Grazia Danti is a contemporary artist from Florence. Born to a historically artistic family, she began to receive accolades for her art in high school. She has exhibited her paintings in Italy, Dubai, Miami and New York, among other places. Recently, she has exhibited with Alessandro Berni Gallery at Art Aqua Miami and at ItsLiquid’s Anima Mundi 2022 in Venice.
Danti focuses on portraying the female form in her oil paintings, which are introspective and sumptuous all while being minimalistic in style. Her poetic paintings are filled with sinuous forms against black backgrounds. She claims, “the darkest black can spring rebirth.” Using oil paint, mother of pearl and gold leaf her paintings are dripping in simplistic luxury.
From November 27, 2022, to January 6th, 2023, Grazia held her first solo exhibition, Femminile plurale (Feminine Plural) at the Sala Beatrice and the Corte di Cosimo I of Palazzo Portinari Salviati in Florence.
The exhibition locale was very personal to Grazia because it referenced her own family lineage and connection to famed poet Dante Alighieri. So, in part, the exhibition pays homage to Beatrice Portinari Salviati, Dante’s muse and rightfully takes place in her birthplace.
The theme of the exhibition was, in a broad sense, woman. Her works were exhibited across the palace and Danti investigated the soul of the woman through her own memories, events and reflections as well as the multiple realities of women across the globe, including women in Africa, Arabia and Asia. Through an introspective process the exhibition charted her own maturation as a woman, mother and artist.
Follow her on Instagram @grazia_danti and check out her website www.graziadanti.com. Then, read on below for our interview!
What influence does the history of Florentine Art have on your work? What past artists have influenced your practice?
I was born in Florence, and I live in Florence. Being of artistic descent, I breathe, live and think within the history of Florentine art, every day, working within the art that exploded from my city and within me.
All Florentine artists are important for my art, but my favorite is Alessandro Botticelli, who creates very ethereal and ephebic women, as I do too.
When did you start painting?
From an early age, I had the gift of drawing by hand. Then, I attended the school of Maestro Menoni to perfect the oil technique.
How does your art highlight the often-overlooked narrative of being a woman?
I try to bring out the various facets and personality of each subject in each painting, depending on what I am portraying at the moment.
You just recently had your first solo exhibition, Femminile plurale (Feminine Plural) at the Sala Beatrice and the Corte di Cosimo I of Palazzo Portinari Salviati in Florence! Congratulations! Now that your exhibition has closed, what will your artistic practice focus on?
In my personal exhibition, which was held in the Beatrice room, a personal exhibition that follows others as can be seen from my artistic history, there is a reference to my family artistic lineage. In fact, in 1507, Pier Vincenzo Rainaldi changed his surname to Danti, as a tribute to the great poet Dante Alighieri. The sons were Vincenzo Danti sculptor in both bronze and marble, and Giulio Danti painter, whose works are exhibited in the Bargello Museum and in the Baptistery in Piazza Duomo where the work "the beheading of St John the Baptist" is exhibited.
Hence my need to pay homage to Dante Alighieri’s muse Beatrice Portinari Salviati by making an exhibition in what was the palace of her birth and life.
In my future, I will always follow the social sphere to reveal with my painting the various problems of women and their multifaceted personality. For years, I have been working to perfect the research on ancient materials and being very curious, I try to paint on new materials, always following my artistic vein of moment.
What is a day in your artistic life like? What is it like on the days when you work on your art?
In the morning with the cup of coffee on one side and the brush on top in one hand, starting or completing the picture of the moment. I listen a lot to disco music from the 70s and 80s that follows me in the background, stimulating my creativity. Sometimes I find myself painting in the middle of the night, without even realizing it, so I am taken by the transport of art.
Where do you create your paintings? What materials are essential for creating your art?
I created my very large and bright studio at home, so as not to have any brakes on the stimulus of the imagination and to have no time constraints. In my studio, I have a vast assortment of canvases, brushes and colors. When I have to start a work, it is the colors that call to me to react to them, which is very transcendental, that is, I go where the feeling takes me. Obviously, the colors are oil or powders ground with ancient mixtures, to then add plaster bases and brushstrokes of gold, silver and copper leaves.
Let’s end on a fun note; What female in history do you wish you could have a meal with?
Obviously, I would love to have a meal with Beatrice Portinari Salviati, the Muse of Dante Alighieri.