ITALY: Cristina Pedratscher, photographer

    “What is happening around us definitely influences us as artists,” agreed 27-year-old Italian photographer, Cristina Pedratscher, when asked how recent events had affected her work. “What you create becomes a mirror of the reality you are living. In Italy, for example, we do not breathe a good climate. Art and culture are not valued very much here. What counts more here is power, money and industry. But with my photographs I can inspire people to look deeper and see with new eyes, to listen to the feelings being presented!”

Indeed, look at Pedratscher’s image of a reclining nude (asleep or unconscious? overdose?) her lifeless arm dangling over the side. Look closely and you’ll notice what appears to be a patient’s wristband. A ward of what sort of hospital, one wonders. Psychiatric? Pedratscher offers clues but the story is up to us.

“Ogni essere umano e teatro!” says the young artist. “Every human being is theater!”

Pedratscher’s “Creature Nuda” series is even more enigmatic. So much story within, but ultimately the role of narrator lies with us.

That medium-shot of a woman hiding her face. Shame? Fear? Or something even more complicated at work?

And what of her self-portraits? Certainly the theme of the artist as survivor, as one taking full possession of her life pervades all of Pedratscher’s self-portraits, and I would venture to include her other images as well, as throughout the artist’s work I see woman in control of her own image, of what she wants or does not want revealed. Consider the picture of Pedratsche violently taking a knife to her canvas.

Or the artist against a blood red background, fist clenched.        

Or the close-up so intimate, one can detect beads of sweat cascading down her face.

The long-shot of the nude lying next to a felled tree in the forest.

“I’m inviting people to listen more carefully, to be more introspective and understand themselves, as well as to try to understand the emotions and attitudes of others, and to wonder why. I like to help people develop their powers of observation and sensitivity.”

But why should I / dress of lies / but how many windows / mirrors to me no more. I can not say yes / shoes and ideologies to / do not leave me any other way. Nude /’d see me with my eyes / Nude / look at me and I am as you are

Fellow artist and musician, Jaakko Savolainen, of Finland: “Look into her eyes. I see a human being, claiming her space. She has a sense of membership. As artists, we create so that many see themselves or someone they know when looking at the work. Some might say her directness is rude, but I find it beautiful!”