David Kimelman


April 19, 2012

C. Finley is a Rome based artist. She is best known for her elaborate geometric paintings and her Wallpapered Dumpsters Project, where she covers unsightly garbage dumpsters with beautiful wallpaper of her own design. Finley is also the artist in residence at the Roman fashion house of Gai Mattiolo.

Finley and I became friends when we were both studying at Pratt and I’ve always been a big fan of her work. We’ve kept in touch over the years and I shot these pictures when I visited her in Rome earlier this month.

What inspires or informs the elaborate geometric forms in your paintings?

My inspiration comes from the integrity of women’s work. For the last two years I have been working with traditional American patchwork quilt units and mandalas. The patchwork quilt units are cut up and collaged into non-repetitive forms. Patterns have been pulverized, so the objects can mysteriously come in and out of the geometry.

What is the relationship between the erotic and the religious imagery in your work?

I am not necessarily interested in religious themes. For me, the only theme is unconditional love.

What is your relationship with the churches in your neighborhood? Do they influence your art?

Being neighbors with Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, among others, I feel challenged to create meaningful, great work. The Pieta and the geometric decorative inlay stonework Cosmatesque floors have been featured in the work recently.

How does having your studio located within a fashion house affect your work? Do you collaborate with the designers there? 

I am incredibly lucky to be working with my mentor Attilio Vaccari at Gai Mattiolo fashion house. He is magic, just being around him is creativity osmosis. Because of his support I have much more confidence, also his help has allowed me to work on my art full time, this completely changed my life.

What are you working on next?

Next week I have a photo shoot with one of the most exciting dancers in the world. I will be creating a set and collaborating with Jason Akira Somma to create photos that are corrupted analog video stills. I will eventually paint these images and Jason will create videos and photos.