photo of artist with her painting, n
Portrait with Nautilus (“Me and AI”).What is the connection between human vs machine-generated worlds? Who’s creating what?

What is the best thing about being an artist?
Erica Calardo: It’s like living everyday in a dream. When I’m painting I feel connected to my deepest nature. There is only me, my easel, my visions. The colours, the soft brushes, the scent of walnut oil. I love the feeling of that white piece of cloth in front of me, ready to be turned into an image, a piece of my inner world. I was one of those kids with a pencil in her hand. Nevertheless, I didn’t immediately pursue my dream once I grew up. I have a degree in philosophy and a phd in mathematical logic. I was an academic researcher for a while and now I feel that everything is coming together in my work.

How do vou find inspiration?
Erica Calardo: Inspiration can strike at any moment and from anywhere. I live in a constant stream of stories: audiobooks, novels, movies, stories made up by my little son. Philosophy and allegories are essential. My atelier is located in Italy, in the hearth of Bologna: its ancient stones, warm colours, statues, mysteries, and old masters’ paintings are the air I breath. Then suddenly something starts to resonate until it becomes almost an obsession: a melody, an image, a place, a concept… and my imagination goes wild inventing all sorts of stories around it.

To see more of Erica’s work, visit:


oil painting of nude woman laying down on red pillow; dark background; light shinning off her body

oil painting of woman partially clothed holding flowers close to her chest; looking away from viewer
Erica Calardo,“Ophelia”, oil on canvas, 19.7 x 27.5 in., 2023. They call it madness, I call it life


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