Deanna Pizzitelli

Which is the place of the concept of “subconscious” in your art?

My work explores the emotional landscape. Ultimately I’m interested in the currents that exist beneath feeling: the emotional residue behind the temporary and more conscious states of happiness, sadness, joy, etc. I think of this as something beyond language and conscious thought – maybe what I’m talking about is simply the awareness of being alive, and the anxieties around that. Maybe it isn’t the description of a particular feeling, but simply an acknowledgement of feeling in general.


Nudity as allusion, as a fragment rather than a whole, sublimated rather than explicit? What does your photographic approach fit better?

I have work that uses nudity in both of these ways. Sometimes I use nudity in the most direct way – creating images that are raw, confrontational. Other times the nude is a reference to some kind of emotional artifact: these images tend to be softer, more subdued. But I use both because the conversation that I’m interested in having doesn’t exclude either.  

Walter Kendrick talked about our visualimaginarium in terms of “a post-pornographic era”? How do you perceive it? Does it manifest in your art?

I’m not familiar with the Kendrick text, so I can’t comment on that specifically. But I do think that the genre of pornography and the ways that it gets dealt with in art is relevant to my work. What is considered fine art is, more and more, open to interpretation and accepted as such – this includes pornography. I did a lot of work in graduate school that contained highly pornographic material, including images that were not only pornographic, but also abject. These were not always enjoyed, but they were always welcomed and accepted.

This was within the artistic community. In my experience, a different response can sometimes occur within the general public, who may or may not have engaged the pornography question in the way that many artists have: I think that’s okay. One’s identification with something as pornographic or not, as appropriate, enjoyable, engaging, or not, all depends on one’s taste’s, beliefs and experience. There are many possible responses to it, and I welcome that dialogue.

Which was your starting point/inspiration from the visual point of view? And from the literary point of view?

I’m an avid traveller, and an avid reader. I mostly enjoy fiction, but I also read a lot of biography. As a traveller and reader, I’m interested in storytelling and I think my work is really a portfolio of intersecting stories: a woman, next to an old cabin, next to a wild animal.  It’s symbolic, and represents a kind of emotional trajectory, or story, but it also represents a cross-hatching of different lives at different points in time. For me, the simple act of travel, or picking up a book, are starting points in themselves.

How do you imagine the illustrations of an hypothetical atlas entitled “The new anthropology of Eros”?

I like this idea! My first thoughts are that it excludes nothing: it’s messy, unpoised. It deals with relationships in their most raw, abject, vulnerable and physical forms.

“Distance Paine”, Deanna Pizzitelli

“Koza”, Deanna Pizzitelli

“Intimate”, Deanna Pizzitelli