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Inspiring Conversations with Elisabetta Perfetti Covizzi of EC2 Art Conservation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elisabetta Perfetti Covizzi.

Hi Elisabetta, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in Milan, Italy.

I owe my passion for art to my dad, who took me as a child to museums and exhibitions. My fondest memories are of my dad and I walking through museum galleries and talking about what we were seeing. It was during one of these excursions in my teenage years that I started to consider becoming an art conservator. I feel fortunate to have been born in Italy, a country that possesses possibly the greatest number of masterpieces in the world and was therefore fundamental in shaping my understanding of art and my passion to care for it.

I also feel fortunate to have spent my formative years in Italy’s unparalleled conservation training environment and subsequent work opportunities. After completing my specialized studies in Art Conservation in Florence, my job took me to various locations through Italy and Europe, where I worked on numerous artworks from some of the most important Renaissance masters to Gothic painters to Roman Frescoes.

In the winter of 2016, I relocated to Los Angeles and started my business. Moving to LA has challenged me to somehow get out of that comfort zone where, career-wise, I lived for over 25 years. The art, business practices, and approach to the field are different here, and I needed real flexibility in order to succeed. Jumping from old Masters to more modern and contemporary artwork, like that which I have the pleasure to treat here in the U.S., requires a deep knowledge of different styles and materials and an ability to find creative solutions to unprecedented conservation requirements, but I am enjoying the challenge.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Art Conservation as a profession, in and of itself, is a challenge. Every piece of art is unique, and therefore your approach must change according to the nature of the artwork. Once you’ve began, you have to prepare for the unexpected. Obviously, in the span of my 28-year career, I faced constant challenges, but the keys for me are an open mind, patience, and that Positive Mental Attitude.

As you know, we’re big fans of EC2 Art Conservation. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
EC2 Art Conservation is a partnership I founded with Ermanno Carbonara. We have over 50 years of cumulative experience in frescoes, mural paintings, canvas paintings, mosaics, architectural surfaces, and sculptures. We were both born and trained in Italy, and we have spent most of our career working for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cultural institutions, museums as well as public and private organizations. We decided to join forces in 2017 after working together on several large scale projects in the United States.

In Los Angeles, we have been fortunate enough to work on very important and historic landmarks such as The Watts Towers of Simon Rodia, Frescoes, including America Tropical by David Alfaro Siqueiros and the restoration of the long lost 1920’s Chinoiserie murals in the lobby of the historic Nirvana building in Hollywood. We are currently concentrating our energies on the detachment and relocation of 14 frescoes inside the school of medicine at UCSF.

We are devoted to the conservation and restoration of art, public and private. Our Company also offers additional services such as risk management, disaster planning, and recovery, so important in areas affected by fire like California.

Leveraging our international training and experience, we always strive to achieve the highest standard of excellence through a combination of cutting-edge technology, more than half a century of combined experience, and a strong emphasis on research and scholarship.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
As an art conservator dealing with monumental art and big scale paintings or sculptures, the best advice I could give to somebody who is planning to enter this specific field is to make sure they are not afraid of heights. It may sound like a strange thing to say but I can guarantee you don’t want to invest years of study and money just to find out you can’t climb a tall scaffold. Being suspended at high elevation can be terrifying for some people and sometimes you can’t know until you actually have to do it. My advice is to go up on a skyscraper or a tall rooftop and see how you feel and then apply to Conservation school.

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Image Credits:

Nandi Dill Jordan Viola Perfetti Brian Feinzimer

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