Ilaria Castagnacci’s playfully illustrative drawings imbue her observations of the everyday with refreshing exuberance and whimsy. Working in predominantly watercolor, ink, and pigment on paper, the artist chooses not to rely on preliminary sketches for her personal works, and instead allows the inspiration of people, nature, seasons, colors, and animals to dictate what each drawing will convey. Often placed upon a blank background, Castagnacci renders her highly saturated figures with an emphasis on curved lines, pose, and serene facial expressions. In works such as It’s Like Flying (2017), a woman holding an umbrella appears to float upon an ivory background. Donning a dazzling, ruby gown, the billowed shape of her petticoat mirrors the curves of her open umbrella. The figure’s polka dotted stockings coyly reveal themselves to the audience, yet this woman appears blithely unaware. Her pose and facial expression reflect pure, unpolluted delight as she hovers with outstretched arms, windswept strands of hair, eyes closed and head nearly bowed towards the viewer.
A native of Rome, Castagnacci does not remember a time when she did not have a pencil in her hand. After graduating from the European Design Institute in 2001, Castagnacci began her esteemed career as an illustrator. The artist is currently based in Rome.