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I contacted Nancy Brilli to explain her my project on Alda Merini, and ask her if I could use two videos where she’s with the Poetess.
I was impressed by her willingness and spontaneity even afterwards, when through some of her collaborators, she let me know that she was a painter too, and would have liked to make a piece that identified itself with the play that she was performing in the most important italian theatres: “La bisbetica”, from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
“Being artist for me is not a work, it’s my way of being”. Nancy Brilli
The passion for art and graphic have always been part of Nancy’s life, since she started studying commercial art and photography at the Istituto d’arte Roma 1 first, and at IED of Roma then.
Although she was admitted to the “Istituto superiore per le Industrie Artistiche of Urbino” and to the “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia of Rome” at the same time, Nancy decided to pursue the career of actress.
“I never gave up painting, photographing, drawing and writing, but it took me some time to find the courage to expose myself. For the whole period at the Institute, and afterwards until my son’s birth, each work I would make, pictures, drawings, I would methodically, completely destroy it. I didn’t want any trace of my thoughts to remain, I was afraid of judgments. Acting instead is doing something besides myself, drawing, writing and singing are acts that I do firsthand and for long time I couldn’t face up people’s look” Nancy Brilli.
This changed when Vincenzo Mollica accidentally saw one of Nancy’s paintings and managed it not to be destroyed as the others. He suggested the artist to show it to Alessandro Nicosia who proposed Nancy to expose the work at the Museo of Vittoriano of Rome.This led to the exhibition “Voci dell’anima, tra pensieri e parole” held between September and October 2006. For the first time Nancy accepted her works to have an audience, her soul to be exposed.
“At the heart of my works there are women, often undressed but who deny themselves, their nakedness is not offer, but purest truth. Looks, towards myself, dry, rough, other’s look, scary, indulgent, kind.”
In each of Nancy’s work there is a part of writing, as if it was there, ready to come out after the painting. As the automatic writing of Expressionists, everything is made in an unintentional way, the writing is different from the artist’s real one, as if there was some artistic possession that allow her to bring out a dark side, often poetic.
“To represent myself firsthand I need an intermediary, even if only a different way of writing.”
“In the exhibition at Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, in Venice, titled “Abbracci”, I explored the man-woman relationship. I’ve been a lonely kid and in the warmth of an embrace I found a semblance of safety that would reassure me.”
She took part in the collective exhibition in Milan, “Gli Eclettici” that took place in 2015 in Milan.
This is how Nancy Brilli describes her t-shirt
“The t-shirt we’ve made comes from one of my works that is part of the project “Tagli”, in which I tell, visually and in writing, my being in the world in a “crooked” way, matching Shakespeare’s word to the emotion of the scream of the image. In this moment I’m in tour with the Bisbetica, from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and the rebel Caterina, the Bisbetica of the title, goes well with the anger shouted by the painting, from which the detail of the t-shirt is taken”.