After 2013: Gunter Sachs again in Schweinfurt

JAY ULLAL, Portrait Gunter Sachs, 1972, Schwarz-weiß (Large)

Jay Ullal, Portrait Gunter Sachs, 1972, o.A. Foto © Jay Ullal

„Gunter Sachs – Kamerakunst. Fotografie, Film und Sammlung“

Kunsthalle Schweinfurt

15. März bis 16. Juni 2019

Wie schon 2013 hat mich auch die zweite, Gunter Sachs gewidmete Ausstellung, restlos begeistert. Absolut empfehlenswert!

Gunter Sachs_Hommage a Warhol_1991 (Large)

Gunter Sachs, Hommage à Warhol (Claudia Schiffer), 1991, C-Print auf Kodak Endura Papier. Foto © Estate Gunter Sachs

Gunter Sachs war über ein halbes Jahrhundert (1960 – 2011) hinweg nicht nur eine der schillerndsten, sondern auch meist fehleingeschätzten Persönlichkeiten des öffentlichen Lebens. So sehr ihn sein extrovertierter Lebensstil in der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung zum „Liebhaber der schönen Frauen“ stempelte, so sehr pflegte Gunter Sachs selbst seine Laufbahn als „Liebhaber der schönen Künste“. Gunter Sachs war Kunstsammler, Mäzen, Galerist, Kurator, Freund der Kunst und der Künstler, aber vor allem war er selbst ein erfolgreicher Fotograf und Filmemacher.

Andreas_ Feininger_Brooklyn Bridge_1940 (Large)

Andreas Feininger, Brooklyn Bridge, NY Downtown Manhattan, 1940, Silver Print. Foto © Estate of Gertrud (Wysse) Feininger

Die Kunsthalle Schweinfurt zeigt in der Überblicksschau „Gunter Sachs – Kamerakunst. Fotografie, Film und Sammlung“ erstmals Fotografien von Gunter Sachs im Zusammenhang mit seiner Fotografiesammlung und knüpft damit zu ihrem zehnjährigen Jubiläum an die erfolgreiche Ausstellung „Die Sammlung Gunter Sachs“ von 2013 an.

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Gunter Sachs, Ascot, 1995, C-Print auf Kodak Endura Papier. Foto © Estate Gunter Sachs

Gezeigt werden zahlreiche Fotografien von Gunter Sachs aus den Bereichen Mode, Stillleben, Architektur, Portrait, Landschaftsfotografie sowie Experimental- und Konzeptfotografie. Diese werden im Kontext seiner eigenen, bislang in dieser Fülle noch nicht gezeigten Fotografiesammlung präsentiert, die Werke aus den 1930er-Jahren bis in die Gegenwart umfasst, von bekannten Größen wie Andreas Feininger, Andy Warhol, Irving Penn und Horst P. Horst sowie mehrere Arbeiten junger Künstler.

René_Magritte_Arbre et lune_1948 (Large)

René Magritte, Arbre et Lune, 1984, Aquarell. Foto © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012

Zudem werden in der Schweinfurter Ausstellung die kunsthistorischen Einflüsse auf Sachs‘ Fotoarbeiten wie Surrealismus, Nouveau Réalisme und Pop-Art anhand ausgewählter Arbeiten aus seiner Kunstsammlung zu entdecken sein.

Gunter Sachs_Esquisse_1977 (Large)

Gunter Sachs, Esquisse pour une statue (sans éclair), 1979, C-Print auf Kodak Endura Papier. Foto © Estate Gunter Sachs

Ein weiterer Teilbereich der Ausstellung widmet sich dem Phänomen, dass Sachs selbst Zeit seines Lebens ein beliebtes Fotomotiv, eine von Paparazzi gejagte Berühmtheit war und zum Sujet befreundeter Fotografen wie z.B. Will McBride wurde.

Gunter Sachs_Heldenepos_1996 (Large)

Gunter Sachs, Heldenepos, 1996, C-Print auf Kodak Endura Papier. Foto © Estate Gunter Sachs

Die rund 170 Exponate umfassende Übersichtsausstellung  wird mit der Präsentation des gesamten filmischen Werks von Gunter Sachs abgerundet. Plant Euch deshalb bitte eine extra Stunde ein, um die Doku-Filme anzusehen!

Gunter Sachs_Kleopatra_1991 (Large)

Gunter Sachs, Cleopatra (Claudia Schiffer), 1991, C-Print auf Kodak Endura Papier. Foto © Estate Gunter Sachs

Auch das Buch zur Ausstellung kann ich sehr empfehlen:

Gunter Sachs Kamerakunst. Fotografie, Film und Sammlung, hg. v. Dr. Otto Letze und Maximilian Letze, 248 Seiten mit über 208 farbigen Abbildungen, Hirmer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-7774-3327-1, Preis 34,90 Euro (Sonderpreis im Museumsshop), 39 Euro (im Buchhandel).

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Thomas Ruff, Nudes, o. A., Extrachrome. Foto © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012

Gunter Sachs_Bally Serie1_1977 (Large)

Gunter Sachs, Bally Serie, 1977, C-Print auf Kodak Endura Papier. Foto © Estate Gunter Sachs

 

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AQUA AURA – La stratégie du camouflage

La strategie du camouglage 2 (Large)

Curated by Marta Santacatterina in collaboration with the Chinese and Ethnographic Museum of Art

Parma, Italy

6. April – 19. May 2019

By guest author Clare Ann Matz

The Chinese and Ethnographic Museum of Art in Parma has opened its doors to the exhibition „La stratégie du camouflage“ by the artist Aqua Aura in occasion of the „PARMA 360 Festival of Contemporary Creativity“.

The gift 1 (Large)

The museum itself is a wonderful space, brainchild of  the Bishop of Parma, Guido Maria Conforti,  the museum testifies the attention toward various cultures on behalf of  the Xaverian priests who collected various Chinese artworks and objects made of ivory, wood, stone, jade; and a whole range of heterogeneous ethnographical material: prints, shoes, stamps,  jewelry, ornaments, screens, everyday objects, etc. from all around the world.

La Strategie du Camouflage 1 (Large)

The contemporary works of Aqua Aura, which include photographs and sculptures, as well as a huge video installation, establish a profound dialogue with the millenary memories of these distant civilizations and highlight the longevity included in natural, artistic and cultural expressions.

The gift 2 (Large)

Emblematic in this sense is the video installation „Millennial Tears“, which opens with the immense scenarios of the Arctic glaciers, so essential for the planet Earth, and with their sounds, to then narrow the visual field from the infinitely large to the infinitely small, with drops of human tears seen through a microscope.

Millennial Tears 1 (Large)

In the words of the artist Aqua Aura: An interview with Clare Ann Matz.

Clare:  You work with video, photography, sculpture, do you find that, although multimedia art has existed for a long time (see Leonardo Da Vinci), the art world distrusts those who easily move from one specialization to another? Almost as if creative artists who work on multiple medias cannot be easily defined?

A.A.: I believe you went to the mark with this question. In fact, there is a mistrust in this sense, coming from large layers of the „art system“. It seems that the difficulty of defining and boxing a multi-language falls on a part of the system’s processes; first of all the marketing of the works and the recognition of the „brand-artist“. Although, I have the impression, the problem is felt especially in Italy, in other countries it has less weight. It is as if the „public of buyers“ and of certain insiders need a formula with which to pigeonhole and archive the product of an artist to make it more vehicular, in a sort of prêt-à-porter object that allows to bypass quickly the effort of studying and deepening his demands. The dilemma of „style“ is still rampant, it seems, in this third millennium. I, on the other hand, am convinced that style is now a secondary problem.

Millennial Tears 2 (Large)

In my personal conception the work of art is the ultimate term, the synthetic reduction of a complex set of cues, intentions, arguments and goals, sometimes far from each other, that find their conclusion only after a tiring process of drying and filing find their space in the conclusion of the finished work. The advantage of art, in my opinion, is to keep in the small space of its manifestation and among the few selected „signs“ from which it is composed, the infinite variety of its „reasons“, in a sort of universality forced into its limitedness of object or in the banality of its aesthetic manifestation.

If it wants to be recognized as a sign of the contemporary, the work must be the mirror of the thought of its time. That peculiar form of thought that made it, in itself, possible; that put it, in some way, to the world.

Bony Still Life 1_Web (Large)

Sociology defines our time as the era of COMPLEXITY. Every form of expression, every action, every form of relationship the time in which we live is interwoven, intertwined, they almost never seem univocal, unidirectional. On the contrary, they seem to be born of a series of purposes, of impulses, of needs that are different from each other, often in contrast in a sort of reciprocal negation, subjected to a centripetal-centrifugal force. The result is a set of dissonant tones of a non-linear reality.

Clare: How much does a fascination towards alchemy affect your artistic research? I seem to see a passage from the Nigredo of the first works and „The Hidden Project“, to the Rubedo in „The Purple Resonance“, to the Albedo in „Millennial Tears“.

A.A.: I am amazed (laughs, ed.), impressed and fascinated by this form of reading. It is the first time that someone mentions the alchemical stages to describe the relationships between my works (laughs, ed.).

Carnal Still Life 3_Editoria (Large)

In the past, in my courses of study, I met and deepened the theme of alchemy and its relations with artistic production … even during the preparation of my degree thesis on Anselm Kiefer. But believe me, there is no intentionality of alchemical transfiguration in my various productions and in the passage from one work to another. If this is visible to your eyes, well … it is possible that it is the expression of a form of my hidden and deep thoughts, belonging more to my subconscious than to the „waking“ processes, and on which I have no faculty of lucid government.

„The Gift“ presents in gleaming cases enclosed by ribbons of tulle one of the greatest dangers that threaten human life: mad, crazy cells – disguised by a bewitching appearance – with which, directly or indirectly, almost everyone in the world must deal with either defeating them or facing their fatal outcome.

Clare: The fascination of science and illness. Your work „The Gift“ packs like a gift of pop virus sculptures, as if the disease were a gift. Why, where does this idea come from and how should the viewer interpret it?

The gift 3 (Large)

A.A.: I have to go back to the past, to my studies at the Academy. I remember one of my teachers told me – „In an opera it is important to know where to stop in order not to invade the observer’s space. An art work, of whatever type it may be, moves on a feeble boundary between the intentions of the artist and the journey the viewer must make; it must unite your personal reasons together in a harmonious relationship with meanings that are as universal as possible. It is important that you manage to find that small space in which your work is no longer irrelevant or sterile, but neither intrusive, to the point of removing the possibility for the public to move in multiple directions. When you have found this virtuous point the work will be finished „.

Here, with regard to „The Gift“ my personal reasons were born following the death of a dear friend of mine. After almost a year of decay and agony, a bone cancer turned her off. Following that experience I realized that the disease, in its various forms, had been touching me for years. It affected loved ones, friends and relatives, and enveloped me like an invisible cloak but I felt all the consequences. Along with this awareness, I began to realize that all around me, confronting and listening to the stories of others, a population of „touched“ or even survivors moved around. Other people like me who lived or had lived the same experience as me, sometimes silently, in the company of death that consumes, so much as to take on the appearance of a real person, as if it were another member of the group. I had found that experience truly „universal“.

A sort of common language that modifies the relationships with things and the gaze on existence. At one point I thought I wanted to build a „monument“ to this dark and cursed gift, that you are not looking for … only that sometimes it happens to you. Existence leaves you this strange „package“ outside your front door, to start a journey you would not have wanted to make. Of these stories, mine and those of others, I was struck by the power with which they drag you into a dangerous form of „Sublime“. A sensory condition that terrifies but that fascinates like the aesthetics of a shipwreck seen from the shore. Within this territory you live a form of individual transcendence and uselessness. You meet something that transcends your own actions, your saying, your fussing around. It makes them useless and inappropriate.

Millennial Tears 4 (Large)

Since then I have begun to collect and catalog images of cancer cells of various shapes and origins. I wanted to go to the lowest denominator of the experience, enter its infinitely small and represent that „unicum“ from which it all originates. One thing, a creature that, however small, contains in its form all the storm that will come, and I wanted to make it available to the eyes of others. I chose 5 of these archived entities. I set up vector mathematics and had it made by a computer in 3D sculpture or in 5-axis computerized prototyping. Once they became three-dimensional objects, I had them painted, choosing specific chromatic ranges used by car manufacturers. I wanted these objects to be distant from any subjectivity. I wanted them inhuman.

It was important that the public perceive this peculiarity at first glance. In the end I put them in museum display cases to turn them into objects of contemplation: dedicated only to the eye. They are nothing but what they are … enigmatic and foreign objects. I like that the work doesn’t immediately show up. At the beginning, unless you are an oncologist, the sculptures seem irrelevant, playfully aesthetic and seemingly useless. They can be exchanged for marine concretions or for deep sea creatures. Only after having revealed the nature of their origin does the public’s attitude change. At that point I stop. Up until that point I only staged the smallest and most concentrated point of a drama. The stories that are told later do not belong to me anymore. Each viewer has his own story to tell in front of the work, the fruit of his peculiar experience and his own personal history. If, on the other hand, he has never been touched by these events, work remains what it seems: a set of useless and vividly aesthetic objects.

The incessant metamorphosis of life finds its aesthetic manifestation in the two new series „Sweet November“ and „Carnal Still Life“, in which the digital elaborations of photographic images combine the environment of nature and typically urban objects with microscopic enlargements of cells, human tissues, viruses and parasites, in order to restore both the complexity of organisms and of the environment in which man lives beyond the complexity of contemporary artistic reflection.

3D rendering blue glowing synapse. Artificial neuron in concept of artificial intelligence. Synaptic transmission lines of pulses. Abstract polygonal space low poly with connecting dots and lines

3D rendering blue glowing synapse. Artificial neuron in concept of artificial intelligence. Synaptic transmission lines of pulses. Abstract polygonal space low poly with connecting dots and lines.

Clare: The „Sweet November“ series is an explosion of pop colors that attracts the eye only to then reveal a juxtaposition of micro / macro; junk / nature. It is very far from the meager ambiguous decay of your first works, how did you get there?

A.A.: To answer, I feel compelled to correct the premises implicit in your question. My work, as it appears today, has been like this since its inception. Actually, at the beginning of my journey, I had already decided to move in at least 3 different directions in terms of aesthetics and the languages ​​that are the consequence. The fact that only recently these 3 directions have reached maturity and can be distinguished in all their differences is due only to the „incidents of the journey“ or to the external stimuli that led me, for certain periods, to deepen some images more and others less. All the works you have had the opportunity to observe are the product of that distant choice, whether it is „Sweet November“ or of the bare and almost monochrome landscapes.

Between 2009 and 2011 I stood in the mirror and I saw myself as a western artist of the late age of capitalism, shaped by the infinite layers of images that preceded it, those of the history of art. Their presence in my mind was almost physical. So I decided to become a „traditional“ artist. In particular I chose the 3 genres that, for the most part, constituted the history of art of the old continent – Portrait, Landscape and Still Life. This was my field of action. Imposing these narrow perimeters, I built a discipline that allowed me to shape a „portrait of the world“ through a new hyper-realism, which is the ultimate goal of all my work. The use of technological and sculptural languages, the use of video for example, are only natural consequences when the perimeter of a two-dimensional rectangle is no longer enough to make each of those fields of action evolve.

Millennial Tears 3 (Large)

Although in many ways I have been defined as a multimedia artist, attentive to the contemporary, the path I have taken in the construction of my work is entirely focused on the history of images: in art, cinema and photography. Thus, together with the road that forges the „neo-Romantic“ and aseptic images of the landscapes, which first came to light, there is a parallel attention to Rubens‘ pictorial exuberance, in a sort of hyper-Baroque visual narration which, perhaps, offends the all-contemporary predilection for a drying and emptiness of the image.

Clare: Why „La strategies du camouflage“? What does this title mean with respect to the exhibition? Why in French?

„The strategies du camouflage“ has nothing to do with any of the themes that the exhibition conveys. It does not refer to works in their specificity but, rather, to the strategy that the works themselves assume when they enter into relation with the space that hosts them; especially when, as in this case, the place is full of other images, objects and another story. Depositing an exhibition of contemporary art in a museum designed for other forms of expression is a very delicate operation. The feeling that your intervention is irrelevant within such a place always accompanies you. The works, then, begin to take on the typical behavior of an animal with mimetic abilities, They adapt to the environment, they choose the angle in which to lie and enter into relationship with the context. They camouflage themselves as a new „sign“ between pre-existing signs.

Sweet November 1_Editoriale (Large)

The „Strategie du camouflage“ is a tribute to the arduous art of making sense of the signs of our contemporary life within the flow of history. The individual works, on the other hand, can tell a thousand other stories.

In French because, from time to time, I like to remember that Aqua Aura is an obsession that appeared to me in Belgium, for the first time, several years ago. That obsession spoke French.

The artist’s page: www.aquaaura.it

If you can’t make it to Italy to view this exhibit you might catch the artist’s solo exhibition AQUA AURA Landscape Flowers and Guts at the Galleria Kajaste in Helsinki (Finland) opening the 15 May 2019 or at the VOLTA ART FAIR in Basel (Switzerland) – Stand: Luisa Catucci Gallery – Berlin from 10. – 15. June 2019.

Sweet November 3_Editoria (Large)

Photo Credits: Aqua Aura

 

Painter Kieu Hanh Morel, Singapore

hope (large)offranded'encens (large)

image2„I am originally from Vietnam that I left in 2003 to come to live in France. As soon as I arrived Paris I took Roman calligraphy courses with the calligrapher Bruno Gigarel at the Calligraphy Workshop of Saint-Germain des Prés in Paris 6e, as well as Art courses at the Rueil-Malmaison School of Arts, and then with the artist Dominique Schmitt in Rueil Malmaison to discover new techniques and master the mix of colors and materials.

I have also been attending Chinese calligraphy courses with Mr. Cheng (a local Chinese calligrapher) during my stay in Hong Kong from 2014 to 2017, till I moved to Singapore with my husband. During more than 10 years in Paris, I have been participating in a number of exhibitions and two memorable Cow Parades (2012, 2015) events where I could allow my inspiration to transform and design three cows before they were sold for charity.

happycow4 (large)image3lavachelabeur1 (large)

image1I love mixing in some of my paintings the art of calligraphy together with pictural inspiration. My source of inspiration comes from my homeland, Vietnam, with its typical colors, smells and everyday life scenes. I am happy with a brush in my hand, capturing those simple – albeit loaded with emotions – moments. My quest eventually is to encapsulate life into my paintings. With oil or acrylic, brush, spatula or palette knife, the material is deposited in thick layers to give intensity to the harmony of colors in addition to relief. My paintings are inspired by the mystery of nature and life’s experience and emotions: they are in tribute to life, to nature, to epicurean pleasures.

vieillesse laborieuse (large)

Let me tell you a bit more about my former life in Vietnam. I was born in 1958. My childhood was mostly in Dalat where I spent my studies in French schools such as Couvent des Oiseaux and Lycée Yersin. My father was an architect and used to design furnitures for the Royal Palace in Dalat. He was the one feeding my interest for arts.

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I moved to Saigon with the family in 1980. Like many Vietnamese the family got dispersed in several continents and countries after the war. I used to work for Moet Hennessy in Saigon where I met my husband. As you read before I left Vietnam for France in 2003 and started my art courses in Paris. I did my first exhibition at the Marché des Peintres in 2004 in Rueil-Malmaison (close to Paris), followed by 2 to 3 exhibitions every year in Paris and around from 2004 to 2014.

reflexion (large)

I met French artist Frédérique Stref in Singapore last year. And soon we will have our first exhibition together.“

Kieu Hanh Morel

sl4artglobal wishes you both good luck on this endeavour. Looking forward to hear from you again. And, of course: Waiting for the opening!

Wax Artist Frédérique Stref, Singapore

Forging-2

I met Frédérique Stref in Thailand. We were both in the same idyllic retreat and she told me about her life in Singapore. After a certain while we talked about our work and our passions. She loves creating wax paintings. Wax with different colours. I never heard of this technique before. I was really surprised when she showed me photos of her art. Something special, came in my mind. And perfect for sl4artglobal.Pulse

May I introduce you: The French artist Frédérique Stref.

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She was born in 1967 in Nancy, the French capital of Art Nouveau. Thanks to her father, she grew up in an artistic environment and was exposed to several art techniques, among which was the kiln casting technique known as pâte de verre. Throughout her youth, her father would regularly visit the family at the French Riviera, drawing inspiration from the incomparable colour shades and light of this sunny region.

Aventurine wax on wood 84x64

In 1996, Fédérique moved to Brussels, where she trained as a Spa and massage therapist. In the Belgian capital she was, once more, surrounded by remarkable Art Nouveau architecture. Shortly after she would settle in Copenhagen and then in Den Haag. Both the organic lines of Art Nouveau and the elegant lines of Danish and Dutch design bore a strong influence on her art. While she was living in the Netherlands, Frédérique stumbled upon artworks made with encaustic in an art gallery in Amsterdam.

Stromboli wax on wood 60 x60

The sensuous texture of the medium struck a chord with her, bringing back to her memory the endearing translucency of the glass sculptures that her father used to create in his workshop. The artist immediately sensed that the texture and radiance of encaustic suited her sensory nature, thereby enabling her to closely render her deepest feelings.I know. Dyptic. wax on wood 2x(84x64)

In 2009 Frédérique moved to Asia. In Hong Kong, she came across the work of Indian – American artist Natvar Bhavsar. Together with Mark Rothko, whose ability to express profound emotion through colour left a deep impression on her several years earlier in London, the sensual resonance of Natvar Bhavsar’ paintings planted the seed of her own art practice. The artist who, back in 1998, had discovered by serendipity the fragrant and malleable medium of encaustic, had now found her source of inspiration in the yearning for transcendence and the infinite rendered in the work of Colour Field masters.Beyond-2

With a clear idea of what she was aiming at in her own art practice, Frédérique started looking for an encaustic master. She found him in the person of Gary Simmons, who lived in the French Riviera. The artist traveled back to this much-loved region, eager to start a new chapter in her life. Simmons’ decades of experience with wax and encaustic technique gave Frédérique a firm foundation upon which she started developing her own artistic search.

Contact Mobile:
Singapore   + 65  9235 8047
Hong Kong + 852 9681 7372

Contact E-Mail:
f.stref@yahoo.fr

Website:
www.frederiquestref.com

Interview with Frédérique from May 2019/Radio Singapore:
Here!

Oud, l'instant. Wax on wood. 84 x 64

Giuseppe Ragazzini: An approach

_Guarda a sinistra!_, mixed media on paper, 2006, 27x35 cm (Large)

Exhibition:

GIUSEPPE RAGAZZINI: INCONTRI GROTTESCHI

MORI Gallery
29 November 2018 – 19 January 2019
Vicolo del Vescovado 5/A, Parma, Italy

_Bus_, 108,3x77 cm., 2009, Giuseppe Ragazzini (Large)

By guest author Clare Ann Matz

Painter, set designer, and visual artist Giuseppe Ragazzini was born in London in 1978.

After earning a degree in Philosophy, he became fascinated by the vision of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s documentary Le Mystère Picasso, and in 2002 he began using digital techniques to film the creative process of producing the pictorial image.

Dedicated to both painting and pictorial animation, Ragazzini has developed his own technique for pictorial animation and digital set design, which makes use of huge videoprojections and „mapping“.

Vanoni Servillo, _Le Canzoni della Mala_6 (Large)

In his work, the image becomes subject to an incessant transformation from the permanence of its preceding elements – a flux, a digital collage of elements continuously superimposing over themselves.

His set designs and projections have been displayed across Europe in theaters including Milan’s Piccolo Teatro Strehler and Venice’s Teatro La Fenice.  His animations have been featured in several of the main international animation festivals, including International Trickfilm Festival of Stuttgart, Anima Mundi, International Animation Festival of Brazil, Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), International Festival of Erotic Animation (FIAE), Festival Internazionale at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, and Visionaria International Festival.new york philharmonic-giuseppe ragazzini-dolce vita (Large)

In september 2014 he realized the video set design for the opening gala of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Lincoln Center. In July 2015 „La Dolce Vita, the music of Italian cinema“ was put on stage at the 58. Spoleto Festival. He has also produced videos and set designs for famous Italian musicians such as Avion Travel, Paolo Conte, Vinicio Capossela, Lucio Dalla, Gianna Nannini and Ornella Vanoni.

_Uomo con bambino_, (detail), 2014, mixed media on paper, 70x100 cm (Large)_uomo seduto su poltrona_, 2014 tecnica mista su carta, 70x100 (Large)From _The crumpled series_, 2016 (Large)

Ragazzini’s paintings and illustrations have been displayed in international exhibitions, collections, galleries, books, and periodicals, and he collaborates with the newspapers La Repubblica and Le Monde. Giuseppe Ragazzini is the son of the Italian photographer Enzo Ragazzini.

He lives and works in Milan.

ingranaggi facce (Large)

Clare Matz‘ Interview with the artist:

In which ways has the rich artistic heritage from Italy and Europe influenced your creative language?

My work, especially when I use the collage technique, is largely influenced above all by the Renaissance and Flemish painting. I like to think that this is partly due to my origins, half Italian and half Dutch. These inspirations and suggestions are declined in an imaginary that largely takes inspiration from the reality of our everyday life. Just think of my series „Mysterious Routine“, a series of characters sitting inside a modern bus, made using pieces of Renaissance paintings.

Who/What have been your mentors/teachers?

I am self-taught, which in part I think has saved me from the risks of the „academy“ and the risk of losing the signs and the language I was lucky enough to find myself naturally with since I was young. I am grateful, however, to my parents who were able to recognize and support this pre-disposition without forcing upon it.

My father Enzo in particular (an internationally renowned photographer) was and still is an artistic and moral model for me, a great teacher, an inspiration, as well as a friend and a travel companion from whom I have learned a lot about the shape, the sign and the freedom of artistic experimentation.

From the theatre to television and animation films to the printed page; from pop music, to classical music and more. How do you approach the projects in such different „ambients“? Is there a media you prefer working with? If so why?

My language tends continuously to contamination. The various „drifts“ I have undertaken over the years have all been natural evolutions of a journey begun with traditional painting. Initially I started using digital technologies to summarize the creative process in its development. A technique that I call „pictorial metamorphosis“ was born when my father showed me the documentary: The mystery of Picasso.

The pictorial animation arrived only later, when I felt the need to „animate“ my characters, my paintings and my collages. My pictorial animation and my video scenography is mostly my pictorial works and moving collages. There is no particular field I prefer, the only criterion is the freedom I enjoy in these situations. Obviously, the more I am free from various conditions, the happier I am and I think this always affects the result obtained.

What advantages have the new electronic technologies brought on for creative mutimedia artists like you?

My relationship with the digital world is very strong, although always starting from an analogical base. I believe that in many ways this is an unhappy era for contemporary art, where bluffs abound and often the excess or the end is found to be „an end for the sake of it“. However, I must admit that being born in the digital age was a great fortune for me: I was able to experiment with technologies that did not exist or had exorbitant costs until a few years ago. Just think of pictorial animation or collage or video projections. I believe that the fact of living in this time is the face of my art and my research in the digital and interactive media, a sort of small link between tradition and modernity.

l'acqua non è blu alta hd (Large)

You have created a marvellously interactive app named Mixerpiece. Why did you make it and how did you develop it?

Mixerpiece was born as a creative and educational application able to bring children closer to contemporary art. For years I had this project in mind and the opportunity came after a large permanent installation that I made in the waiting room of the Meyer Pediatric Hospital in Florence, where I also designed an app for hospital children. On that occasion I finally approached the world of teaching and applications and then I finally managed to realize my project.

However, Mixerpiece is not just a children’s app, but it is also a powerful creative tool for adults and even professionals: it is a sort of digital magnetic board with a series of elements, collected in categories, that can be combined to create new collages with infinite and very surprising creative possibilities. The peculiarity is that all these elements are extrapolated from famous masterpieces of art of all the centuries.

If you make ‚long tap‘ on an element you open a card that shows the work from which the piece has been extrapolated and some insights. Creatively speaking the most exciting feature is the ability to change your collage by shaking the iPad, which automatically creates new combinations of pieces starting from the outline of the first illustration created.

What are you presenting at the Mori Gallery in Parma, Italy?

There will be various works on exhibition, from my digital collages, drawings, ceramics to some works that I would call sculptural. The exhibition will end with the screening of my video The Kiss, a passionate kiss collage (made using 60 collages composed of pieces of work by great masters of the Renaissance), a metaphor for the ambiguity and mutability of Eros and human sexuality.

Giuseppe Ragazzini kiss frames copia (Large)

The project presented is an evolution of the theme of the grotesque and the newspaper, a theme dear to me. I like to talk, sometimes even in a rather brutal and disquieting way, of what surrounds us.

I believe it can be defined a work on identity and its grotesque manifestations, a changing identity consisting of endless fragments in constant change. I would like to thank Virginio Mori and Giorgia Ori (curator) for this opportunity to show my latest work.

What other projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on a video set design for a play by Lucia Poli directed by Angelo Bruno Savelli and I’m working on a pictorial video mapping project for a table.

At the same time I’m planning a „Pro“ edition of my ‚Mixerpiece‘ application and I am carrying  on  with my work as an illustrator, collaborating regularly with some newspapers including Le Monde.

Thank you.

L'Illusionista, Teatro dei Rinnovati, Siena (Large)

 

 

Capsula Mundi, Milan

A new approach to Death by guest author Clare Ann Matz.

Death … Leonardo da Vinci once said: „While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.“

Every culture in the world has some concept of life after death. How are you preparing for your rite of passage?

I love you Grampa (Large)

The Capsula Mundi project wants to spur on a reflection on how our society deals with this important moment of life. There is no gloominess, no deprivation, no decay looking at death as a biological phenomenon: Our body keeps on producing elements through natural transformations, therefore it’s still living, feeding another life.

Capsula Mundi 4 (Large)

This project originates from a thought about the role of designers in our society, in the context of an international exhibition about innovation and avant-garde furniture design, the „Salone del Mobile“ in Milan; in 2003 Capsula Mundi was presented. Since then it has excited much interest from all over the world, with articles and interviews on the worldwide media, exhibitions and the support of so many people (more than 32.000 Likes on Facebook) .

It was created and presented by two designers: Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel who created the project to revise the ongoing burial practices and to change people’s approach to death, while respecting nature.

Capsula Mundi 2 (Large)

In 2015 they also presented Capsula Mundi on the stage of the „TEDx“ in Turin, Italy, and in September 2016 it was exhibited at the „Przemiany Festival“ in Poland, an annual event which combines art, science and philosophy with the aim of discussing how scientific and technological advances change our everyday lives and mould the future.

Capsula Mundi was presented in New Zealand as well, in occasion of the worldwide event „Italian Design Day“ in February 2017 and in April 2017 it was also shown at the 56th edition of the „Salone del Mobile“ in Milan, Italy, celebrating the success of the SaloneSatellite with an anthological exhibition.

containerstudio-capsulamundi-cartoline (Large)

Artwork curated by Containerstudio (www.containerstudio.it)

The project has two key points: The use of design to create an evocative and symbolic object which could change the approach to death, and the respect of nature. Capsula Mundi is an egg-shaped container, made of biodegradable material, where the ashes are placed or the remains are laid down in a foetal position. The ancient shape of the egg, the tree which connects earth and sky, the biological transformation of natural substances are all symbols of life, non-religious and universal.

Capsula Mundi Urn_tree 3 (Large)

The pod is buried as a seed in the earth. A tree, chosen in life by the deceased, is planted on top of it, as a legacy for the posterity and the future of our planet. Family and friends look after it. The aim is to have forests instead of gravestones cemeteries.

Schwarzwald_Berlin www.danielbelet.ch (Large)

Landes_PereLachaise www.danielbelet.ch (Large)

Photo copyrights: Daniel Belet (www.danielbelet.ch)

The cemetery will take on a new look, no more dark stones but living trees in a holy forest. The trees will be mapped with the GPS system, so people will be able to find the tree of the beloved. Green burials are the future: It would change our approach to death and give a contribution to save the planet.

containerstudio-capsulamundi-brochure (Large)

Brochure curated by Containerstudio (www.containerstudio.it)

More information on the project:

www.capsulamundi.it

infocapsulamundi@capsulamundi.it