As an old Italian saying goes, “Time flies”, and indeed we have already reached the fourth appointment of the “Ask the artist” column. Today we have the pleasure of having as our guest Gianluca Cremonesi, a young artist from Ripalta Cremasca (a town near Milan), whom I met almost by chance about three years ago in Treviglio (in the province of Bergamo): his works immediately attract even the most distracted observer, thanks to their profound emotional artistic value and the great and precise technique of oil painting. It is not surprising that Gianluca Cremonesi’s art can already be found in private collections in Italy, the United States, Japan, Canada, Finland, England, Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa. And now his aim is to make himself known in the Netherlands as well: it is precisely for this reason that he accepted with great enthusiasm right from the start to become part of the Contemporary Italian Art in the Netherlands project. The painter from Lombardy has always been interested in the world of art and, after various artistic experiments and thanks to his passion for nature, realist oil painting has definitively conquered his heart: in this last period, Gianluca Cremonesi’s favourite subject is the sea, a sea in continuous evolution and symbol of the infinite and the unknown, which arouses contrasting emotions and sensations and which shows the spirit of the artist.
We now come to the questions to get to know Gianluca Cremonesi in more depth:
What is Gianluca Cremonesi, the artist, thinking while he paints? What kind of world is he in when he picks up his brush and mixes colours on the palette?
I must say that the answer is partly contained in the question: you ask me what kind of world I find myself in while I am painting, well this is the secret, while I am painting I live in a world of my own, a peaceful, tranquil world, where there is only me with my colours and a canvas on which to tell my emotions, sometimes I can immerse myself so much in the canvas that I do not even notice what is happening around me, as if a metre from the easel the world becomes blurred.
You are the painter of WATER and your seas are all different: why did you choose this subject, so difficult to execute, for your artistic production?
I think it was the sea that chose me in the end! I have been passionate about art since I was a boy and I have tried many techniques and artistic expressions, I have painted many different subjects; After several years in which I painted mainly subjects inspired by Japan and its traditions, one day while painting a view of Okinawa (one of the many islands of Japan) I found myself painting waves and something clicked in me, a sort of lightning bolt, as if painting the waves was natural and gave me good feelings … from there I have not stopped! Obviously there is a deep love for nature, for the sea in particular, which for me is a metaphor for life: the waves of the sea are comparable to the life of a man, they are born, grow, reach their peak and then inevitably roll towards the last act embracing the beach, thus making way for the next wave; we humans are a bit like that, we must live our “race” in the best way!
The sea could also be expressed in other art forms, such as sculpture, and in other styles, such as abstract: what does figurative oil painting have over other art forms?
I love all art forms and artistic expressions, but I find that oil painting has an edge for me. From a strictly technical point of view, I can say that oil paints have a particular brilliance and luminosity. Knowing the degree of coverage of the colours, you can create glazes, i.e. more or less transparent layers of colour, to ensure depth and brilliance and make the subjects come alive and realistic. Over the years I have developed a very personal painting technique, the basis of which goes back to the technique developed in the 15th century by the Flemish, who were in fact the first to proceed with successive layers of colour. From an emotional point of view, I can tell you that the choice of realism is essentially due to personal taste. I find that pictorial realism conveys direct, simple emotions to me, there is no need for strange lucubrations or interpretations. The subjects are simple, perhaps someone will say banal, but they give immediate and profound sensations.
Let’s talk about the future. You have already created small works of art and even bookmarks so that you can always carry your works with you: are you planning a change of direction for 2021, perhaps with the creation of very large works of art, or a real merchandising campaign?
I would say both! I am preparing a series of rather large canvases, very thick, 70 x 140 cm, which allow me to create subjects with a strong impact; the idea is to prepare several of them in anticipation of my next solo exhibition, which I will define at the end of this particular period. At the same time I would like to continue to create miniature works on small canvases or small boards, as well as works on paper and bookmarks; the aim is to have original hand-painted works with the same skill as the major works but cheap and affordable for everyone to allow anyone to have a small sea to take with them or to put on their desk in the office to colour their days.
Last question and perhaps the most intimate. Why are you an artist and in particular a painter? How important has art been in your life and especially in 2020, a catastrophic year for the whole world because of Covid-19?
This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer…. I think it is something innate, deeply rooted in me. As I said before, art has always attracted me, as soon as I had a pencil in my hand I started drawing and messing around, I enjoyed reproducing the covers of the rock records that accompanied me in my adolescence, or portraying the heroes of films or comics. Basically, for me it has always been a need, an outlet, a way to express myself and it still is, perhaps in a more mature and meditated way, but the spirit is always the same and I will never lose the desire to evolve and learn, curiosity is the basis of my passion. Art has saved me many times from sad and difficult moments, especially in 2020, when the lockdown and the pandemic has affected and limited us, art has allowed me to “travel” with my imagination and to vent all the doubts and fears related to this terrible situation. Thanks to people like you, art has not stopped and will not stop! Good art to everyone!
I would like to sincerely thank Gianluca Cremonesi for his kind intervention that has allowed us to make his artistic poetics known and, above all, I would like to thank him for the trust and support he transmits to the Contemporary Italian Art project in Holland. I invite you to take a look at the page dedicated to him on the website criticoarte.org where you can find the works present in the Netherlands: Gianluca Cremonesi – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org)