I have left the land touched by god. Not to say my current location isn’t something special but I remain fully enveloped by the tastes and the specific feel of the sun in my skin when in Italy.
We had a week without drawing and a road trip from Solento to Veneto. First lesson; Romans drive with a compulsory hand out the window, I think it’s a lifestyle demonstration, a perfect encapsulation of the people, a “we drink the sun, like to relax and drive like no one is watching (or on the roads at all)” attitude. I could probably leave the synopsis of the country at that, but, it would be doing a disservice to what for me is the most essential aspect of the culture; what’s on the table. We had lunch in Napoli, the acclaimed birthplace of pizza, it was a few days after Napoli FC had won the Serie A league and the city was wrapped, balcony to across-street balcony with blue and white ribbons, what a mad place.
I hear this is what often comes to mind when “Southern Italy” is mentioned, it’s raw and untrimmed, chaos filling the streets lined by 13C renaissance architecture. Like the pizza, a beautiful mess surrounded by the most perfect dough known to man. The Renaissance was a time in art when, due to the realism put into the depiction of man, it was believed the artists were moving the center of the world, which was previously god, down to earth and into the men or women portrayed. It was the finesse and detailed depiction of a single vein or the tension of which a sculpted hand held a slingshot that garnered all importance. I avoid depicting humans by their skin but instead by the places they’ve been, the experiences they had, or more immediately the experiences being had at that moment. My work doesn’t ask you to conceptualize the brush stroke but rather by seeing the composition so realistically I ask the viewer to conceptualize the moment of interaction.
Could it have been your interaction? If I am skilled enough, I hope to invite you, the viewer, to imagine yourself having touched, tasted and used the objects I lay before you. Are there memories tied to the compositions I draw? Could this be your plate, your stain, your time when you were in Italy? As Michelangelo aggrandized David, a man now placed above us all, would it be outrageous to compare that with his inspiration I intend to aggrandize the small moments that make a life? As a series of 16, this is my largest collection to date. The many faces of the much familiar black water, it has been represented as many times as it’s been consumed, without the intention to be groundbreaking, this is my experience, as a visual collection.