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Carl D’Alvia Looks to the Grotesque and Metamorphic When Sculpting in a Contemporary Context

January 23, 2013
Carl D’Alvia in his studio
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Carl D’Alvia is the Henry W. and Marian T. Mitchell Rome Prize Winner in Visual Arts and an Artist from West Cornwall, Connecticut.

What part of the United States did you come from?
The Northeast. I divide my time between N.Y. and the Northwest corner of Connecticut.

Why did you apply for the Rome Prize?
Rome is probably my most important muse.

Describe a particularly inspiring moment or location you've experienced in Rome thus far.
Visiting the Sculpture Restoration Wing at the Vatican Museum and seeing masterpieces up close and sculptures not normally on view to the public.

To what extent, if any, has your proposed project changed since your arrival?
I don’t think that’s it’s changed significantly.

Have you had any "eureka!" moments or unanticipated breakthroughs in the course of your work here?
I wouldn’t say “eureka” moments but my work has taken a turn since arriving and some interesting avenues have opened up.

What aspect of your project are you most looking forward to?
I always look forward to beginning works.  Getting new ideas.

What part of your project has been or do you anticipate will be the most challenging?
Finishing large pieces that I’ve begun, or bringing them to a state in which they are able to be shipped.  Then the logistics of shipping large works back to New York.

What's surprised you most about living in Rome?
I’ve lived here before so that aspect hasn’t been too surprising.

How have you managed the balance between your work (time in the studio/study) and engagement with Rome and Italy (travel, sightseeing, interactions with locals)?
That’s not always easy as there are always excellent tours and new sites to see.  I’ve managed by setting aside periods of time as studio time and to avoiding touring or socializing during those periods.

How do you anticipate your Rome Prize Fellowship will influence future work?
I can’t see that a year living in Rome and at the Academy with accomplished and interesting people in various fields will not enrich my work. As I mentioned earlier I think that it is already influencing my work in a positive way.  

What is your favorite spot at the Academy? or in Rome?
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane by Borromini.