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Interview with Federica Crestani of Art&Cavallo

Federica Crestani (1985) is a contemporary artist and architect from Soave, Italy and the driving force behind Art&Cavallo. Federica's art is used as the visual signature for the Fieracavalli event,  encapsulating the spirit of the horse in four elements in a mixed media/3D style.

 

We asked Federica what inspires her as an artist, where does her passion for horses come from and what can we expect from the Art&Cavallo project in the future?

How did Art&Cavallo get started and what is the idea behind it?

I initially exhibited my personal art-works at Fieracavalli 2018, in the context of Jumping, with a small solo exhibition. Afterwards I was contacted by the team of the Event who proposed to me

to use the works as subjects for the advertising campaigns of the Brand, with the desire to give a profoundly ethical cut to the Fieracavalli message to be communicated. At the same time they asked me to organize an exhibition with other equestrian artists. Thus the exhibition itself has instead become a format and Art&Cavallo was born, the first exhibition space dedicated to contemporary equestrian art at the Verona Fair which today increasingly takes on the setting of an international competition complete with a jury committee and awards ceremony. All of this is always dedicated to promoting, through team spirit, an ethical approach that is increasingly devoted to inclusiveness in the world of horse riding.

What can you tell me about your role within Art&Cavallo?

My role is particularly delicate: initially I was always afraid of being in conflict between being an artist and at the same time the creator and curator of this project, as well as being the architect who organizes the installation. Today, however, I understand how the fact that I myself reinterpret the horse can allow me to give this cut of sensitivity to the project of Art&Cavallo, which uses art as a language, a means to a greater end.

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Federica Crestani in her studio in Italy

You are an architect and artist, how do you define yourself? 

I am absolutely both. Art has become my life but I still work in architecture, the family studio

has been active for more than forty years and I firmly believe that I will never stop. There was a moment when I thought that the two professions could go into conflict but with experience I realized how complementary they are. Today I work by creating a complete and fluid synergy between the creative part and the technical / organizational part. This allows me to have a particularly eclectic approach to any project regardless of whether we are talking about art, architecture, interiors, displays or organizational formats.

 

What inspires you in your art?

To explain it I always use this image: we think to represent our body through the representation

of a blank canvas that we try to keep intact, to have full control. At a certain point we feel something inside us that we can no longer manage, we perceive a visceral emotion that we are

not able to keep below our beautiful white surface. At that point the surface tears because the emotion has to come out, and the Sturm und Drang that stirs in us has to manifest itself in some form, mine takes the form of the horse.

Why did you choose the horse as your main subject? 
We are faced with an animal that lives of complementary contrasts and whose emotional balance is constantly and suddenly changing. With time I have understood that for me it represents the true allegory of emotionality. When people ask me why I don't get tired of painting horses, I answer that it would take me three or how many lifetimes to paint all the paintings I have in mind.

 

Obviously, since my collaboration with Fieracavalli, the inspiration is stronger and stronger and especially since I get in touch with people from the equestrian world.    

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Art & Cavallo 2019, work by Federica Crestani (r)

Which artists (past/present) do you admire?

There are many contemporary artists that I admire but the artistic current that I feel inside is German romanticism, and my favorite work since I was a young girl is “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” by C.D. Friedrich. The man who appears in Friedrich's landscapes is in search of an unattainable goal has a restless

soul and expresses a yearning, a inner suffering caused by nostalgia and by an indefinable and therefore tormenting desire. I have always been fascinated by that sense of sublime and terrible that I try to reinterpret through my horses.

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What other projects are involved with Art&Cavallo?

With the Fieracavalli Team, we immediately decided to give a social implication to Art&Cavallo,: this is how A&C Lab was born: a laboratory which involves the interaction between equestrian art and hippotherapy, where disparity, in any form, is eliminated by virtue of a new expressive dynamic, which will bring together several Fieracavalli projects and a network of professionals. 

At the first edition among the seventy works exhibited at Art&Cavallo on Fieracavalli there were also the splendid results of the Rehabilitation Art Therapy Laboratory for serious neurological and psychiatric pathologies, of the “Giardino dei Tigli” of Altavilla (VI). As a result of this experience the guest artists expressed the desire to interact with live horses and today the Community also practices

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