Special effects: interview with Argentine artist Georgina Ciotti

Her beautiful designs light up a bar and theatre space, a tango studio, two hairdressers and a beauty parlour. Interview and photos by Buenos Aires Street Art.
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Goddesses: Georgina Ciotti under the spotlight (photo © BA Street Art)

Since returning from Spain at the end of 2009, Georgina Ciotti has dedicated herself to creating a series of fantastic murals in Buenos Aires. “I have always had a tendency for the fantasy,” says Georgina. “When I was working in Barcelona, my designs were more about women and the female form, and works relating to topics such as desire or suffering and these types of things. Now I’m trying to create a bit more of the fantasy.”

Some of her recent works have included a series of goddesses and heroines. A character inspired by Joan of Arc with a gold helmet adorns a beauty parlour in Flores, and a goddess of protection and fertility named Olivia sits outside Ofelia, the bar and theatre space in Palermo. “They are women who I admire and they are also figures who have inspired me,” says Georgina.

georgina ciotti artista entrevista buenos aires argentina buenos aires © buenosairesstreetart.com

Heroine in beauty parlour in Flores (photo © BA Street Art)

After working for nine years in Barcelona in art and special effects for advertising and cinema alongside acclaimed directors such as Peter Greenaway, Pedro Almodovar,  Guillermo del Toro and Spike Lee, Georgina was at a crossroads. “I arrived in a moment when I was at breaking point and I didn’t see myself working in advertising any more,” says Georgina. “Special effects was something that I did for a long time and I was working for someone else. Painting on the other hand has always been my passion. I was no longer passionate about what I was doing so I decided to give it all up.”
Georgina Ciotti artista buenos aires street art © buenosairesstreetart.com

Mural outside Ofelia Casa Teatro in Palermo (photo © BA Street Art)

Georgina then started working in a bar to make money. “I didn’t know what to do but I thought someone will come out of it. I started to draw more and more and draw a lot at the bar. Then this whole new world emerged with characters that were more in my own style, they were much more graphic. I started to work on this concept whenever I had a free moment, sometimes working until the early hours.” She added: “Before I had a style where I created characters such as fairies but it was more laboured.”

Tango studio in Abasto (photo © BA Street Art)

Meanwhile, Georgina had also been keeping a notebook with her designs and sketches and it opened up a new world of opportunities. “One day the local hairdressers where I lived in Barcelona asked me to paint a mural. I said to myself: ‘why not?’ I really loved the idea of designing an interior space and once I started I couldn’t stop.” She added: “The business had a lot of contacts and a lot of people went there, people with a lot of money, I got to know them and they started to ask me to do murals.”

A cut above: hairdressers in Palermo (photo © BA Street Art)

Her amazing designs decorate local businesses in neighbourhoods such as Palermo, Flores and Abasto. Recently Georgina has had her art on display at an urban art exhibition in Rosario alongside well-known Argentine street artists. So how does she see herself? Painter, illustrator, muralist or street artist?
Georgina Ciotti artista cuadros paintings © buenosairesstreetart.com

Olivia on canvas exhibited in Rosario (photo © BA Street Art)

“I believe I’m not on any particular side, I feel in the middle,” says Georgina. “I think my art is more linked to two things – painting in the classical sense alongside the people who work with a canvas, and murals like those that you find in the street. There’s a fusion between a bit of everything and it ends in the middle.”
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Walls and mirrors (photo © BA Street Art)

While keen not to be pigeon-holed, Georgina revealed that she used to paint in the street without permission. “Yes, I did it in Barcelona all over the place. They tended to be figures, animals and women that I painted on a white background. The first time, it was an abandoned house I painted with some friends. I did it a lot in Spain but the last time I painted in the street here was a year and a half ago. I did something in Palermo but it has since been painted over.” We hope no one paints over any more of her designs.
Check out more beautiful artworks by Georgina Ciotti at www.georginaciotti.com
All photos © Buenos Aires Street Art
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