ACME ArtBOARD #4: Serena Nicolì

ACME ArtBOARD is a column created to bring the public closer and provide a new approach to contemporary art, involving young and emerging artists who, by telling each other about themselves, reveal their personal way of being Artists.

The medium used is a moodboard, a series of images joined together as in a collage that show in a visual format a project and all the elements related to it, anticipated by a short interview.

The artists have made themselves known starting from their studies and arriving to their future aspirations, creating a composition in which their creative ideas, the materials related to them and the tools of doing are shown. Each artist interprets the moodboard in an original and unique way, providing the reader with new scenarios useful to understand the meaning of being an Artist at 360 degrees.


Read more here.


This month’s episode is dedicated to Serena Nicolì.

Serena Nicolì, Il dialogo degli amanti
Serena Nicolì, Il dialogo degli amanti (Lovers' dialogue, detail), 2020, cotton cushion covers, hair, 74x46 cm each. Courtesy the artist
Serena Nicolì, Il dialogo degli amanti
Serena Nicolì, Il dialogo degli amanti (Lovers' dialogue, detail), 2020, cotton cushion covers, hair, 74x46 cm each. Courtesy the artist

ACME – What motivated you and why to start your studies/career as an artist?

SN – It’s hard to explain with words what motivates you to start this career… for me doing and being an artist have a full correspondence: you can be an artist at any time of your life. Since I was a child I have had a special interest in the visual arts, even if my first studies were not in that field. Everyone has different paths. I have been to several countries around the world for study, pleasure or work and certainly without these experiences, my research in visual arts would not be the same today. I decided to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts in 2018, after studying for a period as a self-taught. I felt the necessity for a solid educational pathway. I believe that studying and having good teachers is important to grow artistically. When I took this decision, I was in Latin America. I was living and working in Ecuador, a beautiful country that I loved so much and where I had an exciting career at the University. I have never been afraid to leave all this behind for art. All the changes in my life have always projected me forward and the difficulties encountered I have faced them with the conviction that beyond there would be the greatest satisfactions.

Being an artist for me was not just a desire, it was and it is finally a desire to be and live fully who I am.


ACME – What are your aspirations for the future?

SN – My greatest aspiration – which I feel with responsibility – is to make a significant impact on the germinative level that characterizes the fertile soil of art in order to participate and involve in the cultural pulse of our time. Maintaining a hint of naivety and a sense of playfulness and pleasure, I hope to succeed in making a certain type of art that speaks of the recovery of the profound and universal sense that bonds all people and calls them back to the beauty of being and being there at all times. The reflection is even more deep. The historical period we are living through, takes us back to new and ancient dimensions at the same time, all to be discovered. I see results in the measure of a strong commitment, in the exercise of a constant tenacity, a strong dedication and in the profusion of a lived and concrete love. I deeply believe in participatory processes as privileged places of intellectual exchange and bases for the maturation of work. For this reason, in the future I would like to establish successful collaborations with different artists. Some of them are already developing, and I think and hope that they all will be not only important opportunities for growth, but also fundamental building blocks along the way. I am also aware of the presence and necessity of all those professional figures who work around the art system and who can understand and support the work of the artist today.

Serena Nicolì, Acqua salata
Serena Nicolì, Acqua salata (Salted water, detail), 2020, teardrops and make-up on paper, 68x36,5 cm. Courtesy the artist


I still read and meditate on those words sometimes. The same words extracted from a Sol LeWitt‘s letter to Eva Hesse that I wanted to write on the photograph of my body. I think they look powerful in their simplicity, conciseness and timeless like their artworks. They are like an echo of my work. 

In my visual research that “DO”, which is procesual for me, begins in a physical and interior space, loved and upset, in which I examine the transition from specific forms and thoughts to an indeterminate field. In this room of manoeuvre I prefer the body as the basic element of expression, which triggers an intense relationship with the matter, starting with the handling of the elements I work with. I often choose textile fibers, mainly natural ones, combined with other organic and non-organic materials, as the most suitable means of expression to suggest the sense of my poetics. In the bond of ropes, threads, nets, fabrics and knots I want to pass down the sense of relationship, the meaning of proceeding. For me, the weave is both the bind of the material and the history of the route. 

In a sort of liberating bond that I feel, I use both neutral shades and strong colours depending on the content, the softness or the viscerality that the artwork embodies. For example, several works include red, a clear reference to the limbs.

The word also accompanies often my artworks or is part of them. In fact, for me it is related or integrated with the expressive dimension, like a portal that opens to other worlds.

The themes I investigate, like the reinterpretation of biographical, identity and cultural geographies, both personal-experienced and collective-imagined, are also caused by the aspect of internationality that has always accompanied my life.

Moodboard Serena Nicolì
Serena Nicolì's Moodboard
Serena Nicolì

Serena Nicolì

I was born in the spring of 1985 in Varese. My parents were living there with my sister, leading an idealistic life, which they had started years before as volunteers between Rome and Sao Paulo do Brazil. Immediately after my birth we moved to Brescia. The dynamic dimension of travelling has been part of my life since I was a baby.

I decided to study International Relations, which made me travel, live and work in many countries around the world. I have travelled and lived in different countries: Spain, Far East (China), South America. In 2012 I settled down in Quito, Ecuador, where I lived for almost seven years. I went down physical and soul journeys, paths of efforts and passion, pervaded by constant changes. These many experiences in foreign countries have got a very deep influence into my research in the visual arts. The two-year course in Contemporary Visual Arts I’ve attended during 2018-2020 at SantaGiulia Fine Arts Academy in Brescia supported me in the improvement of my skills and in the development of the issues to carry on my artistic path.