Ambassador of the Week: Andrea Sole Costa

"Waiting in the Coffee Shop" is a portrait of my daughter.

Meet Andrea Sole Costa, this week’s top American Watercolor Weekly Ambassador!

Andrea Sole Costa was born in Buenos Aires in Argentina. In Buenos Aires she received her degree from Escuela de Bellas Artes “P. Pueyrredon”. She moved to Florence, Italy in 1984. This was the beginning of an extended stay in Florence that has lasted thirty four years. Andrea Sole Costa received her master’s degree in restoration and painting techniques from the “Institute of Arte” and “Palazzo Spinelli”. She started work in 1988 teaching painting techniques to foreign students at a private art studio. In 1989, she started teaching courses for D.L.F. and founded her own school in 2000 at the former Leopolda Train Station in Florence. In 2014, she will celebrate thirty years of teaching art. Teaching has stimulated her to explore numerous techniques and every kind of subject. For her own work, the human figure and portraits remain her principal interest.

“The Merchants in the Temple” is a portrait of two painters in animated conversation.

The choreographer Alberto Canestro asked Sole Costa to work on the scenography and costumes for one of his dances. This led to the large paintings and the research on different master artists from the past. Sole Costa and a group of her advanced students had previously worked together in a course on the reinterpretation of masterpieces which she called “Falsi d’autore” (Fakes of the Artists). The course required the students to choose a masterpiece and then set up the composition from the painting using live models. This was photographed and then used as the basis for a modern interpretation of the original work. One of the paintings that Sole Costa herself worked on was the “Allegory of Venus and Cupid” by Bronzino. It is currently in an exhibition in Miami at the Rimonim Art Gallery which represents the artist.

“Riccio” is a portrait of the theatrical director and actor A. Riccio.

She has also done reinterpretations of works by Titian, Durer, Guido Reni and Botticelli. The course led Sole Costa to reconsider the value of realistic painting. She believes that the conflict that is often debated over technique and representation in painting and photography does not truly exist. She feels that the two mediums have two different ways of viewing reality. A painter, unlike a photographer, must know and understand anatomy. They must be able to reproduce the tactile quality of any material, be it skin, metal, cloth, fur or whatever else they are presented with. Drawing and painting use very different techniques and time frames than photography and inevitably the reality they present is different from that of photography. Such issues as the juxtaposition of colors and brushwork are fundamental to painting. Brushwork is the main gesture that an artist uses in painting. It shows the actual rhythm of the work and furthermore becomes the means by which we can identify a particular artist.

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Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.

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