#4 Claudia Rafael feat. Àlden Records


Il pittore più bravo

C’è un pappagallo dalle piume oro che picchietta gli artigli su tizzoni di carboncino, non soffre la forza di gravità e se ne sta, come un picchio, di lato alla parete, bianca come il dopobarba di mio nonno.
Mio nonno dipingeva, ogni primavera e tutti gli inverni; dipingeva nel suo studiolo, all’aria aperta sopra il prato, all’aria aperta davanti al lago e all’aria aperta su di un piazzale, il piazzale Loreto. Mio nonno aveva quel pappagallo, era suo, lo chiamava Alduino.
Ora che mio nonno è andato via, Alduino cambia piumaggio ad ogni cambio di stagione: viola se piove, verde se è bello e oro, oro se è bellissimo.
Quindi ora, che c’è un pappagallo dalle piume oro sulla parete bianca, mi è venuto in mente che forse può essere proprio Alduino: non lo vediamo da molto tempo, quasi da quando mio nonno se ne è andato.
Questo pappagallo che a noi ci sembra proprio lui, Alduino, ora sta adoperando tutta la sua forrza, le sue ali e il suo becco per colorare di segni la parete. Per questo ho chiamato tutti: Alduino, ma non si fa!
Niente, non si ferma mica. Ci prova pure Renato a strillarlo, perché secondo noi è proprio lui, Alduino, e anche perché da bianca la parete, ora sembra una foresta di colori, sfrenatamente illuminata.
Poi arriva Gianni, eccolo Gianni: pussa via tu! E prende ad alzare le mani, a freneticargliele vicino.
Gianni non lo ha mai potuto vedere Alduino, tanto meno dopo che mio nonno è andato via. Gli ricordava troppo mio nonno e quindi ha cominciato ad odiarlo. Pussa via tu! Orribile uccellaccio!
Così quello che sembra essere Alduino vola via, e forse vola via perché alla fine non è lui, non è Alduino, è un solo un uccello dalle piume oro.
Ma io li vedo ancora, e tutti anche li vedono, i suoi segni colorati sulla parete bianca che ora bianca non è più. E guarda un po’? questo pappagallo qui dipinge quasi come dipingeva mio nonno.



designer Claudia Rafael, artwork by Carsten Fock
label Àlden Records

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a conversation by Claudia Rafel


Going through your website, it is not that easy to distinguish the difference between your projects and the project by yours. In other words, observing the content I sense that at some point all share a similar style or touch of you. What is your work process and to what extent is your imprint left on the finished project?

I’m a Designer, that means I work with photos / artworks / content and bring it all together to create a new medium.
In the process of working on art catalogues I receive photos of the artist’s work, a briefing of his vision and my job is to find the best form to transport his/hers message to a new book – concentrating on the essence of his work. My Goal is to emphasize the art and not to compete with it. In the process I weigh out and define the format, create the design concept and find a way how to use the images and chose the font.
When you do record covers, it’s a bit different, because there is no image to the artwork – it is a different medium. So you listen to the music, talk with the musician about his intention and translate this information and the sound into a visual. It’s similar when you do a Corporate Identity.
Of course something of me will flow into each project, since it is my interpretation and in some sense there will always be a personal aesthetic or as you put it style, that can be observed in the projects as a certain constant.

There are a lot of definitions for an artist maker these days – but I’m very curious what to you is a digital designer.

They are designers like web/app designers or 3D artists who are working within the virtual space. But also as a designer for print media you have to create more and more content for digital media.
There is a shift from Magazines to E-magazines – the medium changes the content, which has to adapt. Photography is more and more turning into video and film and a big part of your work has to work on the web.

How is the relationship between you and the artist? and what do you consider your self: artist or artisan?

When you work for creative people, it is very close and intense – it is a very fragile process, where you have to understand their message. You are trying to understand it at its core and find the best translation possible. For me, I am neither an artist nor an artisan, I find myself in between.

Looking through your work I can see patterns: geometrical pictures, a strong use of color or absence of,  urban and natural life style and ordinary, every day faces often carrying a disoriented expression. These pictures, despite of their differences, seems to me to speak a similar language; reminding me of the conceptual art making during the first years of this century. A sort of neo-conceptual art, but… where is Carsten Fock?

I started to work with Carsten Fock in 2012. We already created logos and magazine covers together. The record cover is our latest project. I love his art. It’s very radical and captivating. In a certain way very graphical with a strong sense of color combinations. His artistic way to work fits perfectly to my graphic way to work, so we complement each other well. For Àlden the decision to work together with Carsten came very quickly when I was listening to the first track and talked with the label about their concept. Àlden Records itself aims to be a wider picture of interesting music, out of which every release considers a different style. Working on the Àlden Logo I pushed it more in the direction you find for Galleries or an Art Institution, that gives me incredible space for the cover artwork. So I asked Carsten to create an artwork which is the basis, and for each cover a certain part of it or detail is taken and scaled up – thus a series develops, where each piece is individual, differs from one another and is a direct response or a comprehension of that piece of music, but looking at the whole there is an entity and the same language spoken.

Do you think that abstract painting and electronic music are twins who dress in the same clothes, walk in the same way and eat the same candy?

In case of Carsten Fock definitely. He invests his drawings and paintings with abstract colour formations in shapes like ‘shreds’ and figures that constantly seem to be collapsing. His art is Techno.

I’ve gone through “the Moon shall never take my voice“: three texts are per­for­med in sign lan­gua­ge by an ac­tress on an em­pty small sta­ge: her ex­pres­si­ve ge­stu­res are ac­com­pa­nied by haun­ting sound com­po­si­ti­ons that seem to ha­ve a sculp­tu­ral ef­fect in the space. Can you imagine a similar feature related to the world of pictures?

It reminds me of paintings or photos gaining a huge meaning and message they carry because of their caption or vice versa. For example in Cy Twombly’s or Taryn Simon’s work.

Do you believe in baroque music?

Not my kind of music, but very important in history.

What is the different between an artwork and an illustration?

Illustration can also be art. But mainly, like design, it serves a purpose.
Art is totally free and stands for itself.

Your next project?

A photo book by Swiss photographer Bruno Augsburger named “Gone Fishing“. It’s about images the photographer has shot over the course of the last 20 years on his various fishing trips. The book will be published in June 2016 by  Sturm & Drang Verlag, Zurich. It was great to work together with Bruno and I really look forward to hold a copy my hands.