The following interview was also published in What’s Up Miami? blog.
Translated and edited by Miami Art, Gallery & Museum Examiner Jesus Manuel Rojas Torres.
Examiner: Tell us why did you switch from drawing plans in architecture to a career as a sculptor?
FB: They are careers that are interrelated. When I started studying architecture in 1992, I was already fascinated and motivated to study the geometric aspect of it.
At the time, I was painting too and I was trying different techniques from pointillism to charcoal but I could not see the three-dimensional part that I was looking for in my work.
Later, I began to be fascinated with the square with the straight sides and right angles, an orthogonal model with its breakpoints.
The three-dimensional aspect of sculpting captivated me. As architects, we are formatted to see the work through what we are doing in the models.
I only worked in architecture for about two years after graduation. I worked with renowned Venezuelan architect Jimmy Alcock and with Carlos Gomez. I did several projects on my own but my main interest was to sculpt.
Examiner: Why did you start crushing your squares or cubes?
FB: My first square sculptures were almost like a flat panel.
I enjoyed them visually but then I thought I would enjoy them more if they were three-dimensional. A fundamental aspect of a sculpture as an art form it’s the possibility of appreciation from every side or angle and to be able to touch it as well.
Examiner: In your artist statement you say that you express your life in a simple geometric form. Why cubes and not triangles, for example?
I can answer this from a very personal and profound point of view.
In life, the majority of people receive teachings of some sort, experiential methods, values, morals and so on. I see this as the pure form in a square, however, sometimes a change of circumstances or fortune happen in life and then everything changes.
That’s the main reason why I deform or distort my cubes. Life is perfect as a whole, from the point of view of existence and from God’s perspective but certainly is not flat.
Examiner: You live between Miami and Caracas. Is there any difference to produce your artwork from Venezuela than to do it here in the U.S.? What are the pros and cons?
FB: Venezuela is my hometown. I live in Caracas the majority of the time and I have the possibility of buying material that is less expensive too.
The most beneficial aspect of working in Caracas is that during the day, I can take time off and go work for a few hours every day in a metallurgical company that is located in my building where I produce my work.
Miami is the place where I exhibit and sell them at various art fairs and galleries.
Initially, when I was working on flat figures, I was completely producing in Miami. This was in 2003 when I had an assistant and I had rented a small studio space. I produced a total of 40 works that year alone when I had many art fair exhibitions from Paris to Miami.
Examiner: Can you explain what are the phases or the process, technically speaking, on how you arrive to a final crushed piece?
First, I make the perfect square, the perfect orthogonal piece.
I start modeling with a wheel and a hydraulic press to make the form I like best. Even if you see few welding points, I first assemble the piece without welding. It has to fit.
I like the forms to fit, to interlock with one another. The pieces have to fit just like if they were a toy-building Lego.
Fabia Nitti is represented in Miami by Elite Art Editions, Wynwood, Miami
46 NW 36th Street
Miami, Florida 33127