“Bodies and faces inspire me. They are a mirror of identity and reflection of the soul“.
Patchwork Black & White
17″ x 10″ x 7″
Pendant Dark Blue
Intimate Space IV
Intimate Space I
Monica Vaccari is an Italian artist based in Basel, CH. She grew up in Modena, a vibrant city famous for Ferrari, design and art in all its forms. A creative spirit has been in her blood since day 1 and she received much encouragement from an early age. She developed into a young painter with oil, much to the joy of her dad, an art collector, whose dream was to see his daughter become an artist. With his support she had lots of exposure to art and at the young age of 14 she was hired by an important restorer of ancient painting in Modena. As it is very visible today, she was hired because of her talent of recognizing colours to use in the restorations. The owner of the workshop, Carlo Barbieri, used to invite painters from Transavanguardia, like Enzo Cucchi, Mimmo Paladino, Nicola De Maria, and Francesco Clemente who were already famous at that time. A lasting impression to see them working next to her.
She continued to develop through art lessons in Modena, but she never formally studied as a professional painter. Rather Monica discovered her love for sculptures and photography. Monica earned an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and Photography in Modena and to further her education, a Master’s degree in Architecture at the Politecnico of Milan. A key milestone and contribution to the art world was her master thesis of Architecture History. This thesis lasted two years and focused on the Italian architect, Luigi Poletti, of the XVIII sec. To support her thesis she created a catalogue, containing 1500 drawings, which still today forms an important basis for researchers. This catalogue led to an exhibition in Modena in the town hall and the publication of her work. After that she published more articles in specialized magazines and books.
During her career as an architect, she never abandoned her on-going search for personal expression in the language of photography and ceramics.
Her varied style today has been influenced strongly by her multicultural experiences, living, and working abroad. From 2005 to 2008, she worked at the Vrije Academie in The Hague (Netherlands) which was a very important period for her as it was there, where she developed her artistic voice. During her time in the NL, she took classes in contemporary ceramics under the guidance of Dutch ceramist Moki Last and worked as an art freelancer for the magazine Global The Hague which resulted in published photography book, together with Karen Jubert, called My The Hague.
Monica always had multiple projects ongoing and so she also had a collaboration with a Jewellery maker and conducted a photo shoot for the dancer and NDT director Paul Lightfoot. Beside architectural history, there is another passion that she never abandoned, photography which today still forms the basis and inspiration of many of her sculptures and ceramics.
Since then, she has exhibited her artwork widely with shows in Amsterdam, Brussels, Basel, Zurich and has upcoming shows in the USA. Her photographic projects have been published in the international magazine Invict/us.
When Monica moved to Belgium in 2009, she started dedicating herself to art teaching at the international school of Brussels which allowed her to shape and influence structure and content of the art curriculum being taught. Since 2014, Monica lives in Switzerland and dedicates herself almost exclusively to sculpture.
Monica has evidently found her voice and the right of way speaking to people through her artwork.
She is a fascinating, versatile and impressive creator, never ceases to develop herself and her skills. Her art is extremely well received, and people immediately experience the feelings, her translation of current situations, hopes, fears or joys into forms and shapes. Monica brings to live in 3D what surrounds us. She creates a reflection of her feelings and the situations we find ourselves in. She takes what is going on, peels it back to the core of our identity, reflects our souls and then connects to people by sending a collective message.
Monica is a fearless and curious artist, willing to take risks on topics that are not always easy or comfortable. Her creations are thought-provoking creating a dialogue of different perceptions and the essential.
All of her artwork is unique, she does not work with moulds, rather each piece is sketched, and touched by her hands. She thinks in series rather than individual pieces, and very often you can find the red thread connecting her sculptures.
Her inspiration comes from many different places, nature, current events and she bases her work on bodies, mostly faces as a mirror of identity and a reflection of the soul. She combines the figurative (faces) with the abstract (patterns) She always takes photos, never leaves the house without a camera in case inspiration strikes.
What most people don’t know is that she always talks a walk in the woods/forest before creating a new piece. Her loyal companion Kiko (a mixed breed dog) ensures on these walks that she refreshes her mind, thinks and then at home starts sketching.
Monica likes mystery and magic; she strives with the unpredictability of her chosen techniques, the combination of medium and the complex processes following the 4 elements of earth, wind, fire and water until her pieces are finished. The use of the Raku ceramic technique emphasizes the uniqueness of each single piece, magic happens every time.