The works of Patrizia Casagranda are an alluring invitation to dream, the opportunity to take your thoughts on a fascinating inner voyage. Looking upon these charming women‘s portraits, you are led to believe that they have originated from an alternate bygone era and world, although they clearly depict the faces of modern young women. Casagranda creates expressive connections through the coalescence of collage, painting and graffiti - the complexity she thus achieves in her paintings is fascinating. At first sight, these works appear very illustrative and aesthetic. However, the deceptive use of materials unveils a continuous array of new levels and perspectives; the fragility of the seemingly crumbling layers of paint, the lace and fibres that have been incorporated, as well as the relief-like impasto brushstrokes merge into a symbiosis of ancient murals from a long past epoch with that of contemporary, modern art. Through the apparent weathering of her works as well as random corrosion processes, damaged metal, torn and yellowed paper and structures, which are reminiscent of crumbling plaster, and decay, Patrizia Casagranda portrays a transitory world; however, it is one that also encompasses a piece of eternity. This transience - which is evident in both the material and the depiction of youthful beauty - is, on the one hand, part of „Vanitas“ symbolism, which is repeatedly used in art, but, on the other hand, proves to be a reflection upon the fast-paced media landscape and its rapidly changing advertising strategies and ideals for beauty. Through their almost tangible materiality, Patrizia Casagranta‘s works offer a remarkable level of fascination – which is quite rare in a world where we see an ever growing abundance of digital art. Layer for layer, they reveal their soul to the observer and what lies beneath. You can read these paintings; you can wander through them and even lose yourself in them. They tell stories from The Thousand and One Nights, quote from fairy-tale worlds and mythological legends and play with the contrast between transience and modernity. What is most important in this work is the use of strong symbolism, whose very meanings the artist does not deny us. It becomes obvious that there is a strong interaction between the women who are portrayed and the surrounding symbolic world -
it is clear that their thoughts revolve around the deciphering of these symbols and their perplexed facial expressions question their very meaning. The symbolism is derived from the worlds of fairy tales, myths and legend and is subtly integrated into the visual language. We see mirrors becoming signs of self-knowledge, horses are a metaphor for irrepressible life energy, cherries stand for love and affection, does represent grace and speed, and peacocks stand for rulership and beauty - these and many other symbols have great significance for the artist. They serve the fragmentary narrative of the images and can be understood to be a possible mnemonic. Ultimately, Patrizia Casagranda would like to invite the observer to approach her paintings with their own stories and feelings. Of German-Italian extraction, Patrizia Casagranda spends part of the year in India; the influences of this world - which is often mysterious to us - can also be found in the imagery of her work. A further aesthetic design tool she uses is typography, which often appears in her work; As an illustrative element, it fits into the composition of the picture, but only serves as an inkling of a story – it is nothing that can be read or understood, but merely an invitation to the observer to see for himself, to develop his or her own thoughts and ideas. At first sight, however, the images appear to be fragile and transient - but if the observer examines the complexity of the presentation and its themes, it soon becomes clear that the materiality of the works, the sensuality of the young beauty depicted and the strong symbolism in their symbiosis serve as both an energy force and motivation. The centuries-old tales and myths cited by Patrizia Casagranda, which have been passed down from generation to generation, touch our collective memory and create worlds of reminiscences. They allow us to dwell in them, to take a moment out of our everyday lives and to sense our own thoughts and feelings. Patrizia Casagranda wants to provide us with pleasure through her pictures and to initiate a positive experience when observing them - with all the beautiful beings in her fascinating world of fairy tales she achieves this effortlessly. Patrizia Casagranda lives and works in Germany, the Netherlands and India.

K. Weeke Art Historian