Sandra Rigali was born in Lucca in 1965 and has always lived in Barga, the Tuscan village that Giovanni Pascoli has chosen as a beloved home, appropriating and infusing himself with the spirit of the place, today the custodian of its material and cultural traces.
In this cradle, Sandra begins to draw already at school, during lessons and at any other time of the day, filling any paper surface first with pencil or ink figures, then with charcoal faces, in an explicitly dedicated daily practice, portraying friends and people around her.
Right from the start, the artist conveys the different techniques deriving from other related disciplines, especially from the specialization in restoration with the use of plaster, bolus and other materials, to give materiality to his backgrounds already starting from the preparation of the support, on which clearly recognizable figures or floating still lifes stand out, made of signs of pure color.
Back in Barga, she immediately opened the artist's studio to continue painting, obtaining a first response from the local public thanks to an exhibition that allows her to keep her research alive, mixed up between routine commitments and alternating life events. .
Her vocation for the dissemination and sharing of art is already manifested during her academic career when, since 1986, she has participated as an expert in the various Image Education workshops at the schools of the Municipalities of Gallicano, Barga and Castelnuovo Garfagnana, in the province from Lucca.
In 1997 she was co-founder of the ArteFare Cultural Association, to promote cultural initiatives in institutions and schools.
The female nude is a central theme in his research.
In contrast to a representation of the body idealized according to current beauty standards, with a palette of colors linked to the land (and the territory), Sandra Rigali instead describes truthful and credible forms that a woman can grasp in the natural, solid and physical meaning. of inhabiting a female body that is spent in self-defense and procreation, in life against death.
She also revisits the Tuscan landscape tradition of the 1930s and 1940s, impressing her sensibility as a woman and all the grit of the new millennium on the subjects in bold colors, which emerge impetuously from the backgrounds, shouting her point of view in the foreground.
In 2000, on the strength of an irrepressible existential need that has strengthened over time, overcoming the many obstacles of an environment studded with prejudices, Sandra Rigali takes up painting with both hands. A first permanent exhibition space was born in Barga, called The Art Room. The Cenacle, where the artist conveys a large part of his activity, slowing down the commitments of teaching.
In these years, Sandra Rigali's nudes are gradually enriched with the bright colors of landscapes and still lifes, acquiring a more markedly portraiture derivation and a temporal dimension that is actualized thanks to newspaper fragments, increasingly present in the composition together with the apparition of the first handwritten words, which will soon infect the artist's entire production.
With renewed vigor, in 2014 the artist collaborated on a temporary space in Piazza Angelio in the form of a free summer lounge, without special labels, to talk to the public about art, literature and history.
In 2015, S / HE sees the light, a solo exhibition that encompasses all of Sandra Rigali's female imagery, from nude to portrait to flower, from full classical shapes to more subtle ones, from strong earthy hues to markedly bright colors.
In 2017 the portrait returns to become central and becomes pop with Magnifiche Presenze, a project that takes up the glories of the Italian poetic, literary and musical tradition, in the figure of the fellow citizen poet Giovanni Pascoli in dialogue with the author Gabriele D'Annunzio and with the composer Giacomo Puccini.
Rigali tells his personal and collective story, updating the instances of a past that is still extremely alive, thanks to the verbal-visual clippings that dot the painted icons.
Always keeping her studio in Barga, in 2019 Sandra Rigali also opens Arte al 24 in the historic center of Lucca, at 24 in Chiasso Barletti, one of the most vital crossroads in the city.
He has also exhibited in Chicago, London, Pietrasanta, Milan, presented John Bellany, Graziella Cosimini, Beba Marsano, Luca Nannipieri, Annalisa Salvi, Franca Severini, Birgit Urmsen.