Her works are often controversial, bold and evoke nightmare like scenes mashed up with sexual desires, fantasies and horror. We spoke exclusively with artist Monica Piloni about her antagonistic style works to which often feature dolls, ballerinas and cartoonists through erotic iconography.
What made you decide to become an artist?
Although my artwork might suggest otherwise, I was very shy. And, while It was always easy to express myself visually using any sort of material, talking to people or public exposure was always very difficult. So through art I found a way to express myself without having to use words. Looking back, I never had any doubts about what I wanted to do, so when I went to art college it was only natural to enroll for a degree in Sculpture.
Because of my artwork people may not realize that at some point I was very shy. And, while It was always easy to express myself visually using any sort of material, talking to people or public exposure was always very painful. So through art I found a way to express myself without having to use words. Looking back, I never had any doubts of what I wanted to do and when I went to college it was only natural to enroll for a degree in Sculpture.
Tell us about your latest series
My last sculpture was finished in the first week of this year. I worked on it for three months. Not always is my finished work identical to the design of the initial project, I let chance and my contradictory personality take over from time to time and that changes the course of what was planned. In this case was different, the sculpture stayed exactly as I planned with a small exception, the design of the hair.
Still untitled this work is a unique because I would not dare go through the arduous process again, I'm surprised when I look at it here suspended in the clean area of my atelier.
The sculpture is a representation based on self-retracted. It was make in fiberglass, painted black and is suspense by a steel cable stuck inside the head that comes out of the mouth that is fixed to the ceiling.
The naked body is in a position of contortionism with the horned hands that has already been used in my previous works. The first time in "Concave&Convex” (Côncavo&Convexo, 2004 – resin – 3.4 x 4.3 x 4.3 in each piece) small formats with little detailed anatomy, reproduced in hundreds of identical pieces that fit and stack. Then in "Id Ego Superego" (2011 – bronze – 50 x 67 x 29 in) a very elaborate sculpture, heavy and expensive, that I did not have the chance to live with it because it left the foundry for the art fair in São Paulo and directly to the house of the collector Bernardo Paz in Inhotim Institute (Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil). I mentioned these two sculptures because although I have worked this way before, in the current sculpture that I describe here as the last work, I came across a surprise.
In previous sculptures, although they had the same shape, they worked together. Embedded in one another, I confused the observer's gaze and my own gaze with a knot of human shapes, and as in the case of “Id Ego Super Ego”, the face of one approaching the genitalia of the other guaranteed camouflage. When I came across the same human shape, contorted, legs wide open and it individual vagina looking at me, just for me because in the opening angle that the legs are positioned, they reserve a small space deprived of observation. The height at which it is suspended places the vagina very close to the observer's face, forcing his or her not to ignore it. A small element, the "wound", the crevice, a representation of feminine genitalia in fiberglass painted black, steals every attention as ornate, exebicionist, articulate and flexible is the other part of the body.
I felt the need to find the aesthetic, formal balance, since I learned in the discipline of "Expression in volume" in the first year of college in the Superior course of Sculpture in Fine Arts in 1997, that my obligation as a sculptor was to be able to represent the non-three-dimensional aesthetic balance. Since then it has become my beautiful golden cage, the loveliest of prisons that even psychoanalysis has been able to take away from me.
The black hair of the sculpture, which was fastened in a coke like the hairstyle of the classical ballet dancers, was released in a long ponytail that gently passes over the vagina. Now the observer can walk around the sculpture without being sucked in by the black hole. In this way, my prison releases my observer from penalty of arrest.
Would anyone dare move away from this subtle barrier to make sure what's behind it?
I could call it: “With the tail between the legs”.
What are you currently inspired by?
My individual relationship with my own body and consciousness of being tied up and stuck to the fibers of meat in metabolic steady action, a brain connected to a digestive tract that is able to reflect, to believe or deny God. The anguish is my source of inspiration and my rant through art. I feel lucky to be able to turn my anguish in inspiration.
Where is you all-time favourite destination and why?
The life. Life is which is this time spent carrying this body and doing things without knowing to that because no one gave us the answers to our questions and no instruction, the only sense of it all, since we are social beings, are meetings with people who have the same questions and do not have the answers like you and me.
In this perspective of human relations, geography becomes a detail.
Where to next?
The all time favorite destination is a place in our imagination and our hearts and can be described with words and acts of love, kindness and compassion. We can look at humanity with compassion and try to make a kind of micro policy in an ethical relationship with the human being close to you. Affection makes more bearable suffering. It's not a physical place but a journey we embark on in our hearts and mind.