We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Canali and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robert, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk, like many things is life is subjective. Whenever I find myself in situations which feel “risky” I reflect on the fact that not taking that risk is just as much of one. The unknown is an intimidating space to navigate but often a rewarding one. The concept of relinquishing control and embracing the unknown largely informs my practice and the questions I am trying to answer in my work. While we cannot be certain of anything in life, we rely on our lived experiences to inform our perspective of the challenges we choose to face and how we face them. In my life, choosing to pursuit art as a career felt less like a risk and more like an acknowledgment of self. To some a career in the arts is very risky, but for me it was a response to what felt like my purpose. I suppose you can say that choosing myself was one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken and it remains a constant exercise as part of my personal growth.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My artistic practice and career is constantly evolving. Creative expression has always been a part of my vocabulary and my artwork a language used to communicate my thoughts. I employ large format film photography, sculpture, site specific installations, and artist books as conduits to explore my curiosities and as a way to share my findings with the world.

My creative journey has not always been an easy one but I feel that the limitations I encountered along the way have informed some of my most meaningful projects. I make work about the human condition and challenge myself to reconsider my perspective of my perspective. It is a constant exploration of self and an exercise in relinquishing control and embracing the unknown. I find myself searching for moments that look like they feel like something – what the architect Christopher Alexander referred to as, “the quality without a name”. This is a pursuit in search of harmony – those intangible moments in life which move you, challenge you, and inspire you.

Much of my work is an exercise in seeing and an opportunity to reimagine what we think we know or understand. I don’t often reveal much in way of an answer to the questions I am asking, but rather arrive at more question through the process of making my artwork. I share the byproduct of my process in galleries and museums around the world and invite my audience to find their own meaning within my work and use the experience as a point of departure for their own curiosities.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite things about San Francisco is the cities proximity to nature and my preferred way to explore its stunning landscape is via motorcycle. Should my friend feel comfortable, we would begin our journey with a motorcycle ride around the city, across the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate and everywhere in between.

Our first stop might be at Saint Frank on Polk for an espresso and pastry to start the day. After we cover some ground and see most of the cities monuments on the road; Coit Tower, Transbay, Sutro Tower and baths, Bernal Heights, Presidio…etc. We would land in the mission for lunch to indulge in some of the finest Mexican cuisine outside of Mexico – a sort of choose your own adventure as we navigate from taqueria to taqueria.

Once we’re full we might spend some time at a few museums and galleries. The Legion of Honor is a personal favorite – a stunning classical building with a courtyard that greets you with Rodin’s, ‘Thinker’ and a view of the Golden Gate Bridge that is just as spectacular as the collection within. A trip to The De Young might be next, followed by SFMOMA and some artist run and commercial spaces at Minnesota Street Projects.

The day wouldn’t be complete without a few beverages and a great meal. We might start with a glass of natural wine at Ruby or El Chato in Potrero Hill or make a trip to Habibi in Russian Hill. From there we might satisfy our hunger with some Italian at Itria or take a trip to France for a spectacular prix fixe menu at Mijote. We’d then make our way to Bar Part Time for some more wine and dancing and round out the night with a final at True Laurel or Trick Dog.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends and anyone who has donated their time to my conceptual/existential ramblings. And of course my audience and anyone who has spent time with my work in exhibition or felt compelled enough to include my work in their collection and support my practice.

Website: http://www.robertcanali.com/

Instagram: @robertcanali https://www.instagram.com/robertcanali/?hl=en

Twitter: @robertcanali https://twitter.com/robertcanali?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rob.canali

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