Carla Bertoli is a pop artist who I met through artist Marco Croci.  They both live in Milan, Italy which is a place I would love to visit and dive into the culture.  Apart from being there, what better way to enjoy than by chatting with talented artists?  Carla is one of them.  Here’s our cool chat …

MICHAEL: Hello Carla, Your work seems to be very personal and driven by figuration with a little bit of abstraction. How do you describe your work and what inspires you to create it?

CARLA: I began my artistic life in 1994. I practice mosaics and I am fascinated this discipline. Actually, I use mosaics technique combined with painting and recycled objects, specializing myself in the use of "CDs" for Pop Art. I do continue to research and every day I enjoy to observe events, faces and it’s all founded by my eyes. I try to acquire sensations, mystic and vibrations that come from the subjects I’m observing, enhancing colors and shapes. I go into faces to find their souls. Some subjects like Cindy Sherman, David Lachapelle and Andres Serrano have captured my attention. Also famous people on particular photo-shoots or people I meet on my way too. For my technique, I bring new energy to an image using different tricks of light with CD's surfaces like planes of reflection and illumination. There starts my challenge with new creations. It's a fun game I enjoy very much!

MICHAEL: Are you in Italy? Milano? How does life in Italia inspire you? There are so many Old Masters in Italy. Do people in Italy even care about contemporary art?

CARLA: Yes, I live in Italy in Milan's periphery. Italian life isn't too different from the rest of the world, but here food is good and people are nice. Italy is full of Old Masters. It is rich with cultural creation and history from Byzantine and ancient Rome and in every territory, there are many monuments that remind us the past. It's a patrimony of cultural goods ample and precious. In Italy, actually people are very interested in contemporary art.  There are many Italian artists who deserve much more. In our country, there is much optimism for the artistic future.

MICHAEL: Many Americans do not understand or appreciate art. It is very, very difficult for living artists to survive only by selling their art. They must have jobs doing something else because people don't buy art. What is it like for you in Italy?

CARLA: In Italy, the history is much entrenched for the country.  Art is everywhere and everywhere there are artists. It's difficult to find people who for the love of art will pay. It is easier to find people who will invest money in art to get more money, that's not a good emotion. In an Italian artist's life, there are present some other jobs, that's not a problem.  This suffering brings them to create more and more beautiful works. This stimulates artists!

MICHAEL: Do artists STILL have to suffer to create great work? Why can't they be happy and create masterpieces?

CARLA: Human senses like listening and inspiration are developed in hard moments.  Human evolution brings humankind to refine body and mind through all ages. It's a transformation from animal to human. When the artist is sad, he or she will connect easily to higher vibratory plans and when the masterpiece is made he reaches happiness.

MICHAEL: What happens to you when you paint? Are you thinking, feeling, meditating, listening to music, watching TV? What is your creative process?

CARLA: At the beginning, I create outlines for the project with chromatic parts and after I make mosaics part and finally, the painting. In these processes, I listen to music. I prefer rhythmic music, tribal music, and my favorites are percussions. After that, what happens? It’s hard to say, more easily to do. It's like a connection to my soul, in a parallel dimension. There I gain my creative energy, it's wonderful. Only when the creation is completed do I understand what I did. It's always a great surprise!

MICHAEL: Finally Carla, So many people do not understand contemporary art. What would you tell them about art and also what do you want people to know about your work?

CARLA: Contemporary art is an endlessly evolving world and it is essential to approach it and see it like a child who uncovers emotions and happiness without barriers. My daily fragments become ideal incentives to communicate tales. Observing them people can go beyond, to see images inside images, to observe new worlds, the time running, the processing of history and its components. Different focal points, in my artwork, concentrate observer's sense and brings them to explore a chromatic universe beyond traditional representation. My creation seems to ask the viewer about sense of life and eternal conflict between spirituality and the physical.

MICHAEL: Thanks Carla.  Cool chat.

CARLA: Thank you Michael.  All the best!

Check out Carla’s work at