Federica Bau, the essence of chiaroscuro

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Today we interview Federica Bau, an Italian illustrator who focuses her work on chiaroscuro as an essential form of the image and black as an element from which to establish a logic of sensation.

Hello Federica, who are you? How would you define yourself?

Hello! My name is Federica Bau, I am a young Italian illustrator and I found my passion in graphic work and engraving. 

Where were you born? Are you still living there?

I was born very close to Milan, in Monza more specifically. A city with no further interest (according to my clear point of view) and that is why I moved, first to Barcelona, successively to Betanzos, and right now I am living in Bilbao. 

Federica Bau Obra Original Nomadart
Federica Bau in the studio

When did you decide to become an artist?

There was no definite moment in which I decided to become an artist, it started little by little. First I approached graphic work out of curiosity, then I found in it a medium that makes me happy, and right now I would like to be able to make a living from it. 

How would you define your style in a sentence?

Chiaroscuro as an essential form of the image, black as an element from which to establish a logic of sensation, are always present in my work. I thus opt for narratives of contrasts, where the empty spaces are as important as the filled ones. 

Geometria de la luz II Federica Bau Original negro
Geometry of Light II | Original work available here

Your weaknesses? Your strengths?

Weaknesses ... always say what I think, without passing the information through any filter. And now that I think about it, it is also my strength!

What do you find most fascinating about creativity?

Being able to speak honestly with yourself. 

Which of your works do you have a special affection?

To "Hemen". I think it is the visible result of mastering one of the most complex techniques of intaglio engraving. Also, I think it portrays my meticulous and perfectionist personality very well! 

Hemen Federica Bau Original
Hemen | Original work available here

Who inspires or influences you when creating?

Poles, in general, are my gurus. They are expert engravers, and I am also fascinated by the way they interpret reality. They create very dark images, lonely landscapes and architectures with a great emotional and symbolic charge. 

Do you have a new project or idea in hand?

Thousands. Millions. I have a few notebooks full of notes, sketches, project beginnings. They are all ideas, some will see the light and others will not. 

2025 Where do you see yourself?

Good question! If I look back and don't know how I got here, imagining myself in the future, including the next one ... I have is completely impossible.

Sutil Hoja 2 Federica Bau ambiente
Subtle Leaf | Original work available here

Finish the sentence: When the going gets tough ...

Speaks! Communication is the basis for understanding. 

A favorite place

None in particular. Each one brings back fond memories, so they are all equally favorites. 

Penultimate question… Favorite song? 

Shigeru Umebayashi - Yumeji's Theme


Waking Life by Richard Linklater 

Discover her artwork


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Nomadart Editorial
Nomadart Editorial

An article on art and culture, written from the editorial studio of Nomadart.

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