Tell us which artists influenced your work and how you started as an artist?
Since I was a young boy, my father and grandmother encouraged my early passion for art. Growing up in Italy, I would watch them paint for hours and hours. I became fascinated by legendary international pop artists, such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Gerhard Richter. After studying their work closely, they ultimately became my pop art ‘heroes’. My inspiration is from a ‘synthesis’ of all these iconic artists. It was around 2004 that I really explored various local art courses, visited art galleries, and spent time with artists in Italy. I left my career in engineering and started practising and making my own paintings.
What is the most challenging part of your profession?
The biggest challenge for me is to try and influence people through my artwork. Money and success do not drive me, what matters to me is the reaction and appreciation of people for my work. I want to create empathy with my art, so people cannot only ‘see but feel’ the message.
What’s on your art bucket list?
I prefer to think about the ‘art in my heart’ without any bucket list because I want to continue to imagine my artwork as something that lives in the contemporary world. My only personal goal is to keep sharing my paintings to the biggest audience possible.
What is the connection between art and design?
Art and design ride the same way, it’s impossible to imagine design without art, they work beautifully together and in my opinion, one is incomplete without the other. Our lives are filled with an abundance of design options and there is a style for everyone. A utility can often be perceived as the first priority but art itself is a priority for a human being’s growth.
What kind of response do you get in this region for your work? I have visited Dubai many times over the years and it’s one of my favourite cities. For me, it’s fascinating how the city has grown to become a metropolis in the middle of the desert. Dubai is the bridge between the ‘occidental way of life’ and a ‘new mood of orient’. Pop art is the perfect way to reflect the people of the Middle East. Pop art has changed the regional language in a universal way so that it’s no longer for the elite. I am working for my new exhibition in March 2019. I was inspired to explore a new modern concept and create a series of thought-provoking artworks. I feel so proud to unveil my latest work in Dubai for my local fans that really appreciate my work.
Valentini’s artworks can be viewed and purchased at the Sconci Art Gallery in Dubai Design District