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?UESTIONS: Raffaella Bertolini

Updated: Jun 18, 2022


Raffaella blends a colourful humour with psychedelic art to create her own brand of “Psychedelic Pop Art". A storyteller, she explores themes that challenges our social and political world.

Your Art is thought provoking, what connotations do you wish to share?

I have been working on a number of portraits of women working in the London area as part of my “Icons” series. I wanted to include, among my portraits of famous and established artists, a series of paintings dedicated to some of the amazing and diverse talents currently active in the London art scene.

What is your earliest memory of creating or being inspired to create art?

I have been a prolific drawer since I was a little girl, mostly inspired by Japanese Manga cartoons and comics which were very popular in Italy in the 80s. I used to recreate my own stories and characters and I could sit down for hours drawing, basically living in my own fantasy world.

Your banknote paintings are captivating, can you tell us more about your process?

I have been painting on banknotes since 2018, I had an old £10 note in my studio and instead of taking it to the bank to change it to the newly introduced plastic notes, I decided to paint on it. After posting it on Instagram, I discovered a large community of artists who have been painting on banknotes for a long time, so I discovered a new passion and medium to express myself.

Some of my artworks on banknotes are related to the country of origin, telling a story about their culture and history, some are portraits of people in popular culture. I had a few commissions over the years painting on different banknotes and learning about their country's favourite personalities, all of them are painted in oils. I had to learn to paint with miniature brushes and very thick reading glasses!

In your opinion how can Art be used as a tool for change?

In my opinion every form of art has always been a very powerful tool for change, many artists have been expressing their feelings towards global problems, political and social issues throughout history.

My personal experience has been to be involved with an amazing artists collective who organise many charity events. The collective raise money and awareness for various causes, including Syrian refugees, Cancer Research charities and mental health charities.

The latest charity is called "Love is not an Ideology", organised by artist Lapinus Morgan in support of the LGBTQ+ community in Poland, who have been subjected to violence and hate in their own country.

All images/Art courtesy of Raffaella Bertolini


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