5 Questions with Carolina Sardi

The fifth installment of NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, Heavy Metal, is presented by the museum and participating national and international outreach committees. The exhibition showcases contemporary artists working in metal, including those who create sculpture, jewelry, and conceptual forms. Heavy Metal engages with the fluidity between “fine” art, design, and craft, whose traditional definitions are rooted in gender discrimination.

Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018
Artist: Carolina Sardi
Nominating committee: Florida State Committee / Consulting curator: Diana Nawi, Pérez Art Museum Miami

Carolina Sardi, Photo: Mariano Costa Peuser

1. What do you like best about working with metal?

Metal allows you to do almost anything if you know how to work with it. I love that it is an industrial material that I can transform into objects, sculptures, and installations that seem organic and that can be viewed as a different material. That creates a sense of mystery that is important in art.

2. How do your works on view in Heavy Metal fit into your larger body of work?

The pieces chosen for Heavy Metal are from the series of my work called “Landscapes.” In this series I explore two-dimensional space with sculptural elements that I use in my other works. I create different layers by incorporating the painted background and the directional lines that I use to create my compositions on the wall. My works tell a story that can be interpreted in different ways by the viewer.

3. As an artist, what is your most essential tool? Why?

My most essential tools are my brain and my heart. Materials and tools are secondary if you don’t have your heart and your brain to process and to express yourself.

Carolina Sardi_ Grandfather_ Cricket and I_ Plated Steel over Painted Wall_ 91_ x 156_ x 2_ 2016_ Photo by Mariano Costa Peuser

Carolina Sardi, Grandfather, Cricket and I, 2016; Plated steel over painted wall, 91 x 156 x 2 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Pan American Art Projects Miami; Photo by Mariano Costa Peuser

Carolina Sardi_ Black Holes_ Plated Steel over Painted Wall_96_ x 96_ x 2_ 2012_ Photo by Mariano Costa Peuser

Carolina Sardi, Black Holes, 2012; Plated steel over painted wall, 96 x 96 x 2 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Pan American Art Projects Miami; Photo by Mariano Costa Peuser

4. Who or what are your sources of inspiration and influence?

I draw influence from everyday life, my personal experiences, and my search for balance between opposites. I look for answers about why we are here, what are we made of, how the universe works, and how we interact with each other.

5. What is the last exhibition you saw that you had a strong reaction to?

William Kentridge’s More Sweetly Play the Dance impacted me because of his use of repetition. Through layering drawing, movement, and music, Kentridge conveys that migration, illness, and death are inevitable, but humans continue to hope despite it all.

Visit the museum to see Heavy Metal, on view through September 16, 2018. Hear from more of the featured artists through the online Heavy Metal Audio Guide.