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In eye catching times, Silvia Rastelli dives deep into our society’s full-positiveness, resurfacing while putting before the viewer all of the introspective and personal features that can be found within a simplified, colorful and seemingly pop-cultured aesthetic. 

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Born in Piacenza, in 1983, Silvia Rastelli spent her youth researching a variety of different aspects of the expressive matter, ranging from painting to ballet, building her identity piece by piece while experimenting within’ the freedom of dancing. As a soloist and performer, Rastelli finds herself often contemplating and meditating; finding ways to express her subjects’ identities through the openness of their bodies and features. 


Silvia Rastelli, Primavera, From the series Le Quattro Stagioni, 2020. Acrylic and pastel on wood. Courtesy of Winarts Arte.


If we look closer into Silvia Rastelli’s works, we will find a highly figurative imagery which focuses mainly on a variety of aspects that define one’s physical presence within a predetermined space. Portrayed by the artist in a clean and well calculated scenario, the subjects are free to express their innermost identity, while communicating to the viewer all of their soul and memories. Trapped within a secluded wooden stage, Rastelli’s characters are allowed to occupy the limited surface at their own will, both dethatching from the monochrome background and blending with it, creating a dialogue that resembles some of the latest examples of pop-portraiture.

The stillness and quietness communicated by Rastelli’s clean and simplified compositions initiate a reminiscence of Alex Katz’s unique portraits. This similitude remains only hinted at and is not fully embraced by the artist, who uses a well-known and commonly accepted aesthetic to enhance some of the aspect that are closer to her life experience, such as the themes of the ballet, the dancers and the solitude that comes with the pureness of the performative act. 


Silvia Rastelli, Frammento d’artista, 2020. Acrylic and graphite on wood. Courtsey of Winarts Arte.


The choice to display her subjects in a flat and monochromatic scenario, is declared by Silvia Rastelli as a way to enhance time by time different aspects of the figure, which can overtake, or find itself subordinated to the wooden board’s perimeter, depending on the color palettes that are used and combined. For instance, a more counteractive chromatic scheme can create a feeling of dismay and conflict, often forcing the observer to perceive a sensation of problematic expressiveness, whilst more balanced and calculated hues can allow the viewer to have a moment of relaxation and meditation regarding more simple and pleasurable aspects of their own, or the subject’s, lives. 


Silvia Rastelli, Frammento di Bimba con Palloncino, 2017. Acrylic and graphite on wood.


Compositions, poses and chromatic juxtapositions are cleverly handled by Silvia Rastelli, allowing the artist to create both aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching paintings, while subordinately speaking about some of the subject’s innermost features and communicating them to the viewer using a subtle and well-educated vocabulary. 

A clean and well-balanced example of a full-on positive contemporary aesthetic, which embraces Burke’s theoretical smoothness, without forgetting to leave space, for those willing to engage into a moment of meditation, for the outbreaking of more subtle and problematic appearances. 


Silvia Rastelli, Frammenti al Sole, 2020. Acrylic and graphite on wood. Courtsey of Winarts Arte.



Discover more about Silva Rastelli and Winarts Arte on Kooness.


Cover image: Silvia Rastelli, Estate, From the series Le Quattro Stagioni, 2020. Acrylic and pastel on wood. Courtsey of Winarts Arte.

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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