With each new show, Giovanelli seeks to set “a compelling mood for contemplation.” She knows that the viewers’ relationship with the paintings is beyond her control and thrives on that dynamic. “The work should take them to a new mindset, and if that is not the same place I imagine in my head, that’s okay,” she said. The open-ended nature of her work is entirely intentional; she avoids being too illustrative, which could “leave nowhere for the viewers to go.”
Unsurprisingly, Giovanelli is a cinephile and approaches her work with cinematic effects in mind, from the content of her paintings to the final impact. She’s previously made paintings of Tippi Hedren’s terrified expression in Alfred Hitchock’s 1963 thriller The Birds and the victim in the 1960 British cult horror Peeping Tom. In both cases, she was interested in the flicker of emotional transition on the subject’s face.
“After a good film, you feel changed, but you cannot put your finger on why,” Giovanelli said. She builds her own narratives with her favorite directors in mind—“those who use the screen to make slowly moving paintings,” she described, offering Andrei Tarkovsky as an example. She’s interested in the durational and psychological differences between looking at a painting and watching a film.