Last month, Raise Karma announced and opened our Open Call initative, an ongoing digital micro-residency that showcases innovative and emerging creative talent culled through crowd sourced applications. Each month, Raise Karma will highlight several selected applicants whose work effectively speaks to each monthly theme. In January, we are highlighting artists from our previous month’s editorial theme: Seeking.
Seeking is a word that often slips through our lips without a complete understanding of its deeper meaning. Intuitively, humanity imagines seeking as a simple end-to-end quest. Society encapsulates profound objectives like purpose or passion into succinct, shiny consumer goods. We have 'made it' when there's a luxury car in the garage. We are 'in love' when we buy that princess cut engagement ring. However, anyone who’s secured the literal object of their desire might be inclined to divulge it’s never the simple thing itself that satiates the seeking. Oftentimes, what we’re seeking is something far more complex and slippery.
This month’s open call selections each speak to the great mystery of seeking, an act which is constant, endless, and yet, fulfilling in its own right. Check out this sneak peek into their minds, talents, and careers and stay tuned for more in-depth interviews as January unfolds!
Born in 1986 in Argentina, Pia Nicotra currently lives and works in Tuscany, Italy. After earning her degree in Fashion from Universidad Empresarial Siglo21 in Argentina, Nicotra spent twelve years of working in the industry in Argentina and in Italy. In 2018, she pivoted towards visual arts and started her studies at Accademia d'Arte Ad'A in Florence. Her artistic practice is both the instrument and the result of a path of connection with inner consciousness, coming from the concern about the irrepressible experience of human life and its elusive nature. Her paintings include concepts taken from Kabbalah, Metaphysics, and cosmological theories. These are linked to sensations and visions inspired by her meditation practice. The slow working process of oil painting becomes itself an inner practice in which she develops and sometimes modifies the initial idea of each composition, as that idea slowly changes in her mind while she paints.
Estelle Magnin is a photographer and visual artist who holds a degree in Visual Arts from the University of Strasbourg and a Master in curating contemporary exhibitions from the Sorbonne in Paris. In 2019, she participated in an artist residency at the Shangyuan Art Museum in Beijing. Her style evokes illusory aspects of the natural world. The duality between fiction and reality finds its point of resonance in her paintings on photographs, which unites two mediums that she also works with independently. Magnin uses her camera as a documentary process, tracking color above all and focusing on themes such as street, landscape, and experimentation. Her paintings are more enigmatic and testify to more intimate research. She finds endless possibilities between these mediums: her printed photograph can become a new canvas that she photographs and shapes again.
Halle Castille is an emerging pop artist from rural Georgia. Her interdisciplinary work includes sculpture, 3D printing, painting, and printmaking. She founded her studio Halley's Comet Designs in 2017. Since then, her work has been featured in Under the Bridge Magazine and Gumbo Pop Zine. Castille recently established the Atlanta Art Alliance, which promotes and connects working artists throughout the area. As a recent graduate from the University of North Georgia, she is excited about her future.