Recent Impressions and Experiences from
‘Biennale di Chianciano Terme 2009’
13th - 27th of September 2009
It is with my mind filled with hopeful joy and satisfaction I now sit down and summarise my views and reflections on the Biennale di Chianciano Terme 2009. Never in my life before have I seen or being a participant at such a high level quality exhibition of contemporary visual art, anywhere in the world. I'm also referring to all of the aspects of practical preparations, logistics, local solutions, curating, organisation, professional caretaking of artists and visitors – and all the necessary arrangements to realise and perform the event in the most optimal way.
In all there were 160 of the world's leading and most outstanding visual artists (some of them also participating at the same time at the Biennial of Venice...), who were invited and could make it possible to attend at the Biennale. I also dare to state and conclude that there were very few of the artist's contributions, that wouldn't pass my Argus´ eyes as 'approved for exhibition' - except for 10 or perhaps 12 that did not meet my personal criteria of artistic quality levels at this kind of 'decently high level visual art'. None mentioned, none named. Still, there were some presentations of visual works, that could be characterised as '14 on the dozen...'
This is what I want to pinpoint as a participating artist and art critic with ‘somewhat more trained and experienced eyes’ from the art scenes of the world. From ‘here on’, I will “zero” my own roll and function as an artist’- taking You, the Viewer and Reader on a tour into Art Vision Land. As You already know – there's no way anybody can be objective about art.. Art is never a science - can never be! Will never be! Because, then it wouldn't be 'Art' anymore…!
Visual Art is ‘about’ the mediation/conveying of subjective feelings/emotions, recognitions, memories, ideas, humoristic notices – political, poetical/lyrical, philosophical - insights, realization, ‘bridgebuilding’, hope, beauty, perception, soul, joys, friendships etc.. There is a key notion connected to visual art of the highest quality - in just one word: Temperature! With this I refer to the intrinsic ability of a painting etc. to break through the defence mechanisms we all have since childhood to protect our most inner self against threats or damaging influences in the psychological environment. So, when You feel good inside and 'grabbed' by a work of art it is likely that this art work have reached into Your inner person and in resonance in harmony with Your 'pounding heart'. In other words, You can say: "This painting just hit me! Oh, Yes!"
Since there are no objective criteria for viewing and experiencing the phenomenon - named Visual Art - I use my subjective privilege as a visitor and viewer – with just a little more experienced mind (perhaps as a ‘professional damage’). But still, that's what I want do for You – show You my favourites from this Biennale. The sequence – that follows – is not in any ranking order. That's for You, My Friend to decide. 27 paintings/images – some by the same artist – 2 sculptures:
First You meet 2 excellent works by Mauro Parrino, Favara, Italy – who use some ironic humour to pinpoint ‘Modern Man's’ ambivalent situation in the materialistic and superficies daily world with a slight touch of Modigliani embedded. I was bit a provoked by the mere fact that he used real €-bills(!) in his mixed media Pictures.
“Di giorno e di sera..” -mixed media.
“Il Profilo...” - mixed media.
And here we meet another ironic and very expressful oil painting by Philippinean painter Elmer Borlangan:
“Big Brother…?” – oil on canvas.
Here we meet Clementine Chan, Hong Kong, China with her 2 very suggestive oil paintings - tuned in some melancholic and a bit nostalgic feeling of loneliness and alienation as to show a share of human conditions. These really grabbed me into my bones…Very good!
“The Red Balloon”…- oil on canvas.
and her next...
“Night Watcher”… - oil on canvas.
Here now – 2 of my first and immediate favourites by Nicolette Ingeneeger, Netherlands – challenging my personal flair for perfection in combination with the magic touch of surrealistic and existential observations…. Really amazing – leaving me kind of surprised.
”Hear no evil, See no evil, Talk no evil...” – oil on linen.
”Hollow Apple” – oil on linen.
Here another very skilled painter, Stefano Pani, Italy – with this a somewhat ominous reminder of former realities in Sardinia and Sicily.. – oil on board..
Some of them could end up behind bars – as in this work by Roberto Locato, Italy – a multidimensional artist with many strings in his hands and head...(He is also a Professor of Music at the Cagliari Conservatorio...). Always occupied with the ethical questions in life – e.g. choice, responsability, duty, right&wrong etc...
“Prigonieri dei propri pensieri...” – mixed media.
This picture - by Australian duo Gilles and Marc Schattner, Sydney - hit me like a very disrespectful mind awakener concerning the aestheticism in the art showing and viewing of today. Far from a masterpiece but very funny – without any ‘finesse’ at all. Not particularly beautiful – but effective. The jury choose this as No 1. in the exhibition – despite of all it's artistic flaws…!
“He´ll never be famous, but he doesn't give a damn, he's a musician…”– acrylic on canvas.
Next artist is a young scotsman from Aberdeen – Jamie R. Donald – with this painting in oil. Unusually the title is a part of the image.
Here You watch one of my favourites among sculptures – by Giulio Galagani, Italy – having a slight bearing of an undertone – “Everyone can easily be everyone's fool”:
“Sopra di noi il sereno…” – bronze.
Cathrine Edler-Kunze, Germany-USA, painted this – ‘near life’ image with a special aptitude to ‘catch’ situations, where real friendship talks. With her deep knowledge and understandin of the really human condition...
“Lead me on…”
I also had the fortunate opportunity to meet this artist, Luigi Giagnorio, and his wife at a ‘caffe’ during the Biennale having a ‘cappucino’ together with Girmay Hiwet. How soft and delicate he captures/catches her moves in moods and stillness…Such a lovely couple to meet – just during a stroll away…Just like that….
“Ecquilibrio”… - oil and acrylic on wood.
Here a painting by my just so recent and cordially good friend Girmay H. Hiwet ...(probably one of the ‘top 10s’ in the world) – we connected, talking as one human with another - really deep about life, art in general and ourselves. He is a Master among Masters – treating me as an ‘Einstein’ among painters, very frank and open. I had a feeling: ‘This does not happen’... – but the next day he photographed also ‘my xtra paintings’ at the Hotel Roma – ‘to learn from’, he said. He and his wife Christine made me feel warm and good inside. Just so... A wonderful acquintance and a friend for life...
“Roots IV”…acrylic on canvas
“In the midnight hour” - acrylic on canvas – 2007.
The second sculpture of my choice is this marvellous one – excellently made by Mario Artioli Tavani (born -65) from Cantagallo, Prato, Italia – catching the real ‘cool expression’ of The Man – who has ‘it all covered’…(..in my mind an association to John Lennon?). I managed to talk to him for a few minutes during the final day – so nice and gentle and enthusiastic about my opinion.. He just hugged me in mere joy and gratefulness.
“Il falso benessere...” – Iron sheeting without joints...
This painting in oil – by Dawn Lawrence, UK – could easily be just another one of all theese boring and banal themes with race boats competing for America´s Cup – however triste these never stopping boat races always seem. But this painting is not! It´s not for me to tell...But for You to figure out!
“Desafío Español vs Luna Rossa, Round 32, Valencia 2006”
Patricia Viviana De Filippo, Sicilia, Italia - painted this classical and gordious painting and also the next – both in oil – the second as an ‘obvious’ consequence to the first…’When, for a disaster within oneself, an opium pipe is no longer than an arm's length away..’ waiting... What do You think?
Jenny Bennett, New Zealand – gave us theese 2 marvellous and sharp oil paintings - telling a story about local near shure life:
”South Medlands, Great Barrier Island” – oil on linen.
”Beneath Kapowairua, Spirits Bay” – oil on linen.
I'm stunned and almost ecstatic over the exactness and beauty of her findings and catches of vision – as it was shaped by Life itself? And still more - it is!
Mona Youssef, Canada – my good friend - and a so seldomly seen an accurate painter of nature processes - in a winterly cold Ontario. We see a frozen lake in late winter time with ’theese low sun shaped shadows being shining through all the porous snow crystals by the sinking Sun’! To me it´s just magic and I feel joy...wanting to sing something..?
“Blue Shadows” – oil on canvas.
And here Truman Marques, Texas – with this reflective protest against all these ”things and causes”-ruled world of everday life – whether it be high level financial frauds, non-provoked violence, no needed, faked (Bush-)wars? or global socio-political concerns..
”Hold the Emperor Accountable…” – oil on linen.
Here next: 2 paintings by Ted Barr, Israel - in his series ”As Above as Below” - telling us about his deep search for an understanding of the principles of life formation on our planet - in deep, outer space and finding that the formation and movements of huge galaxies follows the same patterns and ’center-to-perpheri-spirals’ we usually associate with organic life here on Earth (with support from Lennart Nilsson - world known photograpfer of biological processes). A really interesting observation but not new at all to cellbiologists or astrophysisists. The’ new thing’ with his art is the developement of a special technique (during years..) to really transform his thoughts onto canvases in beautiful and exciting art works..
”Quasar” – tar and mixed media on canvas.
”Direction draco...” – tar and mixed media on canvas.
Karine Schneider, France – with this Yin-Yan-inspired painting...
”Discovery of Yin I” – acrylic on canvas.
Anthony Lindhout, Germany – has a wide variety of nature scenery around the house where he lives. Here is one of his nature impressions cached in a very powerful manner giving me associations back in art history – among others Carl Fredrik Hill and our Swedish writer Giant August Strindberg – a very strong painter as well. Who wouldn't like to have this view in one's own backyard?
“View from my backyard…” – acrylic on canvas.
Claudio Souza Pinto, Brazil – with such charming and exact a capture of reality in different social situations in life where we all use different masks depending of the time of day. In other words - he is real surrealist showing us who really we are when we are not aware of it...One of my final top favourites – can´t help it...
This - so well arranged, so well directed and so well performed - Biennale di Chianciano 2009 could never have been set out to life without these wonderful members of the charming Gagliardi Family and their very competent staff of curators and assistants, who really made it a true and at a highest quality level art event in the World Class! I´m not surprised at all because they also have the well reputed Gagliardi Art Gallery in London to govern and handle in the most talented, responsible and experienced way since long ago...I wish them all luck for the next Biennale di Chianciano 2011 - and then they have a very good and recent experience to lean on to...
Roberto, Marie, Francesco and Peter Gagliardi.
To sum it all up – I was very pleased and happy to be one of these 160 artist from all 5 continents and also to be selected by the international jury among the 30 artists who are invited to exhibit at the Gagliardi Art Gallery in 2010. These 3 weeks in Italy really enriched my life as a person and artist... Sure, I made many new friends of course... It´s easy: “Just be one!”
Dear Reader and ‘Real Art’ Lover – thank You for Your Time and Interest!
Artist: Painter&Poet. Art Critic&Writer. M.A.
Internet Art Gallery: ‘New Art O´Pegrén’ – www.pegren.com
I hope You - Don´t forget this?
"What's up?" -"Oh, nothing really..just, Our bleeding Earth again .." - "Oh, dear!"
Finally – some useful links from the Biennale to use - when interested:
Museo di Arte di Chianciano Terme – www.museodarte.org
Biennale di Chianciano 2009 – www.jubali.ning.com/
Catalogue di Biennale 2009 – http://en.calameo.com/read/00008552051cf3c169cd0
New York Times Article: http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/travel/13headsup.html?scp=1&sq=chianciano&st=cse