Enrica Masi is an artist who’s work we found through an artwork hanging in the house of a mutual friend. Right away we were in love with the work and after meeting Masi we knew for certain this was going to be a great collaboration. Her feeling for colors and shapes, combined with the desire to work big, makes for this minimalistic, almost modernistic work.
Hi Enrica, where do you live / where are you from?
Ciao! I live in Amsterdam but am from Italy 100%.
You have lived in Amsterdam for a while now, what is it that you like so much about this city?
I love Amsterdam, especially the area where I live: Zeeburg, which is a super quiet area without tourists (yet). There are so many crazy boats here, I usually take long walks and photograph them. They have the best color schemes and typefaces combos. They are a bit of a visual porn for me.
What made you decide to move to the Netherlands?
My studies brought me to the Netherlands when I was 21 years old. I was studying Design in Rome and there was a study abroad program in Delft which I won. I hated Delft (so much), so I moved to Rotterdam and then back to Amsterdam for work, and despite a 2 years break in London and in the US, overall I’m here for almost 8 years! My Dutch is still really bad unfortunately.
Where do you, as an artist, see the biggest differences between Rome and Amsterdam?
I love Rome and I miss my country everyday, but I think I wouldn't be where I am now if I stayed there. The biggest difference I think is that in Amsterdam no one gives a damn about who you are, what you do and how. If you are successful and you have a solid plan you can make it here.
In Rome it’s still really old school, if you know someone you can go far, if you don’t is much much tougher.
Have you always known you wanted to become an artist?
Not at all! Well, I’ve always been drawing and painting since I was a kid, but I never thought I’d become a legit artist one day. I knew I loved visual arts and that’s why I decided to become a designer. I thought it would be a really mature move for me career wise.
Along the way though, I realised that the visual universe I had inside of me couldn’t wait any longer and it needed to come out the way it did. My brain is so visual, so for me producing visual work is an essential part of expressing what I think and who I am. So I still call my self a designer even if I am actually a visual artist. But who cares. Labels are stupid anyways.
How do you get started creating an artwork?
I usually start really small scale. The shapes I create literally pop in my head in the most random moments. That’s why I always I have a small notebook with me and my set of 12 Prismalo colors. As soon as the shapes and colours appear I have to draw them right away. After that I usually scale them up on big canvases which I then turn into silkscreen prints.
Where do you hope your work will lead you in, say, five years time?
In five years I dream of making my work in a much bigger scale and have a proper show of my work. That would be incredible. I think my work could be so much more immersive when scaled up. I really would love people to get sucked in the colours and the shapes that populate my world.
Lastly, New Chique Gallery is also really about using art for home decoration and interiors, what is your favorite piece of (design) furniture?
My favorite piece of design furniture definitely belongs to Memphis. Sottsass' Carlton bookcase, it’s definitely in my top list of things I will own one day when I get rich. I also really love Joe Colombo’s Portable storage. I am actively looking for it on Marktplaats.
2009 - 2011
Delft University of Technology
MSc Design for Interaction
2011 - 2012
Information Designer at Mijksenaar, wayfinding experts
Visual Interaction Designer at Frog Amsterdam
Visual Interaction Designer at IDEO London
Freelance Visual Designer and Artist