My Name is Lolita by Lucilla Bellini
Italian visual, performance and photographic artist Lucilla Bellini talks to us about her series My Name is Lolita. A discursive photographic performance questioning the ideals of beauty within modern media and how those ideals define female representation. Her use of performance and collage in this work is unique and new.
The series "My name is Lolita" comes from the analysis of the representation of the female face in magazines and in contemporary advertising. I made this series, portraying myself with this face falsified and unnatural, with the idea of creating an excessive and surreal dimension that pushes us to reflect on the falsification and exploitation of the female face. Currently I live between Florence, Italy and Tenerife, Spain, where I match my artistic projects and exhibitions, with photography and Art-direction.
Tell us more about you and your artwork.
I am a daydreamer with an imaginative creative mind. It's all about transmitting emotions and telling stories that will inspire something into the viewer. It may be just a feeling, an aesthetic vision, colour perception or relive a situation, but the pictures has to talk.
I am Italian born and actually I live between Florence (Italy) and Tenerife (Canary Islands - Spain).
I interpose and combine in a new reality instants frozen by my imagination.
How did you plan for this project? What was your creative process?
The idea came out while I was working on some collages. I usually start cutting images from fashion magazines, so I started cutting faces, with a natural scale, and I decided to use them on me instead of using them into collages. The idea was creating a surreal and bizarre photographic series about the female face nowadays.
What work inspires or has inspired you?
I get inspired by eclectic sources, like art, theatre and dance; but probably the biggest influence comes from movies, which I'm very fond of. I'm mostly into indie or "auteur" cinema, and obviously tv series!
As a photographer, I am totally in love with the work of Tim Walker and his beautiful way of creating an imaginary so full of details and nuances, a precise and at the same time rarefied vision.
Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
I'm totally in love with the pre-Raphaelite imagery and the surrealist movement, from the first one, I am obsessed with the aesthetics, so romantic and melancholic, from the surrealism, what fascinates me is the component of the unconscious, the vision and the dream.
Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
My strongest idea in making art is creating something that doesn't exist before and become visible, so creating is the way of translate a dream, a vision, into something beautiful.
Your series My Name is Lolita explores an age old and recurring theme - the representation of the female form in media. What sort of idea of this theme does your images of ill fitting faces on a female body portray?
The idea is mostly a question about what is perfection and what really means today natural beauty.
It is a meditation about this sort of mask where the society tries to push the women to live in.
Any words for aspiring photographers?
Always try to do what you like most, when you find a subject that really matters, embrace it and go deep.
Is there anything you’re currently working on?
I am working on a fine art photography project exploring the theme that the centre of gravity is dangerously unbalanced and the equilibrium is precarious. The concept is started thinking about our planet, which, for me, now is definitely in danger.