Ask the artist: Giuliano Giuggioli

I have been following and studying the artistic poetics of Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli for many years. I still clearly remember with how much admiration I observed his canvases for the first time at an art fair I visited when I was still only a student of art history: it was a real thunderbolt, an artistic stroke. The expressive subtlety of the Tuscan master’s art reaches even the most inattentive audience thanks to the intelligent and well-studied surreal and metaphysical games staged on the canvas. It is therefore a source of great pride to have the opportunity to represent him in Netherlands with the project Contemporary Italian Art in the Netherlands.

Born in Vetulonia and now living in Follonica, in the province of Grosseto in Tuscany, since his childhood Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli has shown his artistic talent and, thanks to a varied training, his production ranges from large oil paintings to sanguine, from techniques on paper and wood to frescoes and murals, passing through ceramics, etchings, serigraphs, lithographs and sculptures. Since his debut in 1972, Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli has been present and active on the Italian and international art scene and his works are in numerous public and private collections in Italy, America, China, Switzerland and Portugal; moreover, his canvases are permanently exhibited at the gallery he has been holding for many years in Follonica, at the Galerie Zabbeni in Vevey, Switzerland, at Dennis Rae Fine Art in San Francisco, and from 2020 at the Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde, Netherlands.

But let’s get to the heart of the interview to understand more about what the Maestro thinks:

As a first question I would like to ask you: What is ART for Giuliano Giuggioli? I know it’s a simple and complex question at the same time so feel free to take your time to answer…

It is very simple for me to answer you: ‘ART IS MY LIFE’. I live of art and for art. I dream, think, study, get excited and produce art. It is an all-embracing thing.

You are an artist who lives by his art, a very cultured artist, thoughtful but also playful: why did you take the path of Surrealism? What is the purpose of your painting? I guess you want to bring deep messages, but in a world where superficiality is taking over, do you think the public can decipher the cryptic and hidden “games” in your artwork? Explain.

I am like children who are very serious and committed when they play and like children I try to learn by playing. I use ‘irony’, which intrigues me because under a metaphor, often joking, very serious concepts are conveyed. I am much less interested in ‘provocation’ for its own sake. Surrealism lends itself to my stories, which often border on the metaphysical. I do not pretend to be understood, I am content to provoke doubt and mystery in the hope that these will predispose the observer to make his own reflections. When this happens, I am happy.

Looking at your past art catalogues and then looking at the now ‘dated’ works, one can see how they are still extremely current and contemporary (it is precisely because of this characteristic that you will become part of art history alongside the great masters). How can you predict the future?

I pretend to make “timeless” works (this is why I often chase after Myth) that allow me to tell a sort of “Circular Time” where all the things that have happened happen cyclically. Past – present – future, become a single thing, easy to predict.

How are you experiencing this historical period caused by the pandemic? Has art given you a way to escape the restrictions you suffered in 2020? Are there any future projects or painting cycles you are working on?

I try to live the pandemic in the best possible way. It has taken a lot from us but it has given us more time to reflect, it has forced us to slow down and question ourselves. I use this time to concentrate with fewer distractions and produce works without haste and… without time.

This is a question I love to ask artists as, being an art historian, I am particularly attached to history: if you had the chance to be reincarnated as an artist from the past, which one would you choose and why?

This question is difficult to answer! I am an omnivore of art and I feed on the works of many artists of the past! Choosing one… is a challenge! But I don’t want to shy away from giving an answer, so… I choose Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. In addition to his splendid painting technique, I have always been fascinated by his determination to experiment with colours and synthesis, and I have paid for it with the contempt of public opinion, which did not understand the evolution of his mature works. Rich and famous as a young man and poor and forgotten as an old man by his contemporaries. It takes great courage to renounce wealth and honours in order to go all the way in his pictorial research just to satisfy his own expressive needs. His masterpieces are great because Rembrandt the Man is great.

I would like to thank Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli for the time dedicated to us. I would like to remind you that his works can be seen on the website criticoarte.org (Giuliano Giuggioli – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org) ) and you can see them personally at the Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Holland, after booking due to Covid-19 restrictions. To make an appointment, simply write to: elisavosmanzoni@gmail.com

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