Meet our host: Kylie and her passion for the art history

November 17th, 11:01 am

1- You are an Australian living in Italy, tell us what inspired you to move to Italy?

It’s a bit corny but when I saw Michelangelo’s David in Florence, I was 29 the same age Michelangelo was when he completed the sculpture and I was really moved. I started reading more about art that year when I returned to Australia. It was in 2012 a few years later when I returned to Florence a thought crossed my mind “Just Move” and for the next year I worked and did everything possible to make that happen.

2- Have you always been passionate about the stories behind art scenes? Since when?

I was always fascinated by Philosophy, however, in Australia this is not an endorsed career path. I worked in Design and marketing for years and just before I saw Michelangelo’s David I saw Raphael’s “School of Athens at the Vatican. There it was, the medium for where great ideas could be expressed even better than the spoken word. Ten minutes later I was in the Sistine chapel and for the first time I could actually see Genesis. From that point in 2009 I have been obsessed with History and especially ART History.

3- What has been one history curiosity no books taught you in all these years?

You have to truly look at a piece sometimes to gain an artist's message, I can read an art historian’s interpretation. However, there is always a bias because we can’t help associating our preconceived ideas to an artist or their work. Sometimes art seems intimidating, however, I try to look at the artists as though they are my friends and so I feel more comfortable when critiquing them.

4- What period in history caught your attention the most? Why?

When I first started to study again at university I thought, “No not medieval art, how many mosaics are there”, however, this has become truly one of my favourite periods. As soon as I study a period I tend to gain a great amount of respect for the period. I have an affinity for many periods i.e. Classical antiquity, Mannerism, the Impressionists, however the early Renaissance is the movement that truly makes me feel as though I have returned home. This period in our history wasn’t only revolutionising art, however, society, ideas and perceptions as to bridge us into our modern world.

5- Why do you think the life of the Borghese family has been so studied?

These men were genius in their ability to use art as a form of propaganda, probably one of the best examples in history not seen since the emperor Augustus. It is also a time that Rome is experiencing an incredible resurgence of power after the reformations. The Borghese initiating one of the greatest collections in art has cemented them in the history books. Although the gallery today is smaller it is still one of the most important in all of Europe.

6- What advantages does a virtual platform like bring you?

Oh my goodness NO CROWDS! Italy is one of the number 1 tourist destinations in the world and some days entering a museum I actually have to completely rethink strategy because the crowds are so overwhelming. The online format allows us to be able to get up close and personal and zoom in on images to see specific details. Also there is time to incorporate works from outside the gallery which helps to facility the journey of art, from where we have come to where we are going

7- What would you like your attendees to take home?

The most favourite compliments are when people find a passion for the art and wish to understand more. My favourite responses from clients are when they’ve seen a work of art that has moved them. My goal is always to impart aiding “How to Read works” so a person’s next visit to a museum they’ll be able to have better confidence in viewing works or even find a greater interest in pieces they might not necessarily have had before.

8- What are the advantages of doing this activity in groups as opposed to doing it individually?

In group activities, attendees see other people’s perspective on what they see in the art. Art is a little like wine, there are a number of complexities and differing points of position which may or may not be the intention of a specific work. The fun part is assessing all the possibilities to gain clarity and so people are better able to read art.

Find Kylie’s activity here: The Secrets and Scandal of art at the Borghese

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