Jan. 23, 2019
Jan. 23, 2019
Ahead of showing Weaving Design Stories at ZONA MACO 2019 (February 6 – 10, 2019) we spoke to each of the participating designers and studios to tell us more about their designs and the ideas behind them.
Johanna Boccardo is a Venezuelan artist based in Miami. She is known for her chromatic mastery and her temporary installations around the world. Her work explores contemporary issues such as the fading value of privacy and intimate spaces in a post-connected era.
Odabashian: Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your studio?
Johanna Boccardo: I grew up in a small colonial city in the Guayana region of Venezuela along the banks of the Orinoco river. My family has always had a very close connection with Florida and the opportunity to move here came when I undertook my art studies at the Ringling School of Art.
After more than a decade of working as a professional designer and illustrator I felt the need to create for creation’s sake. So, in 2004 I began working on small paintings where I explored color and texture. Gradually the pieces increased in scale and ambition, in some cases taking me from the canvas to physical installations and work with non traditional media.
For about ten years now I have been collaborating with brands in the worlds of fashion and interior design – in particular with Odabashian who I have worked with on several projects.
What type of projects do you typically work on?
Half of my projects are personal art projects, either exploring my own ideas or working on commissions – these tend to come via interior design and architecture firms looking for art that complements their vision. The rest of my time and efforts and focused on applied art and concept development for interior design elements, mainly custom design handmade area rugs.
How would you describe the style of your work?
Colorful, fresh, uncomplicated, thoughtful and full of meaning.
Please can you explain your approach to the Weaving Design Stories brief?
The contrast that I immediately felt from being very far, but still so close to my Spanish heritage. I wanted to project my vision in an almost subjective way, rejecting a sense of historical belonging and magnifying a sort of nuclear family tribalism at the same time. I felt contrasting emotions when presented with the concept, and that’s what I chose to explore.
What is the main connection of your design to the silk route?
No matter how far away our roots seem to come from, in the end we are all connected.
What were some of the key decisions in creating your design?
I wanted the final rug to look clean and uncomplicated, to feel lighthearted and playful. A neutral background on top of which the color accents would highlight whats most important about the story. The rug is mostly woven with wool and I used silk to accent the bright colors.
What was the most surprising thing about working in this medium?
Since I have some experience in this medium after years of designing in it I have to say it feels like an extension of my artistic practice, like another paint medium almost.
What aspects of the final rug are you happiest with?
The vibrancy of the bright silk lines.