Anna Mazzotta, one of the youngest winners of the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize, trained at The Wimbledon School of Art and The Royal College of Art. Her artworks feature in many public and private collections, most notably in those of Robert & Susan Kasen Summer and the royal photographer John Hedgecoe.
Anna Mazzotta’s artwork is featured in The Susan Kasen Summer and Robert D. Summer Collection of contemporary British painting – Amazon:Books
Painting primarily from her imagination, a technique that gives her art a far more personal feeling, Anna is heavily influenced by Art Deco, theatre, beach scenes and cinema with a deep love for silent movies and how exaggerated expressions are used to tell a story
1. What’s your background?
My background is Italian, based in London England.
2. What does your work aim to say?
It depends on the viewer.
I do not aim to spoon feed the viewer what they should see, but build layers of narrative so that they can form their own interpretation.
One example being one lady viewing one of my paintings saw a family scene, whereas another saw an orgy.
3. How does your work comment on current social or political issues?
My work has always featured strong women. Focusing on the human condition including happiness, anger and love there is a softness to them, comforting, almost like a Mother figure or a tall glass of milk. I’m not a feminist but I believe in strong women.
4. Who are your biggest influences?
Very interested in the artists of the Weimar Republic, with its life and decadence, including the artists Jeanne Mammen, Otto Dix and Josef Fenneker which blends with my other great influence of cinema and theatre especially silent movies where expressions were exaggerated for lack of sound.
5. How have you developed your career?
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art I have never compromised in changing my style for the latest fad. I believe that a true artist is one that does not compromise despite criticism as longevity builds a true body of work, rather than being a flash in the pan that can come and go. This has sometimes been a detriment but I deeply believe you have to paint for you self and be true to yourself, otherwise everything ends up looking the same. For example, if one particular artist is successful, i.e.Banksy, it creates a plethora of copy cats an d all identity is lost and gimmicks lead over artist merit. Its been feast or famine and I strongly believe that you should never give up especially if you’ve never had a plan b. I used to think, naively, that my work would speak for itself, but in reality its personality and who you know that gets you noticed. As a women it’s doubly difficult to be noticed and taken seriously and have considered painting under a male name. However that is behind me as I now have a good team around me and I’m very excited about the future.
6. How do you seek out opportunities?
I believe in one thing leading to another and following your momentum. Being in the right place at the right time helps, we all have our own time zones for greatness be it early or later in life.I’ve always been a late bloomer.
7. How do you navigate the art world?
With difficulty – it is a closed shop, like the BBC, unless you know someone on the inside, or are related to someone – it feels like every step you take you are faced with an iron door. So I would say networking and more networking is essential for an artist to succeed.
8. How do you cultivate a collector base?
Through interviews, being in the media and keeping people informed of my latest projects. Being commissioned by Fat boy slim helps.
9. How do you price your work?
My pricing has developed over time.
10. Which current art world trends are you following?
None. I don’t follow trends.
11. What art do you most identify with?
12. What themes do you pursue?
I pursue theme around the human condition and how humour and compassion are vital ingredients in making us the most of who we are. I'm also passionate that drawing is as an important a medium as painting as it gives a true connection to the artist.
13. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Horticulture and restoration.
14. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Being an artist is very isolating – you can go days on end without speaking to anybody. To counteract this I frequent cafes and love to people watch as this calms my mind.
15. Why art?
There has never been anything else for me.
Photography owner: Anna Mazotta
Wrote by Stella Maris Haefele
Founder and CEO, Haefele.Fashion