Home Magazine Paul Fabozzi new addition to the roster of ZContemporary Gallery

Far from literal renderings of these places and spaces, my finished works are a realization situated along an axis between the physical experience of a location and the creative act of transformation...

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Good morning Paul, first of all, thank you for thanking the time to do this interview. We are very excited about your new collaboration with ZContemporary, as it means that your works will be available and on display on Kooness as well! We already love them and we would love to hear more about your artistic research. Your paintings explore the architectural spaces, what is the starting point and what is the process behind it? Where do you get inspiration from?

Thank you as well. It is a great pleasure for me to be working with ZContemporary and by extension Kooness!

For many years, my creative process has started with walks in cities and specific engagements with architectural space. The shapes, colors, textures, and other sensory input I absorb during these encounters become the starting points for my works on paper and paintings. Far from literal renderings of these places and spaces, my finished works are a realization situated along an axis between the physical experience of a location and the creative act of transformation. 

My work as an artist is motivated by the desire to articulate new visual approaches to understanding the fundamental connections between navigation, perception, and consciousness. Inspired by on-site investigations of specific architectural spaces, my recent paintings, and works on paper explore the dynamics of visual movement and its relation to fracture, overlay, and weight distribution. I hope these images prod us to contemplate and feel more deeply about the extent to which spatial experience is the basis of perception, and that creating images is a form of making meaning from experience, which then loops back around and widens the parameters of our engagements. In short, my work stakes a claim on the role that image-making itself plays in constructing our conscious relationship with the world around us.


 Paul Fabozzi, Corviale ≠3


From your portfolio, which is the series most important to you and why?

This is a hard question! I am not sure I have a favorite. But I could say that the Corviale pieces that are on the Kooness site have a bit of a back story that makes them particularly meaningful to me. Corviale is a very large, isolated housing block on the outskirts of Rome completed in the early 1980s that I visited in 2007. I had been visiting Rome regularly for more than a decade and thus far my days had mostly been spent wandering, examining, and reading my way through Rome’s endlessly rich and seductive past. Looking back, I think that getting outside of the historic center and attempting to understand Rome’s more contemporary spaces was also a way of saying goodbye to this period in my life.

Your works have been presented in numerous exhibitions, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Rome - with the latter you actually have a long-standing relationship. How important is traveling to your artistic pursuit? Are there any places you are more fond of or that have given you "more" than others?

Travel is essential to my creative practice. I am particularly drawn to urban centers. Navigating cities excites my senses; the process of drawing and painting has allowed me to construct a visual language that enables me to understand aspects of these encounters that I can then see in existence outside of myself. Inevitably, I internalize my mode of creation, which in turn affects my next set of encounters with the world. Of the cities I have made work about; Rome is the closest to my heart and not coincidentally it is the one I have spent the most time in. In fact, I would say that the creative processes I established while learning my way around Rome have influenced all the other cities I subsequently worked with. 

Among other things, you are also a professor at St. John’s University in New York. How does your activity as a professor influence your artistic research? I imagine they are two quite complementary spheres, how do they nourish each other?

I have been very fortunate to have had the support of St. John’s University for all these years. Teaching has allowed me the context to explore so many questions concerning the connections between perception, cognition, experience, and creativity. In fact, these broad issues are at the root of my pedagogical philosophy. Over my career, I have taught many kinds of courses, some studio-based, others with a historical or theoretical focus, and others that are experiential like the onsite courses I taught in Rome. 

Certainly, my approach to image-making and to teaching overlap in essential ways. Facilitated by our lived experiences and acquired knowledge, we all construct unique ways of activating the world around us. The depth of our activation and the processes by which we assign meaning to the aspects we attend to is the basis of our understanding. I aspire to make work that reminds us of our human need to actively establish connections to our physical world and I would say the same goal is true of my teaching.

Your journey within the roster of ZContemporary has recently begun, what are your next projects within and without the gallery? Can you anticipate anything? 

I am currently in a very concentrated period of productivity working on a large body of work that uses the site of the Museum of Modern Art in New York as a starting point. After a period of working from architectural spaces in cities around the globe, I am now focused on a space that is just two subway stops from my studio! This has also been a period where my work has been in several exhibitions and projects both in the US and abroad. It is my hope that while I am concentrating on making work that draws from my mediate surroundings, those wonderful opportunities like working with ZContemporary will give my work a broader audience!


 Paul Fabozzi, Corviale ≠1


Cover image: Paul Fabozzi, Rio, Municipal Cathedral ≠1

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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