Elisa Cantarelli Italian, b. 1981


Elisa Cantarelli (1981) is from Fidenza, Italy.

She was a lively and creative child. Her primary school teacher preferred to teach applied art instead of literature or history, and this was probably her first Art influence. At 9 she discovered basketball and fell in love with this wonderful sport. At 15, she attended the Art Institute in Parma and, at the same time, she was selected to play in the strongest team in the city. Basketball becomes a professional commitment and takes up most of her free time. Despite this, Elisa manages to find time and energy for the study. She joined an Art high school in Parma and then the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna in 2001. The Professor Claudio Rosi Degli Esposti, her tutor and mentor, helped to bring out her best, supporting and encouraging her. 

It was the Spring of 2004 when she started to drop some dots on a photocopied image of her eye and she never stopped since: "dotting" was born. After her BA in Fine Arts and her winning the National Prize of Arts (Decoration), her work was exhibited at the Bologna Art Fair 2007, a key moment in her life. From that moment, she started working with galleries both in Italy and Tokyo. In 2009 she moved to London where she lives and works.

"Dotting" is the name of the technique that distinguishes her works and her research of new subjects is constantly evolving.

It is a meditative and therapeutic process: the drops falling, colour on colour, shade on shade, to create a three-dimensional texture of dots, which engages the viewer from a visual perception to a tactile one. The artist loves combining "her dots" with different media, 

experimenting on different and unconventional supports, stretching the boundaries to see how far her art can go.

Dotting is an evolution of Cantarelli’s favourite childhood games: puzzles and colouring books, as an unusual way to colour using drops of paint, becoming dots to compose a picture, like pieces of a puzzle.

Elisa's desire is to always create something new by combining his "dots" with other media and supports (fabric, wood, plastic, metals). Passion and positive attitude on the one hand, competition and discipline learned on the basketball courts on the other, are impressed in her personality and works.


Since 2006 Elisa Cantarelli has taken part in solo and group exhibitions in Italy, UK, Germany, France, Hong Kong and South Korea. Her works has been exhibited at major Art Fairs like Art First Bologna, Paris Photo, Art Fair Tokyo, Art Verona, Art Padova, Affordable Art Fair (Milan - Hamburg - Hong Kong).

Her latest work was "We are Plastic | Message in a Bottle", a temporary public installation between art and recycling for Parma Capital of Italian Culture 2020-21.