Few can truly call themselves writers, painters, actors, or models. Even fewer have the talent to be called all of these. Elisabetta Fantone is an accomplished actress, writer, and model, but her main talent can be found behind a brush. In an exclusive with The Hudsucker, we had the opportunity to speak with this incredibly talented woman on her newest art show going global, the inspiration behind her work, and what it was like working on a Golden Globe Award-winning film.
Fantone found her footing in entertainment at a young age. Born in Canada, the multi-talented artist relocated to Italy with her family. While she may have been living in one of the most artistic environments in the world, Fantone said her desire to create wasn’t influenced by her location. Rather, it was a part of her all along.
“I do remember being very creative from an extremely young age. I’m not sure if my stay in Italy would have to be credited for that as I wasn’t exposed to any form of entertainment at the time,” she says. “I think my desire to create came from some place deep within me. It was a necessity and an instinct just like breathing or eating.”
Through the years, Fantone’s work has centered itself around well-known and beloved entertainers from all walks of fame. Many of her pieces have displayed greats like Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger, and Audrey Hepburn in new, colorful visions. Her desire to bring these famous faces to a tangible platform was a result of their powerful influences and the delicacy of life.
“I’ve always been fascinated by people and their stories. I’ve been especially stimulated by some of the world’s greatest artists of yesterday and today,” says the Canadian artist. “My interest in creating these portraits is to capture the essence of the person and not the persona. Beneath the surface of some of my colorful chaotic paintings lies the subtext of vitality and mortality. I am infatuated by existence. Life is brilliant, but it is also fragile.”
Starting March 30, audiences have the opportunity to see Fantone’s work in person. That is, if you happen to be in London at that time. London’s Lacey Contemporary Gallery will host the work of Fantone in a show called GOING POP. Like her previous work, Fantone’s latest show will remain true to her pop culture roots. However, this show will be an ode to British icons and their crafts. Fantone hopes audiences will walk away with a personal connection to her like never before.
When discussing what audiences can expect seeing her art in person, Fantone says audiences will get a different impression when viewing her portraits in person, versus looking at a photo of a painting.
“My portraits are very colorful and much brighter in person. I choose to fill each one of my canvases with carefully orchestrated shades and tints creating images that leave a soothing sense of pleasure to the viewer,” she says. “I want to touch everyone on a one on one basis. I make art that is a reflection of the world I live in and I lean on universal ideas to captivate the viewer and invite him in to the experience because everything about art is experience. Hopefully I will have reached out to them with this show once more.”
If you would like to see Fantone’s work for yourself, but can’t get to London, plan a trip to Miami. The artist-turned-actress-turned-author has a large and impressive mural on display in the art district of the city.
“I created a mural titled ‘Crimes Against Art,’ which features the fictional mugshot portraits of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Fantone says. “The impressive fresco was entirely hand painted with brushes. The mural featuring the two portraits is a tribute to their iconic collaboration in the early 80’s and a metaphor for their influence in the art world.”
With her work expanding borders at a rapid pace, we asked about what upcoming displays fans of the artist can look forward to next. According to Fantone, that’s a secret that will remain under wraps. For now, at least.
“I have several murals scheduled to paint but I like to keep them secret until I get started on them,” she says.
While Fantone’s art career has been incredibly impressive, let’s not forget about the other facets of entertainment we’ve seen her conquer. The model appeared in a Tim Burton film called Big Eyes. The film went on to be nominated for a few Golden Globes, of which Amy Adams won for Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy. Burton, who has directed films like Corpse Bride, Alice In Wonderland, and Edward Scissorhands, is a quirky director with a flair for the unbelievable. Fantone says working with the him was a treat fit to satisfy the imagination.
“It was magnificent. I have always admired Burton’s work as a director and an artist. His imagination and freedom of mind is very enthralling,” she says. “I always found comfort in his art. The opportunity to be directed by him and be part of such a beautiful film like Big Eyes was quite surreal. I hope to work with him once again in the near future. I always fantasized to explore the life of one of his fictional characters in one of his fantasy movies.”
Aside from film and painting, Fantone has also released a book titled Journal intime d’une Lofteuse, a CD called Feel, and has starred in television series such as Loft Story, NBC’s Secret of the Mountain, and A&E’s The Glades.
While we have plenty of Fantone’s work to enjoy, her next big project will be a little more personal. The Italian-Canadian beauty is expecting her first child with her husband in early July.
So what is the best advice a woman of so many talents has ever received? We found out for any of our readers aspiring to reach new heights.
“If you have the vision and the will, you can create anything.”
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