Ask the artist: Elisabetta Maistrello

We open this Spring 2021 with the Chromatic Eccentrism of Elisabetta Maistrello, born in Vicenza but resident in Padua for a long time, who makes the colour palette explode in her female portraits. With her sensitivity and thanks to her technical precision, the artist has arrived at a pictorial synthesis of undeniable charm and gives life to figurative works of strong visual and emotional impact. The sumptuous use of the material, the careful luminous vibrations and the rapid, instinctive and expressionistic gesture given by the perfect combination of spatula strokes, decisive and harmonious, and light touches on the tip of the brush, make Elisabetta Maistrello’s artistic production of wide international scope. Already known in America, Russia, China and France, the Italian artist is now present in the Netherlands with the Contemporary Italian Art in Netherlands project supported by the Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde.

But let us finally move on to the interview:

You are a child of the goldsmith world and, although you are a goldsmith yourself, you also express yourself in painting: how and when did your love for pictorial art, and particularly for female portraits, come about?

In a word, atypical. I am what you call a self-taught artist. I have always felt a vein of art pulsing in my blood. I breathed in the art of goldsmithing thanks to the family business from a very young age and over time I expressed this creativity in jewellery making. But painting is my true artistic nature. I did not attend any academies or art schools; however, I felt a strong desire to undertake studies, so I turned to Vincenzo Ursoleo, a master from Vicenza, and I was his pupil for four years. I also experimented with Luigi Pellanda’s hyperrealism, but realising from the start that it was not my genre, I took home many ideas for what would become my personal art form. I was looking for my own stylistic vein and studying the greats of the past I realised that some resonated with me more than others, I had to understand why. With time I found my mood, my stylistic code that expresses well who I am and what I want to communicate with my works. I have always defined myself as an expressionist, an instinctive and gestural artist. I have created a neologism with my works that I have called Chromatic Eccentris.

In your canvases you represent women and their multi-faceted souls, but who inspires you? Do you have models? Tell us about your protagonists…

My favourite subject is the portrait of a woman with which I convey the range of emotions known to us. When a person looks at one of my works they are not looking for subliminal messages, they read themselves as I read the emotion that drove me to make that particular face. In every painting there is a hidden me that comes out of the unconscious. Everyone can identify with what they feel the moment they look at it and, strange as it may seem, it could change from one day to the next. It is no coincidence that I always paint portraits, it could be called an obsession and that is why I wanted to do some research. Scholars of the psyche have defined it as an inordinate desire to search for the self. It can really be a journey of my unconscious to search for emotions that I do not recognise, parts of myself that have been hidden until now. I believe that every artist, while painting, travels a road within himself, everything can be defined as a self-portrait of the soul, even a landscape painting, an abstract work or an expressionist painting. There are no studies behind my paintings, no particular characters that inspire me or circumstances that enlighten me. I paint when my instinct tells me to, and it just so happens that my instinct always comes from my deepest self.

Let’s talk about your painting technique, which is constantly evolving, as your latest production demonstrates. Your art is figurative and you prefer an expressionistic manner: what does colour mean to you? How do you choose the colours for your subjects? How do you apply it?

The importance of colour is stated in the very name I have chosen for my painting style, “Chromatic Eccentrism”, an expression that combines the centrifugal thrust of the brushstrokes with the power of colour. The brushstrokes are short and thick, often textured, and seem to recall on a large scale the delicate strokes of the chisel, a tool I used in my previous career as a gold and silver jeweller. I have translated the characteristics of this age-old art into painting, transforming the chisel into the fine brush that carves and digs into the black of the eyes, and leaving the white, which seems to emerge in relief, the task of giving light to the gaze and the entire figure. With a quick gesture and in an instinctive way, I apply touches of colour to the canvas, giving form to the formless. Here there is no need for contour lines, except for the barely visible ones that form the shadow of the face. Then the volume creates itself. The colour is loose, without form, pasty and tenacious on the canvas, but held together by a force that forces it into form and makes it emerge from the monochrome background, mostly light, which can be glimpsed below and behind the figure as an additional colour. I do not choose the colour, it is the colour that chooses me in an unconscious and instinctive way.

Your portraits are in great demand overseas. Have you ever had a particular commission, perhaps on a different medium? You could become a contemporary “Rosalba Carriera”…

I receive a lot of requests, but no one has ever asked for a particular medium because it is in keeping with my style at the time. On the other hand, I am the one who never stops experimenting and studying new techniques; to date, I have used various supports from canvas to vitrified aluminium and other materials.
It would be a great honour to become a contemporary “Rosalba Carriera”, she is an artist I appreciate very much but I do not consider myself at her very high level.

You founded the “Arte in Movimento” project to bring your art onto the street. Would you tell readers what it is about?

The project is ARTE DA INDOSSARE, ARTE IN MOVIMENTO (ART TO WEAR, ART IN MOVEMENT), which is an outfit that you wear and then frame when you feel it’s time to do so. It is not a garment but a real work of art, hand-painted, certified, numbered and unique (each hand-painted image is unique and is not repeated in any other garment). Practically, by wearing a painting, you become an integral part of the work and, together with me, you become the promoter of ARTE IN MOVIMENTO: not a static work of art hanging on a wall, but a work of art that walks in the streets, in the streets, in the squares; wherever you want. This idea was born with an emotional sale in mind, and to restore a symbolic value to contemporary art.

Thanking Elisabetta Maistrello for her total availability, I would like to remind readers that they can also view the artist’s works on the website criticoarte.org Elisabetta Maistrello – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni, and below you will find a video showing the Art to Wear project.

Domanda all’artista: Elisabetta Maistrello

Inauguriamo questa Primavera 2021 con l’Eccentrismo Cromatico di Elisabetta Maistrello, vicentina di nascita ma residente a Padova da molto tempo, che fa esplodere la tavolozza dei colori nei suoi ritratti femminili. Con la sua sensibilità e grazie alla precisione tecnica, l’artista è arrivata ad una sintesi pittorica di innegabile fascino che dà vita ad opere figurative di forte impatto visivo ed emotivo. L’uso sontuoso della materia, le attente vibrazioni luminose ed il gesto rapido, istintivo ed espressionistico dato dalla perfetta combinazione di spatolate, decise ed armoniose, e di leggeri tocchi in punta di pennello, rendono di ampio respiro internazionale la produzione artistica di Elisabetta Maistrello. Già conosciuta in America, in Russia, in Cina, in Francia ed in Spagna l’artista italiana è oggi presente sul territorio Olandese con il progetto Arte Italiana Contemporanea in Olanda sostenuto dalla Manzoni Kunst Galerie a Oosterwolde.

Ma passiamo finalmente all’intervista:

Sei figlia d’arte del mondo orafo e, pur essendo orafa anche tu, ti esprimi anche nella pittura: come e quando è nato l’amore per l’arte pittorica e particolarmente per il ritratto femminile?

In una parola, atipico. Sono quella che si definisce un’artista autodidatta. Ho sempre sentito nel sangue una vena d’arte che pulsava. Ho respirato l’arte orafa grazie all’azienda di famiglia fin da piccina e con il tempo questa creatività l’ho espressa nella creazione di gioielli. Ma è la pittura la mia vera natura artistica. Non ho frequentato accademie o scuole d’arte; eppure, ho sentito forte il desiderio di intraprendere degli studi, così mi sono affidata al Maestro vicentino Vincenzo Ursoleo e per quattro anni sono stata una sua allieva. Ho sperimentato anche l’iperrealismo di Luigi Pellanda ma, capendo sin da subito che non era il mio genere, mi sono comunque portata a casa tanti spunti per quella che sarebbe diventata la mia forma personale d’arte. Per sopperire alla mancanza accademica ho divorato un sacco di libri d’arte, ero alla ricerca della mia vena stilistica e studiando i grandi del passato mi rendevo conto che alcuni mi risuonavano dentro più di altri, dovevo capire il perché. Con il tempo ho trovato il mio mood, il mio codice stilistico che esprime bene chi sono e cosa voglio comunicare con le mie opere. Mi sono sempre definita un’espressionista, un’istintiva e gestuale. Ho creato un neologismo grazie alle mie opere che ho chiamato Eccentrismo Cromatico. 

Nelle tue tele rappresenti la donna e la sua anima multi sfaccettata ma chi ti ispira? Hai delle modelle? Raccontaci delle tue protagoniste…

Il soggetto che prediligo è il ritratto di donna con cui trasmetto la gamma di emozioni a noi note. Quando una persona osserva una mia opera non cerca messaggi subliminali, legge sé stessa come io leggo l’emozione che mi ha spinto a fare quel volto particolare. In ogni dipinto c’è una me celata che esce dall’inconscio. Ognuno può immedesimarsi con ciò che sente nell’attimo in cui la osserva e, sembra strano, però potrebbe cambiare da un giorno all’altro. Non è un caso che dipinga sempre ritratti, potrebbe essere definita un’ossessione e per questo motivo ho voluto fare delle ricerche. Gli studiosi della psiche ne hanno dato una definizione affermando che il ritratto sia un desiderio smodato di ricerca del sé. Può davvero essere un viaggio del mio inconscio il cercare emozioni che non riconosco, parti di me ad oggi celate. Credo che ogni artista mentre dipinge percorre una strada dentro sé stesso, tutto può essere definito un autoritratto dell’anima, anche un quadro di un paesaggio, un opera astratta o un dipinto espressionista. Non ci sono studi dietro un mio quadro, nessun personaggio in particolare che mi ispiri o circostanze che mi possano illuminare. Dipingo quando l’istinto me lo richiede e guarda caso l’istinto parte sempre dall’Io più profondo.

Parliamo della tua tecnica pittorica che è in continua evoluzione come dimostra la tua ultima produzione. La tua arte è figurativa e prediligi la maniera espressionistica: cosa significa per te il colore? Come scegli i colori per i tuoi soggetti? Come lo stendi?

L’importanza del colore è dichiarata nel nome stesso che io ho scelto per il mio stile pittorico, “Eccentrismo cromatico”, espressione che unisce la spinta centrifuga delle pennellate alla potenza del colore. Le pennellate sono brevi e spesse, spesso materiche, e sembrano richiamare su larga scala i colpi delicati del cesello, strumento che io ho usato nella mia carriera precedente di orafa dell’oro e dell’argento. Ho tradotto nel campo pittorico le caratteristiche di quest’arte millenaria trasformando il cesello nel pennello fine che incide e scava il nero degli occhi, e lasciando al bianco, che sembra emergere in rilievo, il compito di donare luce allo sguardo e all’intera figura. Con gesto rapido e in modo istintivo, applico tocchi di colore sulla tela, dando forma all’informe. Qui non c’è bisogno di linee di contorno, se non di quelle appena accennate che costituiscono l’ombra del viso. Poi il volume si crea da sé. Il colore è sfatto, senza forma, pastoso e tenace sulla tela, ma tenuto insieme da una forza che lo costringe in forma e lo fa emergere dallo sfondo monocromo, per lo più chiaro, che si intravede sotto e dietro la figura come un colore aggiuntivo. Non scelgo il colore è il colore che sceglie me in una forma inconscia ed istintiva.

I tuoi ritratti sono molto richiesti anche oltre oceano. Ti è mai capitata una commissione particolare, magari su un supporto diverso? Potresti diventare “Rosalba Carriera” contemporanea…

Richieste ne ricevo moltissime ma mai nessuno ha mai chiesto supporti particolari perché si attengono al mio stile del momento. D’altro canto, sono io che non smetto mai di sperimentare e studiare tecniche nuove, ad oggi ho utilizzato vari supporti dalla tela all’alluminio vetrificato e ad atri materiali. Sarebbe un grande onore diventare “Rosalba Carriera” contemporanea, è un’artista che apprezzo molto ma non mi ritengo al suo altissimo livello.

Hai fondato il progetto “Arte in Movimento” per portare sulla strada la tua arte. Racconteresti ai lettori di cosa si tratta?

Il progetto è ARTE DA INDOSSARE, ARTE IN MOVIMENTO. Rappresenta un outfit che indossi e poi incornici quando senti che è il momento di farlo. Non è un indumento ma una vera e propria opera d’arte, dipinta a mano, certificata, numerata e unica (ogni immagine dipinta a mano è unica e non si ripete in nessun altro capo). Praticamente indossando un dipinto si diventa parte integrante dell’opera e promotrici assieme a me di ARTE IN MOVIMENTO. Non un’opera statica appesa solo ad una parete ma un’opera che cammina per le strade, nelle vie, nelle piazze; ovunque tu voglia. Questa idea è nata pensando a una vendita emozionale, e a restituire un valore simbolico all’arte contemporanea.

Ringraziando la totale disponibilità di Elisabetta Maistrello, ricordo ai lettori che potranno visionare le opere dell’artista anche sul sito criticoarte.org Elisabetta Maistrello – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org), e qui sotto troverete a vostra disposizione un video che mostra il progetto Art to Wear.

Vraag aan de kunstenaar: Giorgio Riva

Vandaag hebben we voor de rubriek Vraag aan de kunstenaar het genoegen de jonge Lombardische kunstenaar Giorgio Riva, geboren in ’75, te ontvangen, die sinds augustus 2020 met zijn symbolische en decoratieve werken deelneemt aan het project Hedendaagse Italiaanse Kunst in Nederland: drie jaar geleden ontmoet tijdens een kunstbeurs in Bergamo, heeft de Italiaanse kunstenaar onmiddellijk mijn kritische nieuwsgierigheid geprikkeld om zijn elegante, elegante en introverte stijl, die een verfijnde innerlijke rust uitstraalt en de emotionele persoonlijkheid van de schilder zelf volledig weerspiegelt. Na jaren van experimenteren met verschillende technieken, van pastel tot spuitbus, van Oost-Indische inkt tot olieverf, heeft Giorgio Riva zijn eigen persoonlijke stijl bereikt dankzij een mix van op verschillende niveaus gesuperponeerde technieken die altijd hout als basis gebruiken, een levend materiaal dat de interpretatie van de menselijke figuur stimuleert in een dromerige en transcendente versie die doet denken aan de Art Nouveau (1890-1910). In zijn werken worden ruimten in de tijd opgeschort en stralen zij rust en harmonie uit dankzij de kleur; daarbinnen wordt de symbolische en decoratieve figuur gedefinieerd door clair-obscur-structuren die gestructureerd worden door kleine herwerkte grafische oogjes die harmonie, formele schoonheid, introspectie en persoonlijke privacy symboliseren. De artistieke poëzie van Giorgio Riva is reeds bekend bij verzamelaars in Noord-Italië en in Amerika, waar Art Deco tot in de jaren veertig in zwang bleef. De kunstenaar is nu op Nederlands grondgebied aanwezig in de Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde.

Maar de tijd is gekomen om Giorgio Riva beter te leren kennen:

Vertel ons over je kunst. Hoe en wanneer ben je herboren als artiest?

Laten we zeggen dat ik me altijd een kunstenaar heb gevoeld, als kind droomde ik ervan schilder te worden, ik heb altijd uit noodzaak getekend, in de puberteit was het een manier om woede, angst en de angst van het opgroeien uit te drukken, de tekeningen uit die periode werden gemaakt op wit karton met zwarte inkt en waren nogal dramatisch. Op volwassen leeftijd was en is het een manier om mijn emoties uit te drukken en zin te geven aan mijn leven: de figuren die ik schilder zijn niet langer dramatisch, maar vertegenwoordigen in hun rust en vrede een soort psycho-fysiek evenwicht dat ik denk te hebben bereikt. In de loop van de tijd heb ik gezocht naar nieuwe uitdrukkingsvormen en nieuwe expressieve technieken, van waskrijt naar spuitbussen, naar olieverfschilderijen tot ik bijna bij toeval uitkwam bij de mengeling van technieken die ik vandaag nog steeds gebruik en die bestaat uit overlappende acrylverven en gekleurde pastels met als drager een houten plank die behandeld is met zeer verdunde acrylverf.

In uw panelen stelt u meestal mooie vrouwenfiguren voor met gesloten of halfopen ogen, waarom is dat? Wie inspireert je: heb je een inspirerende muze?

De vrouwen die ik schilder hebben vaak hun ogen dicht omdat ik ze graag vastleg in momenten van rust en innerlijke kalmte. Naast gesloten ogen wil ik de begrippen rust en gratie ook overbrengen door de gebaren van de handen en door de zwevende bewegingen van het haar. Een echte inspirerende muze bestaat niet, laten we zeggen dat wat mij inspireert een geïdealiseerde schoonheid is, en de vrouwelijke figuur is naar mijn mening de maximale expressie.

In je werk stopt de tijd en kom je in een toestand van kalmte en transcendentie. Volgt de kunstenaar Giorgio Riva deze filosofie ook in het echte leven?

Ik ben zeker een kalm en rustig persoon in het dagelijkse leven, laten we zeggen dat ik dat nog meer ben wanneer ik schilder, het is alsof ik in een creatieve luchtbel terechtkom waarin ik me van de wereld isoleer. Mijn favoriete tijd om te schilderen is ‘s avonds als alles om me heen rustig en stil is.

Hoe kiest u de juiste houten panelen? Wat betekent het om dit natuurlijke materiaal te gebruiken?

Voor mijn schilderijen is de houten drager essentieel, hout is een materiaal waar ik van hou en dat ik zeer goed ken. Ik gebruik meestal multiplexplaten van berken- of populierenhout. Wanneer ik een plank prepareer, kies ik zorgvuldig welke nerven ik in de bodem van mijn schilderijen wil invoegen. Zo kan ik gebruik maken van wat de natuur heeft geschapen, om beweging en pathos aan mijn schilderijen te geven.

Wat zie je in de nabije toekomst? Heb je nog projecten in je la liggen?

In de nabije toekomst droom ik ervan een tentoonstelling te organiseren op een magische locatie die, samen met mijn schilderijen, de bezoeker zal meevoeren in een droomachtige en tijdloze sfeer. Ik zou graag tentoonstellen in Berlijn en Dublin, twee steden waar ik erg van hou.

Ik dank Giorgio Riva oprecht voor de tijd die hij aan ons heeft besteed en voor het vertrouwen dat hij in het project heeft gesteld. Ik wil de lezers eraan herinneren dat zij de aan de kunstenaar gewijde pagina online kunnen bezoeken op http://www.criticoarte.org (Giorgio Riva – Italiaanse kunst van ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org)), of zijn werken rechtstreeks in de galerie kunnen komen bekijken door een afspraak te maken en een e-mail te sturen naar elisavosmanzoni@gmail.com.

Ask the artist: Giorgio Riva

Today, for the Ask the artist column, we have the pleasure of hosting the young Lombard artist Giorgio Riva, born in 1975, who has been participating in the Contemporary Italian Art in Netherlands project since August 2020 with his symbolic and decorative works: I met him three years ago during an art fair in the Bergamo area, and the Italian artist immediately aroused my critical curiosity for his elegant and introverted style, which conveys a refined inner calm and fully reflects the emotional personality of the painter himself. After years of experimenting with different techniques, from pastel to spray cans, from Indian ink to oil paint, Giorgio Riva has achieved his own personal style thanks to a mix of techniques superimposed on different levels that always use wood as a base, a living material that stimulates the interpretation of the human figure in a dreamlike and transcendental version reminiscent of Art Nouveau (1890-1910). In his works, spaces are suspended in time and convey calm and harmony thanks to colour; within these, the symbolic and decorative figure is defined by chiaroscuro structured by small reworked graphic eyelets that symbolise harmony, formal beauty, introspection and personal privacy. Giorgio Riva’s artistic poetics are already known among collectors in northern Italy and America where Art Deco remained in vogue until the 1940s. The artist is now present on Dutch territory in the Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde.

But the time has come to get to know Giorgio Riva better:

Tell us about your art. How and when were you reborn as an artist?

Let’s say that I have always felt like an artist, my dream as a child was to become a painter, I have always drawn out of necessity, in adolescence it was a way of expressing anger, fear, the anguish of growing up, the drawings of that period were made on white cardboard using black India ink and were quite dramatic. In adulthood it was, and is, a way to express my emotions and give meaning to my life: the figures I paint are no longer dramatic but represent in their calm and peace, a sort of psycho-physical balance that I believe I have achieved. Over time, I have searched for new expressions and new expressive techniques, moving from wax crayons to spray cans and oil painting until, almost by chance, I arrived at the mix of techniques that I still use today, which consists of superimposing acrylic colours and coloured pastels on a wooden board treated with very diluted acrylic colours.

Most of your panels feature beautiful female figures with closed or half-open eyes, why is that? Who inspires you: do you have an inspirational muse?

The women I paint often have their eyes closed because I like to capture them in moments of peace and inner calm. In addition to closed eyes, I also like to convey the concepts of calm and grace through the gestures of my hands and the floating movements of my hair. There is no real inspirational muse, let’s just say that what inspires me is an idealised beauty, and the female figure is in my opinion the ultimate expression.

In your works, time stands still and you enter a state of calm and transcendence. Does artist Giorgio Riva also follow this philosophy in real life?

I am certainly a calm and quiet person in everyday life, but when I paint I am even more so, it is as if I enter a creative bubble and isolate myself from the world. My favourite time to paint is in the evening when everything around me is calm and quiet.

How do you choose the right wood panels? What does it mean to use this natural material?

For my paintings, the wooden support is fundamental, wood is a material that I love and that I know very well. I usually use birch or poplar plywood panels. When I prepare a board, I carefully choose which grain to insert in the background of my paintings, this allows me to exploit what nature has created, to give movement and pathos to my paintings.

What do you see in the near future? Do you have any projects in the drawer?

In the near future, I dream of organising an exhibition in a magical location which, together with my paintings, will transport the visitor into a timeless, dreamlike atmosphere. I would love to exhibit in Berlin and Dublin, two cities that I love very much.

I sincerely thank Giorgio Riva for the time he has dedicated to us and for the trust he places in the project. I would like to remind readers that they can visit the page dedicated to the artist online at http://www.criticoarte.org (Giorgio Riva – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org)), or come and view his works directly in the gallery by making an appointment and sending an email to elisavosmanzoni@gmail.com.

Vraag aan de kustenaar: Giuliano Giuggioli

Ik volg en bestudeer de artistieke poëtica van Meester Giuliano Giuggioli al vele jaren. Ik herinner me nog goed met hoeveel bewondering ik zijn doeken voor het eerst zag op een kunstbeurs die ik bezocht toen ik nog maar een student kunstgeschiedenis was: het was een echte donderslag bij heldere hemel, een artistieke slag. De expressieve finesse van de kunst van de Toscaanse meester bereikt zelfs het meest onoplettende publiek dankzij de intelligente en goed bestudeerde surrealistische en metafysische spelletjes die op het doek worden opgevoerd. Het is dan ook een bron van grote trots hem in Nederland te mogen vertegenwoordigen met het project Hedendaagse Italiaanse Kunst in Nederland.

Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli, geboren in Vetulonia en nu woonachtig in Follonica, in de provincie Grosseto in Toscane, heeft sinds zijn kindertijd blijk gegeven van zijn artistieke talent en dankzij een gevarieerde opleiding varieert zijn produktie van grote olieverfschilderijen tot sanguine, van technieken op papier en hout tot fresco’s en muurschilderingen, via keramiek, etsen, zeefdrukken, litho’s en beeldhouwwerken. Sinds zijn debuut in 1972 is Meester Giuliano Giuggioli aanwezig en actief op de Italiaanse en internationale kunstscène en zijn werken bevinden zich in talrijke openbare en privécollecties in Italië, Amerika, China, Zwitserland en Portugal; bovendien worden zijn doeken permanent tentoongesteld in de galerie die hij sinds vele jaren in Follonica heeft, in de Galerie Zabbeni van Vevey in Zwitserland, in de Dennis Rae Fine Art van San Francisco, en vanaf 2020 in de Manzoni Kunst Galerie van Oosterwolde in Nederland.

Maar laten we nu naar de kern van het interview gaan om dieper te begrijpen wat de Maestro ervan vindt:

Als eerste vraag zou ik u willen stellen: Wat is ART voor Giuliano Giuggioli? Ik weet dat het een simpele en complexe vraag is, dus neem gerust de tijd om te antwoorden…

Ik kan u heel eenvoudig antwoorden: “KUNST IS MIJN LEVEN”. Ik leef van kunst en voor kunst. Ik droom, denk, studeer, raak opgewonden en produceer kunst. Het is een totaliserend iets.

U bent een kunstenaar die leeft van zijn kunst, een zeer gecultiveerd kunstenaar, bedachtzaam maar ook speels: hoe komt het dat u de weg van het surrealisme bent ingeslagen? Welk doel heeft je schilderij? Ik denk dat u diepe boodschappen wilt brengen, maar denkt u dat het publiek, in een wereld waar oppervlakkigheid de overhand neemt, de cryptische en verborgen “spelletjes” in uw kunstwerken kan ontcijferen? Leg uit.

Ik ben net als kinderen die heel serieus en betrokken zijn als ze spelen en net als kinderen probeer ik al spelend te leren. Ik gebruik “ironie”, wat mij intrigeert omdat het onder metaforen, vaak schertsend, zeer ernstige begrippen doet passeren. Ik ben veel minder geïnteresseerd in “provocatie” als een doel op zich. Surrealisme leent zich voor mijn verhalen die vaak grenzen aan het metafysische. Ik pretendeer niet begrepen te worden, ik stel mij tevreden met het opwekken van twijfels en mysteries in de hoop dat deze de waarnemer zullen aanzetten tot het maken van zijn eigen overwegingen. Als dat gebeurt ben ik blij.

Wanneer men uw kunstcatalogi uit het verleden bekijkt en dus de werken die nu “gedateerd” zijn observeert, kan men zien hoe actueel en eigentijds ze nog steeds zijn (het is dankzij deze eigenschap dat u naast de grote meesters deel zult gaan uitmaken van de kunstgeschiedenis). Hoe kun je de toekomst voorspellen?

Ik pretendeer “tijdloze” werken te maken (daarom ren ik vaak achter Myth aan) die mij in staat stellen een soort “circulaire tijd” te vertellen waarin alle dingen die gebeurd zijn cyclisch gebeuren. Verleden – heden – toekomst, worden een enkel ding, makkelijk te voorspellen.

Hoe ervaart u deze historische periode als gevolg van de pandemie? Heeft kunst u een manier gegeven om te ontsnappen aan de beperkingen die u in 2020 ondervond? Zijn er toekomstige projecten of schildercycli waar je aan werkt?

Ik probeer de pandemie zo goed mogelijk te doorstaan. Het heeft veel van ons gevergd, maar het heeft ons ook meer tijd gegeven om na te denken, het heeft ons gedwongen te vertragen en onszelf in vraag te stellen. Ik gebruik deze tijd om me te concentreren met minder afleiding en werk te produceren zonder haast en… zonder Tijd.

Dit is een vraag die ik kunstenaars graag stel, omdat ik als kunsthistoricus bijzonder verbonden ben met de geschiedenis: als je de kans had om te reïncarneren als een kunstenaar uit het verleden, welke zou je dan kiezen en waarom?

Deze vraag is moeilijk te beantwoorden! Ik ben een kunst-omnivoor en voed mij met de werken van zoveel kunstenaars uit het verleden! Kies er een… is een onderneming! Maar ik wil niet aarzelen om een antwoord te geven en dan… kies ik Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Naast het feit dat zijn prachtige schildertechniek mij fascineerde, heb ik altijd mijn geweten geschud over zijn vastberadenheid in het experimentele onderzoek van het opstellen van kleuren en synthese, waarbij ik hem betaalde met de minachting van de publieke opinie die de evolutie van zijn werken van rijpheid niet begreep. Rijk en beroemd als jonge man en arm en vergeten als oude man door zijn tijdgenoten. Er is veel moed voor nodig om af te zien van rijkdom en eer om tot het uiterste te gaan met het picturale onderzoek alleen maar om hun expressieve behoeften te bevredigen. Zijn meesterwerken zijn groot omdat Rembrandt de man groot is.

Ik dank meester Giuliano Giuggioli voor de tijd die hij voor ons vrijmaakt. Ik herinner u eraan dat zijn werken te zien zijn op de website criticoarte.org (Giuliano Giuggioli – Italiaanse kunst van ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org) ) en dat u ze persoonlijk kunt zien in de Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Nederland, na reservering in verband met Covid-19 beperkingen. Voor het maken van een afspraak kunt u schrijven naar: elisavosmanzoni@gmail.com

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

Domanda all’artista: Giuliano Giuggioli

E’ da molti anni che seguo e studio la poetica artistica del Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli. Ricordo ancora chiaramente con quanta ammirazione osservai per la prima volta le sue tele ad una fiera d’arte visitata quando ancora ero solo una studentessa di storia dell’arte: fu una vera e propria folgorazione, un colpo di fulmine artistico. La finezza espressiva dell’arte del Maestro toscano raggiunge anche il pubblico più disattento grazie ad intelligenti e ben studiati giochi surreali e metafisici messi in scena sulla tela. E’ quindi motivo di grande orgoglio potere avere l’occasione di rappresentarlo in Olanda con il progetto Arte Italiana Contemporanea in Olanda.

Nativo di Vetulonia ed oggi residente a Follonica, in provincia di Grosseto in Toscana, sino dall’infanzia il Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli ha mostrato il suo talento artistico e, grazie ad una formazione varia, la sua produzione spazia dai grandi dipinti ad olio alle sanguigne, dalle tecniche su carta e legno agli affreschi e ai murales, passando per ceramiche, acqueforti, serigrafie, litografie e sculture. Dal suo debutto nel 1972, il Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli è presente ed attivo sulla scena artistica italiana ed internazionale e le sue opere sono in numerose collezioni pubbliche e private in Italia, in America, in Cina, in Svizzera ed in Portogallo; inoltre le sue tele sono esposte permanentemente presso la galleria che tiene da molti anni a Follonica, nella Galerie Zabbeni di Vevey in Svizzera, nella Dennis Rae Fine Art di San Francisco, e dal 2020 presso la Manzoni Kunst Galerie di Oosterwolde in Olanda.

Ma passiamo ora al cuore dell’intervista per capire più approfonditamente cosa ne pensa il Maestro:

Come prima domanda vorrei chiederti: Cos’è l’ARTE per Giuliano Giuggioli? So che è una domanda semplice e complessa allo stesso tempo quindi sentiti libero di prenderti tutto il tempo necessario per rispondere…

È molto semplice per me risponderti: “L’ARTE E’ LA MIA VITA”. Vivo d’arte e per l’arte. Io sogno, penso, studio, mi emoziono e produco arte. È una cosa totalizzante.

Sei un’artista che vive della sua arte, un’artista molto colto, riflessivo ma anche scherzoso: come mai hai intrapreso la strada del Surrealismo? Che scopo ha la tua pittura? Immagino tu voglia portare dei profondi messaggi ma, in un mondo in cui la superficialità sta prendendo il sopravvento, credi che il pubblico riesca a decifrare i “giochi” criptici e nascosti nelle tue opere d’arte? Spiegaci.

Io sono come i bambini che sono molto seri ed impegnati quando giocano e come i bambini cerco di imparare giocando. Uso “l’ironia” che mi intriga in quanto sotto metafora, spesso scherzosa, fa passare concetti molto seri. Mi interessa molto meno la “provocazione” fine a sé stessa. Il surrealismo si presta ai miei racconti che sconfinano spesso nella metafisica. Non pretendo di essere compreso, mi accontento di suscitare dubbi e mistero nella speranza che questi predispongano l’osservatore a fare delle proprie riflessioni. Quando questo accade ne sono felice.

Guardando i tuoi cataloghi d’arte passati e quindi osservando le opere ormai “datate”, si può constatare quanto queste siano ancora estremamente attuali e contemporanee (è proprio grazie a questa caratteristica che entrerai a fare parte della storia dell’arte a fianco dei grandi maestri). Come riesci a prevedere il futuro?

Ho la pretesa di fare opere “atemporali” (per questo rincorro spesso il Mito) che mi permettono di raccontare una sorta di “Tempo circolare” dove tutte le cose accadute riaccadono ciclicamente. Passato – presente – futuro, diventano un’unica cosa, facile da prevedere.

Come stai vivendo questo periodo storico causato dalla pandemia? L’arte ti ha dato modo di evadere dalle restrizioni subite nel 2020? Ci sono progetti futuri o cicli pittorici su cui ti stai lavorando?

La pandemia cerco di viverla nel modo migliore.  Questa ci ha tolto molto ma ci ha donato più tempo per fare delle riflessioni, ci ha obbligato a rallentare e interrogarci. Io questo tempo lo sfrutto per concentrarmi con meno distrazioni e produrre opere senza fretta e… senza Tempo.

Questa è una domanda che adoro fare agli artisti in quanto, essendo storia dell’arte sono particolarmente legata alla storia: se avessi l’occasione di poterti reincarnare in un’artista del passato, quale sceglieresti e perché?

Questa domanda è di difficile risposta! Io sono un onnivoro dell’arte e mi nutro delle opere di moltissimi artisti del passato! Sceglierne uno… è un’impresa! Ma non voglio esimermi nel dare una risposta e quindi… scelgo Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Oltre ad affascinarmi la sua splendida tecnica pittorica, mi ha sempre scosso la coscienza la sua determinazione nella ricerca sperimentale della stesura dei colori e della sintesi, pagandolo con il disprezzo dell’opinione pubblica che non capiva l’evoluzione delle sue opere della maturità. Ricco e famoso da giovane e povero e dimenticato da vecchio dai suoi contemporanei. Ci vuole un grande coraggio a rinunciare alla ricchezza e agli onori per andare fino in fondo con la ricerca pittorica solo per soddisfare le proprie esigenze espressive. Grandi sono i suoi capolavori perché è grande l’Uomo Rembrandt.

Ringrazio il Maestro Giuliano Giuggioli per il Tempo dedicatoci. Ricordo che le sue opere sono visibili sul sito web criticoarte.org (Giuliano Giuggioli – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org) ) e potrete vederle personalmente presso la Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Olanda, previa prenotazione a causa delle restrizioni Covid-19. Per prendere appuntamento è sufficiente scrivere a: elisavosmanzoni@gmail.com

Vraag aan de kunstenaar: Gianluca Cremonesi

Zoals een oud Italiaans gezegde luidt: “De tijd vliegt”, en eigenlijk zijn we al aan de vierde afspraak van de kolom “Vraag aan de kunstenaar” toegekomen. Vandaag hebben we het genoegen om als gast Gianluca Cremonesi te hebben, een jonge kunstenaar uit Ripalta Cremasca (een klein stadje in de buurt van Milaan), die ik ongeveer drie jaar geleden bijna toevallig ontmoette in Treviglio (in de provincie Bergamo): zijn werken trekken onmiddellijk, zelfs de meest verwarde toeschouwer, dankzij de diepe emotionele artistieke waarde en de grote en precieze techniek van de uitvoering van de olieverf. Het is niet verwonderlijk dat Gianluca Cremonesi’s kunst al aanwezig is in privécollecties in Italië, de Verenigde Staten, Japan, Canada, Finland, Engeland, Ierland, Australië, Hong Kong en Zuid-Afrika, en nu wil hij zich ook in Nederland bekendmaken: juist daarom heeft hij zich vanaf het begin met veel enthousiasme aanvaard om deel uit te maken van het project Contemporary Italian Art in Nederland. De schilder uit Lombardije is altijd al geïnteresseerd geweest in de wereld van de kunst en na verschillende artistieke experimenten en dankzij zijn passie voor de natuur heeft de olieverfschilderij zeker zijn hart veroverd: in deze laatste periode is het favoriete onderwerp van Gianluca Cremonesi de zee, een zee in voortdurende evolutie en symbool van het oneindige en het onbekende, die tegenstrijdige emoties en sensaties oproept en die de geest van de kunstenaar laat zien.

Laten we nu verder gaan met de vragen om Gianluca Cremonesi beter te leren kennen:

Wat denkt Gianluca Cremonesi, de kunstenaar, terwijl hij schildert? In wat voor wereld bevindt hij zich als hij het penseel oppakt en de kleuren op het palet mengt?

Ik moet zeggen dat het antwoord deels vervat zit in de vraag: je vraagt me in wat voor wereld ik me bevind terwijl ik schilder, nou dit is het geheim, terwijl ik schilder leef ik in een eigen wereld, een serene, vredige wereld, waar alleen ik met mijn kleuren en een doek waarop ik mijn emoties kan vertellen, soms kan ik me zo in het doek onderdompelen dat ik niet eens merk wat er om me heen gebeurt, alsof een meter van de ezel de wereld wazig wordt.

U bent de schilder van WATER en uw zeeën zijn allemaal verschillend: waarom koos u dit onderwerp, dat zo moeilijk uit te voeren is, voor uw artistieke productie?

Ik denk dat het uiteindelijk de zee was die mij koos! Ik ben al sinds mijn jeugd gepassioneerd door kunst en heb veel technieken en kunstuitingen uitgeprobeerd, ik heb veel verschillende onderwerpen geschilderd; Met de volwassenheid realiseerde ik me dat de olie mijn ware passie was en het medium dat het beste bij mijn manier van schilderen paste, na enkele jaren waarin ik vooral onderwerpen schilderde die geïnspireerd waren door Japan en zijn tradities, vond ik op een dag tijdens het schilderen van een uitzicht op Okinawa (een van de vele eilanden van Japan) dat ik de golven schilderde en dat er iets in me klikte, een soort bliksemschicht, alsof het schilderen van de golven natuurlijk was en me goede gevoelens gaf. …vanaf dat moment ben ik nooit meer gestopt! Uiteraard is er aan de basis een diepe liefde voor de natuur, voor de zee in het bijzonder, die voor mij een metafoor is voor het leven: de golven van de zee zijn vergelijkbaar met het leven van een man, ze worden geboren, groeien, bereiken hun hoogtepunt en rollen dan onvermijdelijk naar de laatste handeling die het strand omarmt, waardoor er ruimte is voor de volgende golf; wij mensen zijn een beetje zoals dat, we moeten ons “ras” op de beste manier leven!

De zee zou ook tot uitdrukking kunnen komen in andere kunstvormen, zoals de beeldhouwkunst, en in andere stijlen, zoals het abstracte: wat heeft de figuratieve olieverfschilderkunst boven andere kunstvormen?

Ik hou van alle vormen van kunst en artistieke expressie, maar ik vind dat het olieverfschilderij voor mij een streepje voor heeft. Vanuit een strikt technisch oogpunt kan ik zeggen dat olieverf een bepaalde schittering en helderheid heeft, wetende de mate van dekking van de kleuren kun je sluiers, dat wil zeggen lagen van kleur meer of minder transparant, om diepte en schittering te garanderen en de onderwerpen levendig en realistisch te maken. In de loop der jaren heb ik een zeer persoonlijke schildertechniek ontwikkeld, waarvan de basis teruggaat tot de techniek die in de vijftiende eeuw door de Vlamingen werd ontwikkeld, die in feite de eerste waren om door middel van opeenvolgende kleurlagen verder te gaan. Vanuit een emotioneel oogpunt kan ik u vertellen dat de keuze van het realisme in wezen te wijten is aan een persoonlijke smaak, ik vind dat het picturale realisme mij directe emoties overbrengt, eenvoudig, er is geen behoefte aan vreemde lucubraties of interpretaties. De onderwerpen zijn eenvoudig, misschien zal iemand zeggen banaal, maar ze geven onmiddellijke en diepe gevoelens.

Laten we het over de toekomst hebben. U heeft al werken van klein formaat en zelfs bladwijzers gemaakt om plaats te maken voor het altijd dragen van uw werken: voor 2021 plant u in plaats daarvan een koerswijziging misschien met de creatie van werken van zeer groot formaat of een echte merchandising?

Ik zou zeggen allebei! Ik ben bezig met de voorbereiding van een serie vrij grote, dikke doeken van 70 x 140 cm. die mij in staat stellen om onderwerpen met een sterke impact te creëren; het idee is om een aantal ervan voor te bereiden in afwachting van mijn volgende solotentoonstelling die ik aan het einde van deze specifieke periode zal definiëren. Tegelijkertijd wil ik doorgaan met het maken van miniatuurwerken op kleine doeken of kleine borden, maar ook werken op papier en boekenleggers; het doel is om originele handgeschilderde werken te hebben met dezelfde vaardigheid als de grote werken, maar goedkoop en betaalbaar voor iedereen, zodat iedereen een kleine zee mee kan nemen of op het bureau in het kantoor kan zetten om de dagen te kleuren.

Laatste vraag en misschien wel de meest intieme. Waarom ben je een kunstenaar en in het bijzonder een schilder? Hoe belangrijk is kunst in je leven geweest en vooral in 2020, een catastrofaal jaar voor de hele wereld vanwege Covid-19?

Dit is misschien wel de moeilijkste vraag om te beantwoorden…. Ik denk dat het iets aangeboren is, diep geworteld in mij. Zoals ik al eerder zei, kunst heeft me altijd aangetrokken, zodra ik een potlood in mijn hand had begon ik te tekenen en te rommelen, ik genoot van het reproduceren van de covers van rockplaten die me in mijn puberteit vergezelden, of het portretteren van de helden van films of stripverhalen. In principe is het voor mij altijd een behoefte geweest, een uitlaatklep, een manier om mijzelf uit te drukken en het is nog steeds, misschien op een meer volwassen en bedachtzame manier, maar de geest is altijd hetzelfde en ik zal nooit het verlangen verliezen om te evolueren en te leren, nieuwsgierigheid is de basis van mijn passie. De kunst heeft me vele malen gered van trieste en moeilijke momenten, vooral in 2020, toen de lockdown en de pandemie ons heeft getroffen en beperkt, heeft de kunst me in staat gesteld om met mijn verbeelding te “reizen” en alle twijfels en angsten in verband met deze vreselijke situatie te ventileren. Dankzij mensen zoals jij is de kunst niet gestopt en zal niet stoppen! Goede kunst voor iedereen!

Ik wil Gianluca Cremonesi bedanken voor zijn vriendelijke beschikbaarheid voor zijn interventie die het mogelijk maakte zijn artistieke poëzie bekend te maken en bovenal wil ik hem bedanken voor het vertrouwen en de steun die hij geeft aan het project Italiaanse Hedendaagse Kunst in Nederland. Ik nodig u uit om een kijkje te nemen op de pagina gewijd aan hem op de website criticoarte.org waar u de werken kunt vinden die aanwezig zijn op het Nederlandse grondgebied: Gianluca Cremonesi – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org)

Ask the artist: Gianluca Cremonesi

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)

Domanda all’artista: Gianluca Cremonesi

Come dice un antico detto italiano, “Il tempo vola”, e difatti siamo già arrivati al quarto appuntamento della rubrica “Domanda all’artista”. Oggi abbiamo il piacere di avere come ospite Gianluca Cremonesi, giovane artista di Ripalta Cremasca (cittadina vicino a Milano), che ho conosciuto quasi per caso circa tre anni a Treviglio (in provincia di Bergamo): le sue opere attraggono immediatamente, anche l’osservatore più distratto, grazie al profondo valore artistico emozionale e alla grande e precisa tecnica di esecuzione dell’olio. Non stupisce che l’arte di Gianluca Cremonesi sia già presente in collezioni private in Italia, negli Stati Uniti, in Giappone, in Canada, in Finlandia, in Inghilterra, in Irlanda, in Australia, ad Hong Kong ed in Sudafrica, ed ora il suo obiettivo è di farsi conoscere anche in Olanda: proprio per questo ha accettato con grande entusiasmo sino dall’inizio di entrare a fare parte del progetto Arte Italiana Contemporanea in Olanda. Il pittore lombardo si è sempre interessato al mondo dell’arte e, dopo diverse sperimentazioni artistiche e grazie alla sua passione per la natura, la pittura realista ad olio ha conquistato definitivamente il suo cuore: in quest’ultimo periodo il soggetto prediletto da Gianluca Cremonesi è il mare, un mare in continua evoluzione e simbolo dell’infinito e dell’ignoto, che suscita emozioni e sensazioni contrastanti e che mostra lo spirito dell’artista.

Passiamo ora alle domande per conoscere più a fondo Gianluca Cremonesi:

Cosa pensa Gianluca Cremonesi, l’artista, mentre dipinge? In che mondo si trova mentre prende in mano il pennello e mischia i colori sulla tavolozza?

Devo dire che la risposta è in parte contenuta nella domanda: mi chiedi in che mondo mi trovo mentre dipingo, ebbene è proprio questo il segreto, mentre dipingo io vivo in un mondo tutto mio, un mondo sereno, tranquillo, dove ci sono solo io con i miei colori e una tela su cui raccontare le mie emozioni, a volte riesco ad immergermi così tanto nella tela da non accorgermi nemmeno di quello che succede attorno a me, come se ad un metro dal cavalletto il mondo diventasse sfocato.

Sei il pittore dell’ACQUA e i tuoi mari sono tutti diversi: come mai hai scelto questo soggetto, tanto difficile da eseguire, per la tua produzione artistica?

Credo che alla fine sia stato il mare a scegliere me! Mi sono appassionato all’arte fin da ragazzo e ho provato tante tecniche ed espressioni artistiche, ho dipinto tantissimi soggetti diversi; con la maturità ho capito che l’olio era la mia vera passione ed il medium che meglio si adattava al mio modo di dipingere, dopo diversi anni in cui ho dipinto principalmente soggetti ispirati al Giappone e alle sue tradizioni, un giorno mentre dipingevo uno scorcio di Okinawa (una delle tante isole del Giappone) mi sono trovato a dipingere delle onde e qualcosa è scattato in me, una sorta di colpo di fulmine, come se dipingere le onde fosse naturale e mi regalasse buone sensazioni… da lì non ho più smesso! Ovviamente alla base c’è un profondo amore per la natura, per il mare in particolare, che per me rappresenta una metafora della vita: le onde del mare sono paragonabili alla vita di un uomo, esse nascono, crescono, raggiungono il loro apice e poi inevitabilmente rotolano verso l’ultimo atto abbracciando la spiaggia, lasciando così posto all’onda successiva; noi esseri umani siamo un po’ così, dobbiamo vivere la nostra “corsa” nel migliore dei modi!

Il mare potrebbe essere espresso anche in altre forme d’arte, come ad esempio la scultura, ed in altri stili , come ad esempio l’astratto: cos’ha la pittura ad olio figurativa in più rispetto alle altre forme artistiche?

Amo tutte le forme d’arte e le espressioni artistiche, ma trovo che per me la pittura ad olio abbia una marcia in più. Da un punto di vista strettamente tecnico posso dire che i colori ad olio hanno una particolare brillantezza e luminosità, conoscendo il grado di coprenza dei colori si possono realizzare velature, cioè strati di colore più o meno trasparenti, per garantire profondità e brillantezza e rendere i soggetti vivi e realistici. Negli anni ho sviluppato una tecnica pittorica del tutto personale le cui basi risalgono alla tecnica sviluppata nel quattrocento dai fiamminghi che furono infatti i primi a procedere per successive velature di colore. Da un punto di vista emozionale ti posso dire che la scelta del realismo è dovuta essenzialmente ad un gusto personale, trovo che il realismo pittorico mi trasmetta emozioni dirette, semplici, non c’è bisogno di strane elucubrazioni o interpretazioni. I sogetti sono semplici, magari qualcuno dirà banali, ma regalano sensazioni immediate e profonde.

Parliamo di futuro. Hai già creato opere di piccolo formato e persino segnalibri per dare modo di portare sempre con sé le tue opere: per il 2021 hai in progetto invece un cambio di rotta magari con la creazione di opere di grandissime dimensioni oppure un vero e proprio merchandising?

Direi entrambe le cose! Sto preparando una serie di tele di dimensioni piuttosto grandi, ad alto spessore, di 70 x 140 cm. che mi permettono di creare soggetti di forte impatto; l’idea è di prepararne diverse in previsione della mia prossima personale che definirò al termine di questo periodo particolare. Allo stesso tempo vorrei continuare a realizzare opere in miniatura su piccole tele o su piccole tavole, oltre a opere su carta e segnalibri; lo scopo è di avere opere originali dipinte a mano con la stessa perizia delle opere maggiori ma economiche e alla portata di tutti per permettere a chiunque di avere un piccolo mare da portare con sé o da mettere sulla scrivania in ufficio per colorare le giornate.

Ultima domanda e forse la più intima. Perché sei un artista ed in particolare un pittore? Quanto ha avuto importanza l’arte nella tua vita e soprattutto nel 2020, anno catastrofico per l’intero mondo a causa del Covid-19?

Questa è forse la domanda più difficile a cui rispondere…. penso che sia qualcosa di innato, di profondamente radicato in me. Come dicevo prima l’arte mi ha attratto da sempre, appena avevo una matita in mano cominciavo a disegnare e pasticciare, mi divertivo a riprodurre le copertine dei dischi rock che mi hanno accompagnato nell’adolescenza, o a ritrarre gli eroi dei film o dei fumetti. In sostanza per me è stata sempre un’esigenza, uno sfogo, un modo per esprimermi e lo è tutt’ora, magari in modo più maturo e meditato, ma lo spirito è sempre lo stesso e non perderò mai la voglia di evolvermi ed imparare, la curiosità sta alla base della mia passione. L’arte mi ha salvato tante volte da momenti tristi e difficili, in particolare nel 2020, in cui il lockdown e la pandemia ci ha condizionato e limitato, l’arte mi ha permesso di “viaggiare” con la fantasia e di sfogare tutti i dubbi e le paure legate a questa terribile situazione. Grazie a persone come te, l’arte non si è fermata e non si fermerà! Buona arte a tutti!

Ringrazio di cuore la cortese disponibilità di Gianluca Cremonesi per il suo intervento che ha permesso di fare conoscere la sua poetica artistica e soprattutto ringrazio per la fiducia e il sostegno che trasmette al progetto Arte Italiana Contemporanea in Olanda. Invito a prendere visione della pagina a lui dedicata sul sito web criticoarte.org in cui potrete trovare le opere presenti sul territorio olandese: Gianluca Cremonesi – Italian art by ELisa Manzoni (criticoarte.org)