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Paolo Mennea

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figurative, abstract, performance, video-art, installation


Drawing is the activity that most directly records my kind of inspiration and individuality.

Considering the range of my drawing styles, I have experienced the qualities of more detailed drawings versus quick doodles, and I note that because of the time constraints and/or rapid gestures of the latter, they have become more simplified and linear.

The challenge for my art is finding a good midpoint, where the finished drawing is solid and unmistakable in form, but still retains some of the "oomph" of the action doodle. My single pieces are in fact the product of a lifetime of practice: the actual moment of production lasts just a few seconds, constructed with very fast gestures.

Drawings which take longer than two minutes cannot usually be considered gestures: inevitably, they allow the artist more time to measure and plan the drawing, or to begin to define the form with modelling. And once an artist begins measuring, erasing, shading or otherwise improving the drawing with a second pass, he or she has ceased to ‘gesture-draw’, and has begun rendering.

To work over a drawing, to try to polish it, is no longer practicing the ability to draw an instant impression, and it is this ability to draw with something approaching the speed of the unconscious gesture in a pure emotional analytical eye, that I most highly value.

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