Gioia Albano

Gioia Albano's bio

We have the right to be happy, We have right to art
Stylized faces, closed and dreamy eyes and yet we can find ourself in it ...
To find myself was a long journey.

I was born in Milan in Italy in 1973.
As far I can remember I always had a pencil, a marker pen or a pen in my hand.
New sketch albums have always piled up at home. A new one full of white sheets has always been mouth watering for me if I can say so.
With an overflowing imagination, I filled the paper with images and characters from my universe, whether from reality or not.
I remember a teacher at the kindergarten who had sent me three times back to my place to redo a drawing because "the grass is green" while for me it could be yellow or blue.
I wasn't upset because in my family cocoon these fantasies were welcome as the strength of the childhood fantasy.
To the classic question "What do you want to do when you grow up?" The answer was always "Artist painter".
Things grew difficult later as the praise was not always there. Neither the understanding of certain "art" homework, particularly in college. The family atmosphere had changed for a number of reasons, including economic ones, but not only.
I was trying to reproduce something more real in my drawings without necessarily knowing how to do it. I was told that I had to stay "natural" without knowing what it meant and I found myself lost at an age when we are more interested in merging with others while still needing a stable environment.
I couldn't find my world anymore and the well-being that drawing had always brought me when I didn't ask myself so many questions. A certain discomfort was there due to the continuos comparing with the others and a big inner insecurity feeling.
Then comes the moment for us to choose the school for our future profession.
I remember very well, we were camping with my parents and my father suggested I do something else because it was safer, I could still paint on the side but it was better for me to leave all my doors open .
I also remember very well while listening telling to myself that he must be right. Without knowing why, tears stung my eyes.
Very good student, I pre-enrolled in high school scientist since I told myself that I was going to become a vet because I had a passion for animals.
In Italy it happens around 13 years old.
Just before the end-of-year exam one day when I was dipping into my books, something completely unexpected happened: a voice coming out of nowhere spoke to me.
I got up and went to see my parents to tell them to change my registration and I went to art school.
The four years of school art have had nothing of a quiet river.
I was a turbulent teenager and I got pretty lost.
I did know nothing of my supposed talent, the teachers gave us notes often bad, but above all They weren't there to guide us or inspire us, let alone encourage us
I felt like I was in a cage, my biggest desire was to escape and do the first lousy job I could rather than staying there without knowing why.
In the third year the meeting with a teacher and artist, a real one, had finally a great impact on my situation.
We had with him the lessons of living model. He gave me oil colors tubes. I told him I never used that, let alone to draw a living model with.
He said it didn't matter and to give it a try.
A whole world opened up to me, I started to painting at home too, my father gave me the fournitures. Oil colors were my first love for a long time.
The teacher in question encouraged me, at the end of the fourth year, it made me notice my progress, not only technical but also in terms of researching forms and color
He told me that in general He wasn't too hot to push students to continue their training at the Academy of Fine Arts (Brera in Milan) but he thought that I could do it!
In any case, I didn't really see any other way for me.
1991 Exhibition in Milan (Italy), I'm sixteen
Studio shot in my living room in Danemark
I started to work in a local bar, three / four days a week finishing at night and I enrolled for the admission exam at the academy in September. I was eighteen and I was sure I was going to get there. Besides I had no plan b. It was in 1991.
At the exams we were several hundred, the tests toke place over several days in two parts: an architectural project and several sessions in free technique of living model.
When I saw the results it was a big shock : I was out.
I couldn't understand why. Looking at the lists, I and others feel that the so-called selection wasn't managed by the book. Years later I knew that in the same situation, some students had appealed for this type of decision and they won, but personally I didn't have anyone to push me in this direction giving me any kind of support, my parents were not really there too much taken off by their problems.
I found myself once again lost without knowing what to do, the path that I thought was right and clear for me had suddenly disappeared and as I said I had no plan b.
I let myself be carried away by other imperatives, earn money, be active in social community, going out with friends, boyfriend, also other studies that I started without a real project behind. I also loved the books and to write. I told to myself that art was too difficult.
Thinking like that was apparently easier without really being true but I didn't realize it.
In the years that followed I periodically got interested in other disciplines because I did not want to confront with this disappointment that was too hard to take.
The fear had crystallized, it seems that it's the same when you fall off the horse, the famous story that you have to go up on it right back.

In a way I crossed the desert on foot and I spent a lot of time there.
The interest in photography, engraving, woodcarving was part of this crossing because the art was trying to bring me back one way or another, but no matter what the technique was. What needed to be rebuilt was the trust in myself as a person and as an artist.
Meanwhile I did few different jobs and it was in IT and still in Italy where I meet the one who some years later became my husband. He is French and he had the urge to travel around.
I left Italy to follow him on a small island in the Irish Sea. After that, it was Paris and then Denmark.
During those years, I devoted myself to writing but always full of criticism towards myself. He pushed me to continue, the goal being for me to finish on something.
But somehow I always went around the bush, I knew what scared me but I just couldn't get over with.
On several occasions my husband offered  me drawing materials and an easel. I made some attempts but I felt left handed and I didn't like the result. I felt like I've just lost it and  it wasn't for me anymore. Despite that, every time We moved this useless material moved with me.


We decided to start a family, and the road wasn't that easy for us.
We were still in Denmark, we decided to do an IVF there. It does work the first time, lucky us! I'm expecting my first child.
During pregnancy I discovered Julia Cameron's "The Way of the Artist", without knowing why and without finishing it.
I was busy with the imminent birth of my daughter and everything that goes with it. Like every future parent, I didn't have much of a head for anything else and even less time. But for once it didn't matter.
That's it I'm a mom! I had the huge chance to experience this infinite love that takes over everything and I had my share of diapers, feedings, social networking with other moms, chopped nights and my approach to attachment parenting.
Still in Denmark, my daughter is almost one year old (we are at the end of 2007), following another change of apartment I always have this damn material (easel, tubes, canvases etc) in the corner of the living room.
And one day while dreaming about my daughter being grown up (young parents in love think about their children even when they are actually there with them) I had like a burst in my head. Something that I wanted to pass on to her ,
I wanted her be able to follow her path, whatever it may be, to give her an example with me behaving in such way, I didn't want disappoint her.
At that right moment the same voice from nowhere that spoke to me once before with an intensity that had urged me to tell my parents twenty years earlier to change me school, that voice come back then. That voice said now : "It's now or never".
In many disciplines of personal development We speak of those moments where WE experience such a burst of consciousness, a quantum leap. I think that's what happened to me at that moment.
The art furniture in my living room's corner would finally be there for a reason . That evening I started my first painting and despite everything that occurred during the twelve years that followed (other moves, two other children, a burn out, big time of tiredness and doubt, and many other things ... well, LIFE ) I never stopped.
A style come right away : the stylized faces with eyes dreamily closed , and yet the people who follow me and I we do recognize the expression. It's funny because when I was away from art I often sketched realistic faces, big open eyes, mouths and profiles.
Motherhood was my main topic because it represented what I lived and talked to many others.
Until now there have been many paintings, custom paintings , exhibitions, some disappointing, publishing that are always fun and my work has evolved.
Beyond the subjects and techniques today for me the strongest element that has been built during all these years is my newfound essence, the confidence beyond the results, the intimate conviction that we are here to walk our path and that is what unites us all, even if it is difficult in this world and not always clear for us neither in the first place.
The strength that is born from this journey makes me ready today in what I call the second part of my life.
The huge difference is that this time the roots are well anchored in the earth and I can aspire to go toward to the sky despite the storms of art's life.
I am finally me.

Gioia
2018
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