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Beautiful Bodies and a Celebration of Skin, with Elisa Valenti

Beautiful Bodies and a Celebration of Skin, with Elisa Valenti

In 2018, Elisa Valenti was a Pharmacy Director treating patients’ skin with ointments and elixirs. Today, Elisa is a contemporary figurative artist who considers her work to be the medicine she provides to healing bodies. Exploding in the art scene, her fresh perspective is reshaping the way we perceive and celebrate women’s forms. Listen to this episode of The Cultured Podcast to hear how Elisa found her artistic muse in an old photo she used to hate.

Elisa Valenti is a contemporary figurative artist who considers her work to be the medicine she provides to healing bodies.

Read the episode transcript below.


Michelle Khouri  0:00  
Have you ever had a dream that you just put on the backburner and always replayed in your mind until one day you just couldn’t hold yourself back from pursuing that dream? Elisa Valenti is that person, except she spent two decades in the medical industry, and one day was like, “F this, I’m going to be a painter.” And today, she’s on The Cultured Podcast talking about her exceptional figurative paintings.

Welcome to The Cultured Podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Khouri. And together, we’ll journey into the unknown reaches of the art world.

Hello my babies! (singing) How are you doing today? It’s a beautiful day. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Cultured Podcast, coming to you, sun is shining shining through you, through the window. (laughter)

Man, today, I really woke up very tired. Very, very exhausted. It took a very long time for me to get my brain out of the morning fog and into some kind of comprehensible state. And now I just had this incredible conversation with Elisa Valenti, which I can’t wait to share with you. And it’s like I drank three cups of coffee. This woman’s energy is so contagious. I mean, she is funny and charming and rebellious. I mean, that’s a key word for the day. Just preparing you for me repeating rebelliousness a good few times during this conversation. So, I can’t wait for you to get that same injection of energy that I have just experienced, because I am certainly a different human after that conversation–for the best. And also, of course, our inspiration this week comes from Elisa. My inspiration this week is my body, y’all. That’s right, my b-b-b-body. Because I love my body. It took me a very long time to get to a place where I actually appreciate the curves and shapes of this voluptuous body. And I was told for all of my life, that all of these cushions and curves and shapes were just a bit too much. You know what I mean? And, you know what, I agree. For some people, it’s all too much and for other people, it is just dang enough. And you know what, for other people, it’s maybe not enough. And I was talking to Elisa, there’s just so many parallels that we have in our lives. So it was very easy to connect very quickly. But I was telling her how I’ve been very athletic my whole life and this body with all of its height and strength has allowed me to be a swimmer, a water polo player competitively, onstage as an actor, singing on stage, dancing, blocking, but also like to be sensual and sexual and a boss and commanding. It’s something to be inspired by not scrutinized. And that is my inspiration for this week. My body and your body. I love your body. Good job, sexy thing. Look at you. You look dang good. Alright. I think that’s enough, right? We don’t want to let it get to our heads, right? Alright, well, I’m sending you all the love in the world. Let’s take some time today and just meditate on our bodies and all the amazing things that they help us do. With that said, let’s talk to Elisa. Let’s learn about her story.

Hello Elisa! Nice to see you and nice to have you on The Cultured Podcast.

Elisa Valentini  4:12  
Oh, it’s my pleasure to be here.

Michelle Khouri  4:14  
I discovered your art and your work very recently through The Jealous Curator who also has a wonderful podcast, so arts lovers, Cultured Crew, you can also check that podcast out. And the second I saw your work. I felt such a deep connection not only to you as a creative and your incredible fine art is just stunning, but also to the message behind your work and the innate rebelliousness that I feel coming from you, your presence and the way that you position your work. And the way you choose your subjects. So our relationship as fan and artist is relatively new compared to other people on this show, but it was pretty deep and instant. So I’m very excited to share your perspective with the crew. And now to level set, why don’t you tell us who you are and a little bit about your work? 

Elisa Valentini  5:08  
Sure. My name is Elisa Valenti. I am a self-taught painter based in New York City. My work is something that develops really naturally, it was never set out to have a mission. The mission sort of made itself. So, I am a painter and I started painting, just things that are natural to me. So figurative art, skin. Prior to being a painter, well, I’ve been an artist my whole life, but prior to professionally being an artist, I was a pharmacist. I had a specialty pharmacy that was focused in dermatology. So a huge part of my life has surrounded around anatomy and derm and, you know, medicine and you know, taking care of people. And then in 2018, I had a big transition in my life where I kind of made like a change, a career shift. And I started painting and became a professional artist that sells her work. The focus of my work has always been figurative. I’ve always loved figurative art. I went to an art high school and I focused in fine arts and art history. And I always loved the nude and classic art. And so it’s just something that I gravitate toward. It’s not something I’m, like, trying hard to do. I just, it’s what I love to do. I wanted to paint figures that were not classic beauties or idealized beauties or idealized bodies. I just wanted to paint bodies that look like my body. And so I started painting these bodies that look like my body. And this kind of like reaction toward the artwork happens, where women and men both approached me in and said, you know, this work makes me feel X, Y and Z. Your work makes me see myself in those images. I feel more love for myself seeing these bodies that look like mine. You make bodies that I once thought were ugly look beautiful. And like all of these words followed the paintings. And I think this week I posted a post that said the quote was, you know, if I had the words to explain how I felt, I wouldn’t paint. So it’s interesting that I kind of painted these images and then the words from other people kind of followed with them.

Michelle Khouri  7:31  
So it wasn’t a conscious decision for you.

Elisa Valentini  7:35  
It wasn’t conscious. I mean, the residual effect of what the art has had or has done to people is beautiful and I’m running with it. And I’m going with it because I love how that makes me feel knowing that this work affects people and makes them feel beautiful and worthy and wanted. You know, I have women who are in their 60s who come to me and say, “For my entire life, I’ve never felt that my body was worthy. And now seeing you show them in this light makes me feel that, like, my journey is complete, like I can love myself now.” And it’s amazing.

Michelle Khouri  8:13  
That’s absolutely amazing. It’s also so well suited for this period of time where I feel like, I mean alongside body positivity movements, but I think that speaks to– the body positivity movement speaks to the broader movement of our species toward being more accepting of what is real and what is natural and not idealizing so much because we, lord knows, we’re a species who likes to id-ea-lize. We like our heroes and we like our villains. We like our good and we like our bad and we like our ugly and we like our pretty. And the thing is, that those are all concepts that we put definition around. So they’re totally made up. As we’ve seen throughout time, those things are constantly shifting by the whim of who knows what, right? But what I find so interesting about your work, there’s a lot that I find interesting about your work. But I also find that within this figurative art, within this one broader umbrella, you paint a pretty wide variety of styles. Even in one painting, there might be more detailed work mixed in with something that’s a little bit more abstract. And that to me is really fun. That’s what makes me feel like I’m looking at a puzzle when I look at your pieces. And you never really know what you’re gonna get, right? So how would you describe the style of your work?

Elisa Valentini  9:45  
That’s such a good question. I have no idea. It’s funny. I just put some work up on my Saatchi art site. They ask you to, like, label it. And I’m like, I don’t know. Like, what is my work? Is it contemporary? It’s figurative, it’s figurative contemporary.  I’d like to think that it’s modern, classical. I’ve had writers write about my work and say that it is Cubist sort of this Cubist style or color blocking Cubism but I don’t do the color blocking all the time that’s something I do. I do it when I’m feeling that it needs to be color-blocked, but yeah, I don’t know. Modern figurative, I guess. Modern figurative…

Michelle Khouri  10:25  
Contemporary modern figurative rebellious badass, I think is what we resulted in. 

Elisa Valentini  10:31  
There you go! (laughter)

Michelle Khouri  10:31  
Okay, great. Great. We just solved that mystery. 

Elisa Valentini  10:34  
Thank you. I needed you to do that for me. (laughter)

Michelle Khouri  10:37  
No problem. Anytime. I’ll come up with nonsensical stuff all the time. But the thing is, it all makes sense, right? But also, that’s what’s exciting to me about your work is and I guess why I would say there’s an innate rebelliousness. When I look at you, your energy, the energy behind your work the way you describe it, which is beautiful, always beautiful and very narrative. I love the stories that you tell in your posts, but there’s just a reluctance to conform to anything. And what I’m wondering is do you consider it rebellious?

Elisa Valentini  11:12  
Maybe subconsciously. I think subconsciously it is rebellious. It’s sort of this idea that if you don’t think I’m beautiful, I’m going to show you that I am. And that comes from a deep-seated root from like my childhood coming from, you know, a family that was…my mother was this…she was kind of like this icon. She was super sophisticated. She wanted everything to look perfect and be perfect. She wanted her daughters to be a certain standard because we represented who she was. And she loved the crap out of us but she was really tough on us and she wanted us to be you know, really great. And that comes with a price, you know, you pay a price for that. And the price is that you know, you kind of gain this complex of, like, am I good enough? Am I good enough for my mother’s standard? And then it kind of trickles into am I good enough for my boyfriend’s standard? Am I good enough for my teacher’s standard? Am I good enough for any standard? And you’re constantly questioning everything you do. Well, I do. I’m using kind of a broad to you but, for me, and yeah, I think growing up anytime I was told, like no, you can’t do that. It kind of fueled me to say, “Oh yeah, well, I’ll show you and I’ll make it, like, awesome.” Or you know that, you know, I wanted to start businesses as a young girl and it was like, “No, why are you gonna do that? That’s so risky. Be careful. Don’t do that.” It’s like, okay, let me prove to you. So it’s, kind of, this like always proving that, ya know, what I’m doing is good. And I’m going to make it awesome and it’s going to be beautiful. And when I was in high school, I used to paint regular beautiful models, you know, six-foot models with tiny little waists. And part of that was I was painting that because I wanted to look like that and I was always disappointed because I couldn’t look like that. And then it was like this cycle of being upset because: this is what is beautiful. I’m not beautiful because I don’t look like that. And then I think like any woman who is in my age range and older than me knows that as you get older, you become more confident, you hopefully become more accepting of who you are. My paintings are kind of this like, fuck you, like you don’t think that my body is beautiful? Well, I’m going to paint it and I’ll show you that it is. And if you don’t think it is, then don’t look at it. And if you do think it is, then know that this is your body also, and you are as beautiful and worthy as the woman that you see in that work. 

Michelle Khouri  13:33  
Mmm. Hell yes. Fundamentally, it is an act of rebellion and also self-ownership, which is so powerful. I’ve been on a very similar journey as you, a very similar journey. I think if you are a woman who comes from a specific background, which I am Latina, you’re Italian. There’s some crossover there culturally. There’s an enormous amount of pressure and my mom was the same way with me. And I came to realize only a few years ago, you know, I’m 31 now, but only a few years ago did it click that she was so tough on me because she was told when she was younger, growing up in Colombia, that you had to be thin as a woman because your job as a woman was to be pleasing to the eye. Well, certainly, it’s very important that my waist be a very small circumference, because that’s my worth, right. But what I realized is that she was projecting a lot of her own traumas and insecurities onto me. And that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s that we all need to spend a lot less time on everybody else, and a lot more time on ourselves. And that is, we’re recording this in the middle of a pandemic right now. That is one of the blessings of this pandemic. And there are blessings, everything that’s terrible also comes with an opposite side that has light. And the light is that we have an opportunity to really sit with ourselves and the shadow parts of ourselves. And the hope is that if you spend that time on yourself that we come out, being kinder to others because we’ve become kinder with ourselves. My question for you is, has your art helped facilitate some of that self-healing? 

Elisa Valentini  15:24  
Absolutely. The painting that kind of sparked the soul. It’s one of my more popular paintings, it’s called “Confidence On The Rocks”. It’s the woman in the bathing suit with the flamingo by the pool. My choice of painting these bodies came when I was influenced by this other painter’s painting of this beautiful blue water and there was a flamingo in the distance and there was a man swimming in the water. And I said, You know, I want to paint a painting like that, like that inspires me. So I was like, I need some reference. So I happened to look through like this camera roll of photos, and I came across this picture of myself. And I was in a pool with blue water in there happened to be a little flamingo floaty. And I was like, oh my God, that’s the that’s the picture I want to paint. But what’s really interesting about this picture is that it sat in my phone for years. And I would I would not post it. I wouldn’t, like, put it on social media. I would rather you, like, take down my social media then put the picture up on social media. Like I was, I was embarrassed of it. And I was embarrassed because, you know, my thighs were showing my belly roll was showing and, you know, I can remember in that moment, taking that photo like feeling like, “Oh, my God, you know, is everything going to show? You know, am I, you know, am I going to feel embarrassed by this picture?” And, you know, in that moment when the picture was taken, I was like, “Oh, I don’t like this picture.” But it sat there and like, years later, I looked at it and I’m like, wow, like what was I thinking? Like, I don’t know what I was thinking back then to, like, hate my body so much. But it took me painting the painting. So it wasn’t that I was trying to paint this painting. I like the feeling of the image. I was like, I’m going to try to capture the feeling of this image. And when I did, I looked at it and I said, “That body is beautiful. Like the rolls on the body, like everything, the skin, the color. And that was the pinnacle moment. That was the moment that I decided I’m painting bodies that look like this. I’m painting bodies that are just the way they are because they are beautiful just the way they are.

Michelle Khouri  16:29 
I find it so interesting learning that your specialty in pharma was dermatology, because that already points to, I mean for you to even go into pharma points to an interest in the human body. And like you said, you’ve always had that interest. So what is it about skin, about the human body, that interests you so much?

Elisa Valentini  17:43  
I’ve always been fascinated with humanity and, like, learning more about what makes people tick. What about your reactions to things is making you react the way you do? I have always wanted to delve deeper into that and understanding like people. I just like people. And I love the human form. I mean, I can paint anything. If you asked me to paint a car, I could paint a car. If you asked me to paint the landscape, I could probably do it. But I don’t, like, feel an attachment to it. I don’t feel compelled to do it. But when it comes to painting bodies, I’m compelled to paint bodies. I want to paint them. I enjoy painting them. I feel a need to paint them. I went into healthcare because I’m a helper. I’m a nurturer. I was somebody who was born to help people. And so I derived a lot of satisfaction from helping people. I happen to like derm because I love the beauty aspects. I love helping people like feel better about themselves in terms of their skincare. And I mean, we did a lot of diseases that had nothing to do with beauty. But you know, I like derm. I like the skin. I love the diseases of the skin. I find them fascinating. The company that I worked for I built from the ground up. It was a big success story, but I just felt like I just needed a change in my life. And so I resigned from that position. And I took some time off and I just painted. And I was like I was just painting because I was compelled to paint.

Michelle Khouri  19:06  
What do you mean by that? So what did that actually practically feel like being feeling compelled? Because that’s a huge shift. You built this huge, successful company in the medical field. It clearly resonated with a couple parts of you that were like, I’m fascinated by humans. I’m fascinated by skin. But to follow that gut instinct, that’s a big deal.

Elisa Valentini  19:31  
I would sit in board meetings and say, “Oh my God, like, I’m so stressed out right now. Like, I wish I was painting.” And I would have all of these ideas. What I say is that I studied medicine for 20 years or a little more than that. And I helped people and I made people feel good. But now I’ve, sort of, shifted. And now I’m an artist. And I produce paintings that people buy that make them feel good. So I’m making medicine. I sort of say, I’m still doing what I did, just in a totally different capacity. But I’m still making medicine that makes people feel better. I

Michelle Khouri  20:08  
I totally agree with you, Elisa. And I was just thinking that as you were talking about this transition. I woke up super tired today, and the only thing I could compel myself to do was just continue researching you and looking at your work and looking at your words, because your words are filling and they are healing and your vulnerability is healing. Because the thing is, this is a duel. This is a double-edged sword that you’re wielding, right? You’re this like warrior-healer-princess. (laughter) I know. That’s now your bio. 

Elisa Valentini  20:42  
We’re gonna have to jot that down on the leader. I have to put you in little small words on the bottom.

Michelle Khouri  20:49  
Warrior-healer-princess. I fully expect the painting to be called pretty soon. No, but this double-edged sword that you wield is on one hand helping others, it’s an external healing tool. But on the other hand, I truly believe every time you post something you’re healing yourself because you’re speaking your truth. You are coming out unabashedly and speaking your truth and I really don’t care whatever your hangups are, you know the general you, whether it’s you have a big mole that you’ve always hated, but you want to embrace more, whether it’s that you are overweight, and that has been deemed as bad in the society but actually, you’re stunning human being goddess warrior woman, whether it’s that you know, one of your legs is shorter than the other, your nose has curvature, whatever it is, the act of embracing that and seeing the beauty in it because that takes work is an act that heals yourself and others. And this response that you’re getting, these negative responses, are healing too because that person is being forced to look at their shadow. That person is being forced to look at why it is they dislike themselves. 

Elisa Valentini  22:05  

Michelle Khouri  22:06  
To flip this around a little bit, I think you put it really really well when you were like fatness is not the thing to be, you know afraid of or fatness isn’t the thing to fear. Your health should be first and foremost. And only you know what state your health is in. And that’s nobody else’s job except for you and potentially a doctor.

Elisa Valentini  22:26  
I’m not here to say oh, you know, if you are fat, embrace it, love yourself and don’t care about anything else. That’s not true. You have to love who you are. Because I think that when we’re overweight, we get depressed because we don’t look the way that society wants us to look. We don’t feel the way we’re told we’re supposed to feel. We don’t look like we want to look in certain outfits or whatever. And so we get upset. And so, we don’t love ourselves. And people argue like there’s a lot of fat activists who say body positivity is a sham because you need to you have to liberate the fat people. And I don’t know, I’m not a follower of that. I just think that the first step is loving yourself. If you can break through and get a little glimmer of what it feels like to just love yourself as you are, all crappy and shitty and fat and ugly and stupid and whatever bad things you are, just to embrace it. I painted a painting called “Face Yourself” right? And it’s a woman sitting in a chair just like looking straight-on dead at you. And the purpose of this painting is face what you are, whatever you are, face that thing. Accept it for it’s good and it’s bad. And don’t be in denial of anything. If you’re fat, be fat. If you’re in denial of whatever the reality of who you are is, you’re always going to be in pain. Face who you are. Face all of the good and the bad. And start to embrace it and love those things. And the minute that you can do those things, you can make steps toward making yourself healthier. I thought myself I gained a lot of weight and my goal would be to be able to cross my legs again, I can’t cross my legs sexy the way I used to because my thighs are big, right? So for me, my goal would be if I could lose weight to cross my legs the way I used to be able to that would be like a victory. I would love that. That’d be awesome. Years ago, I would be so ashamed to even say that. I was in denial. Like, oh, I’m not fat. People don’t see me as fat. I’m not fat. I would get defensive if people called me fat, because like, it hurt me to hear that. But if somebody calls me fat, yeah I’m fat. Like, that’s it. It’s black and white. I’m not skinny, I’m fat. I own that I’m fat. I’m still beautiful, and I still love myself. But it took a long time for me to be able to say that to face who I am. And if you are looking at these things and feeling triggered and feeling like oh my god, like you know she’s comparing fat bodies with bad bodies. No, I’m not. You’re internalizing that your fat body is a bad body and so you feeling bad about yourself. So own it, face yourself. What are you? Whatever bad thing you are own it. Make steps toward loving it, and then making the steps toward changing it or not changing it. If you love it the way it is, don’t change it. If you feel so horrible about what you are, make positive changes. 

Michelle Khouri  25:11  
And this is that healing vibe. My question though, I wonder how does it feel that, Aad this is an assumption on my part, so please correct me if I’m wrong, how does it feel that you are painting your body, a plethora of bodies, and now I would imagine, all anyone ever talks about with you is body positivity? And what it’s like to put your rolls on display. First of all, is that true that that’s like the focus of a lot of your conversations nowadays about your art?

Elisa Valentini  25:47  
Yeah, body positivity was not really in my vocabulary until I read it in an article and I was like, oh, okay, that’s cool. Like, I’ll be that. 

Michelle Khouri  25:57  
So does it feel like you’re being pigeonholed?

Elisa Valentini  26:01  

Michelle Khouri  26:01  
I can imagine.

Elisa Valentini  26:02  
I was worried because at first – I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be completely straight up – I was like, “Do people think I’m jumping on a trend?” Because that’s not what’s happening. You know, because I can’t stand seeing commercials and sponsored ads and things for people who are like jumping on the plus-size wagon. And I’m like, do people think that because people called me that, like, I’m not that. But if I am, then great. I own it. I’ll face it. It’s fine. They call me like a plus-size artists, you know, like body positivity artist. But my goal is that I’m painting women so that you look at them and just say, oh, wow, what a beautiful woman. And it’s still happening that people are like, what a beautiful plus-sized woman. It’s funny. I have a painting called “250 pounds”. It’s a woman sleeping on a couch. It’s kind of like my Ode to Lucian Freud’s “Obese Woman Sleeping on the Couch”. And I just think it’s so funny that we have to name her obese woman on the couch, whereas he has plenty of other women sleeping on couches that are not named, you know, “Thin Woman” or “Muscular Woman” or “Short Woman” or “Tall woman”, but the obese woman is is called “The Obese Woman on the Couch”. So my painting is called “250 pounds” because if you really need to know her weight, if we’re going to label her, label her weight. So the painting is called 250 pounds so that it’s out in the open, we face it, we own it. And then once you get over it, you can look at how beautiful she is at 250 pounds. And she doesn’t need to be labeled.

Michelle Khouri  27:28  
Because you know what, that’s a marker that you are on the front end of what we all hope to normalize. And by we all, I mean anybody who feels like anything about them. You know, it’s funny, I was about to say anybody who feels like something about them isn’t normal. That’s everybody. That is literally every single human being on this planet unless you’re delusional or healed, fully healed, or a narcissist, and it’s like you’ve either fully healed and are an Ascended Master. Or you are delusional or you’re a narcissist. That’s because we are all raised in a the same society, no matter what country or part of the world you live in, where there are these standards to to adhere to. And so we all carry our own shit. You know, we just do. And if anything, we are all a 250 pound woman in spirit carrying the weight of the freaking world, no matter how you see yourself in the mirror, and I do. Like one of the first things I thought was holy crap, I connect so much with her work. It is so strikingly beautiful, the colors you use the patterns, you have that rug, and that rug appears in so many different places, And it’s black and white. And you play with shades and tones. And obviously, I’m like connecting so hard with these paintings and I see my body represented in those paintings. It was amazing. And then the second thing I thought was, and she has been pigeonholed immediately as a woman who paints fat women, period. This is body posi painting. I know from reading your posts, which is why I think it’s so wonderful that you share so much of yourself, that that’s just not what you’re trying to do here. But also it is what you’re doing. Does that make sense? It’s like it may not be what you’re trying to do, but it’s what you’re doing. And that’s magical.

Elisa Valentini  29:19  
Yeah It’s funny people ask me, Elisa, how do you come up with these posts or, you know, I’ll have young artists who are like, “Can you give me tips on marketing? And how do you do what you’re doing?” And I’m like, I’m just being myself on Instagram. That’s all I’m doing. When I come up with a post, it’s a post that’s probably from my life. It is from my life. Not probably. I’m telling you stories. I’m just being me. And I can’t teach you that. You have to be you.

Michelle Khouri  29:47  
But it goes to show how hard that is for people. 

Elisa Valentini  29:50  
It is really hard.

Michelle Khouri  29:51  
They are, like, how, how on earth are you giving so much of yourself so openly and fearlessly? And it may not be fear-less But it certainly is courageous. And I use that word very, very sparingly. Because you know, when you’re a fat woman and you dare to fucking own your body, without remorse, you’re called brave.

Elisa Valentini  30:17  
You are so brave! You wore a shirt that shows your arm. Really?

Michelle Khouri  30:23  
Oh, the bravery of wearing your body.

Elisa Valentini  30:28
It’s so brave.

Michelle Khouri  30:29  
So I definitely, definitely don’t mean in that way.

Elisa Valentini  30:36  
You’re so funny.

Michelle Khouri  30:38  
So, Eilsa, this journey for you, what’s astounding to me is this journey for you as an artist has just begun. October 2018, right? I mean, that’s when you made the big leap.

Elisa Valentini  30:50  
If you want to be really technical, it’s May of 2019 was when like the trajectory started going up and up.

Michelle Khouri  30:56  
That’s bonkers. That’s like bananas. A year later. Here we are. And I know. I feel for you because I know you were supposed to have an exhibition, I think this week was it or last week? 

Elisa Valentini  31:08  
It was this past weekend. The first weekend in May and the last weekend of May. I had two shows planned. So, that’s a big thing for artists that’s where we, you know, make our money, we sell our work, people get to see it. It’s not the same seeing it on Instagram, right? Those little one by one inch.

Michelle Khouri  31:23  
No, it’s not. 

Elisa Valentini  31:23  
You have to like feel the presence of the artwork. But it’s okay, because we have beautiful online exhibitions. Actually, today. What is it called the other art fair Saatchi gallery, they featured me as their featured artists for their Brooklands Show. So that’s cool. I’ll put that out. 

Michelle Khouri  31:38  
That’s amazing. Congratulations. 

Elisa Valentini  31:40  

Michelle Khouri  31:40  
I mean, this has been a short journey for you and you’ve already, I mean, you’re, capturing attention all over the place. I’ve seen Jerry Saltz liking your posts, like, you know, so it’s Jerry Saltz and Michelle Khouri. (laughter) J/K. So, that’s pretty astounding. So congratulations, but also like, you know, good job keeping your energy up during this time when you had to sacrifice two of these shows because there’s a lot more coming from you in the future. I know it. I feel it and obviously you believe in the right timing of things and that really helps to flow with these kinds of moments. So where can The Cultured Crew, buy your work, admire your work and learn more about you?

Elisa Valentini  32:26  
They can go to I have a website that has a gallery of all my work. There’s also a shop where you can purchase small works. You can purchase works on paper. I have some limited edition prints. And I also have all of the available original paintings. Yeah, just go to my website, all the information is there. And my Instagram. I mean, I connect with a lot of people on Instagram.

Michelle Khouri  32:48  
And that’s?

Elisa Valentini  32:48  
And that’s elisavalentistudio

Michelle Khouri  32:51  
Fantastic. And of course all of these links will be in the show notes at if you want to spend a little bit more time and get to know and see Elisa’s work but of course you can go to Instagram and the website that she just mentioned. Alright. Well, thank you so much. This has been a blast, Elisa, I hope you had fun. Thank you for coming on the show.

Elisa Valentini  33:11  
Thank you so much for having me.

Michelle Khouri  33:18  
Holy moly. I mean, producer Enna, really had to step in on this one to stop the conversation because talking to Elisa was like talking to a kindred spirit. It was almost like a mirror. It’s like, we look similar. We act similarly we have interesting similarities with our backgrounds. It was so uplifting. And I really, really hope that she left you with a sense of chutzpah and a sense of courage to be your authentic dang self. I am sending you so much love. Until next time, keep it classy. Keep it curious. Keep it Cultured.