Patricia Casagranda consciously utilizes a perceptibly tangible materiality in her works.
The Krefeld based artist Patrizia Casagranda creates expressive symbioses with elements of collage, painting, stencil technique, street art and typography. Her motifs are mostly arranged as thematically homogeneous picture series in which the artist follows a certain subject or a special aspect of materiality. In a time of increasing digitalization, which does not spare the arts, Casagranda consciously utilizes a perceptibly tangible materiality in her works. She creates relief-like, fissured surfaces of waves, furrows, mortar and studs on plywood panels, jute or truck tarpaulins. Casagranda works with the collage principle as well as with its opposite, the abrasion of the décollage: she scorches the upper layer of the corrugated cardboard in order to expose the underlying corrugated profile. She covers paper with fabric and applies graffiti-style writing. The dot grid applied from a mortar-gypsum mixture and later coated with paint plays a vital role. The created studs are reminiscent of works by Roy Lichtenstein and Sigmar Polke. In Casagranda’s work, however, they protrude three-dimensionally.
Her compositions are made up of up to 15 layers creating a fascinating depth effect. At close range, the art piece appears as little more than an abstract relief. But if you step back just a few steps, the individual fragments suddenly come together, and an expressive portrait of a woman emerges out of the sea of dots. The paintings from the Belief series are part of Casagranda’s most recent series from 2018/2019, which, in the broadest sense, deals with religions. They are portraits of women belonging to different world religions and cultures, both familiar faces of our culture “models, actresses, activists” and people from the artist’s personal circle.But a public figure or unknown private person, Casagranda uses the “warmth of their universal female charisma” to emphasize the unifying and common values of love and peace in the world religions of Buddhism, Shinto, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity. All pictures in the series have the word “Belief” in the title, merely the colourfulness changes. Applied to the question of faith, each picture carries the humanistic message that personal faith can take on many appearances, manifestations and shades. However, the language of charity and peace remains the same. A typographical fragment of a poem by a poet, a friend of hers, written especially for Casagranda’s series is situated in the picture´s background.
The paintings in the Kabelia series are part of a widely acclaimed series of works whose protagonists are young Indian women from the Kalbelia caste. Though the Kalbelia, formerly nomads and snake charmers, belong to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, they still remain at the bottom of the caste system and now live from dancing and collecting garbage. Patrizia Casagranda works regularly in her studio in northern Indian Rajasthan and has personally met many of the Kalbelia women. She films, photographs and drinks tea with the women. Again and again she is impressed by their strength to live in the here and now. By doing so, they overcome the difficult living conditions with astonishing joie de vivre and mutual solidarity.