Carol Rama

1918 - 2015

Born in Turin (IT), died in Turin (IT).

Making art for several decades from the 1930s, Carol Rama was a deeply idiosyncratic artist who was unrestrained by faith or ideology. Her early works in watercolour, made during the era of fascism in Italy, explore the human condition, and demonstrate fundamental expressions and desires of the individual, and the self-determination of one’s body. Her watercolours are vivid, sensual and uncompromising. Rama understood insanity, absurdity, abnormality, abjection, and the breaking of taboos as being in fact signs of a healthy life, mentally, physically and artistically. Many of the characters have their tongues hanging out. As a 12-year old, she visited her mother in a psychiatric clinic, where she found patients behaving ‘abnormally’, and with their tongues sticking out. Rama saw them as liberated, and took inspiration from them as those emancipated from the pressures, normality and repressive political atmosphere of daily life. Rama once stated about her practice:

Rage has always been my life condition. Fury and violence are what drive me to paint”.

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