Daniel Mariotti Artist Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work

I live and work out of Phoenix, Arizona where I also went to school for a BFA in Photography and Printmaking in 2015. Right after that I started to work at a fine art foundry called Bollinger Atelier which I still am currently at. While there I learned a lot about the foundry process and art making politics. My work is shifting from more of a technical exploration to a narrative approach primarily speaking on “life moments” and psychological approaches (as in I am the patient and the psychologist).

How has the pandemic affected you, your artwork and day to day?

We have been lucky enough at the foundry to still continue operations with a split schedule and isolated work rooms to keep from spreading anything while also deep cleaning surfaces every 2.5 hours. So it’s taken away some production time, but that is much better than the alternative of no longer having income to pay bills which a lot of people are experiencing right now. This pandemic has really shown a lot of the crumbling façade of political decisions made for “us”. We shouldn’t be making the hard choice of risking our health so we can pay rent or staying at home and worrying about finances while this pandemic spreads more rapidly every day. As far as art making goes I’ve found that I’ve had more time to mentally reset. For a while I’ve felt burnt out from projects and I’m taking this moment to get back into the groove of making things.

How has your working process changed during the pandemic, what is your working method?

I think the biggest thing is allowing myself the time to create. Typically I’d have a pretty rigid schedule to create and now I give myself time to just enjoy distractions. That being said, I am trying to use this time to learn new methods/programs such as illustrator now that the time is there as well as finishing all the small things that need to be done so that when we get out of this I can hit the ground running without little distractions.

Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work

I had just finished up a series called “Hello, Sunshine” which captures the fluctuation of how I experience depression. But in a general sense I explore the way we perceive our world and how it is affected by masses, both physical and emotional, that operate like gravity, pulling our attention to it, altering the way we interact with the world around us.

And what I’m currently working on is a sort of prequel to “Hello, Sunshine” called “Tak, Słucham”. This will be more of a sculptural series where the vessels hold the stories told and act more as an explanation than as a “sentence” to a story.

Is there something you couldn't live without in your studio? What is your most essential tool?

Eraser. I make a lot of mistakes.

What do you feel the role of artists and photographers is in society?

I think we have an obligation to be as truthful as possible. This in photography is an oxymoron because photos never capture the whole truth. Art is synonymous with creativity, and it takes creative problem solving to positively impact communities. The world needs a lot of help, and visual content is easier to consume than essays, especially with the rise of the digital era where our attention spans are shorter and we consume a massive amount of information about a broad range of things daily. Progress is typically a blessing and a curse and it is important to remember to be self-critical as an artist, and as a person, so that as we progress we can adjust our paths accordingly.

Obviously exhibiting artwork physically is on hold, have you any projects or goals you are working towards?

Yeah, slowly pushing making objects and brushing up on technical skills, but most of my time is also spent making music. Because of technology music production and recording has been more accessible than ever before, so I am trying to learn how to do it.

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