can be seen. I’ve always liked looking at faces – even the ones I don’t like – I remember most people by their face, not name…I’m pretty bad with names. I love meeting new people and seeing where different people come from, so I think portraits naturally kind of fell into my lap.
Oh man, SO many! Obviously I want to build my career as a painter and get my name and work out there. I also have a foundation that some friends and I started called Young & Starving that gives young artists and young buyers a platform to break into the art world. So right now, my immediate goals are to build my foundation and myself. Later down the road… I would love to teach at my high school for a few years because it was such an influence and jumping-off point for me. I would also LOVE to work in the entertainment business (music and movies). So I’m leaving myself open to whatever comes along.
One word to describe you work: Variegated
Check out more of this wonderful artists work below :}
*All photographs posted are original Emilia Rinaldini artwork
*All photographs posted are original Emilia Rinaldini artwork