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)

 

 

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Cindy Sherman, City Gallery Wellington

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The first New Zealand solo exhibition in more than 25 years by internationally-acclaimed artist Cindy Sherman at City Gallery Wellington is on show until 19 March 2017.thumb_cindy-sherman-untitled-466-courtesy-the-artist-and-metro-pictures-new-york-the-artist_1024

New York-based Sherman is widely considered one of the most influential artists living today. Her practice has challenged and shaped the way we think about contemporary photography and her works confront stereotypes and cultural clichés, probing at society’s fascination with issues surrounding the representation of women and the cult of celebrity.

For over forty years, the New York-based artist has used herself as her own model in staged photographs, transforming her appearance through make-up, costumes, wigs, prostheses, and more recently, digital effects.

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Her chameleon-like transformations offer a sustained, cutting and at times disturbing investigation of gender, social conditioning, narcissism and celebrity culture. Cindy Sherman is a major exhibition of Sherman’s photography since 2000, the moment where she returned to photographing herself after a decade of wilful absenteeism from her own work. Cindy Sherman features over 50 large-scale photographs created since 2000, and includes images from fashion house collaborations with Balenciaga 2007-2008, and Chanel 2010–2013 as well as the iconic ‘Head shots’ 2000-2002, ‘Clowns’ 2003–2004 and ‘Society portraits’ from 2008. The exhibition also includes her most recent series referencing old Hollywood glamour along with a large scale, site-specific mural.

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City Gallery Wellington Curator Aaron Lister says, „Visitors will get a rich sense of everything Sherman has made since 2000. She works in discrete and bounded series – this exhibition samples generously from every series from the last 16 years. We see Sherman reappearing as a model or a character in her photographs, and also her embrace of digital photography to open new possibilities or worlds for these characters to inhabit.“

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There will also be a related exhibition of Sherman’s found photographs, albums and scrapbooks. This collection of other people’s photographs—some of which were first shown at the 2013 Venice Biennale—demonstrates how she trawls the collective image bank of culture, and her fascination with how other people present themselves through photography.

Accompanying the exhibition there will also be a series of film screenings – many of which have been selected by Sherman – that have informed her practice, including her own film, Office Killer (1997).

City Gallery Wellington is the only New Zealand venue. Until 19 March 2017.

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Photos: Courtesy of City Gallery Wellington.

 

Dave Goodin, Sculptor, Stewart Island

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Dave Goodin lives as an artist and sculptor on Stewart Island. He offers classes of Jade (New Zealand greenstone) carving. It is a journey into the 3D realm. „I like to show my students the third dimension which they experience when they carve a piece for themselves. It is a remaining jewel, some art from the south of New Zealand. And whenever you rub greenstone it comes alive in your hands.“

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Talking with Dave about his life: „As a young man I was logging trees in New Zealands North Island until a falling tree injured me. I could not work anymore. As soon as I recovered from the accident I wanted to change my life. All the time I was interested in Maori art and I began to study it at a community college at Hawke’s Bay. This was back in the mid 1980s. In my second year of college I taught children lessons in Maori art. In the meantime I developed my own style, my own pieces of art. At that time I used cow bones.

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For the next 4 years I lived in London where I had my first exhibition in 1997 with my pieces of carved stones and bones. As a bread job I worked as a porter in a hospital. In 1999 I lived for a while in China as an English teacher. Still I continued my art. I liked living in China, the country and its culture impressed me.

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Back in New Zealand in 2002 I got a job with Sir Peter Jackson, producer of the Lord of the Rings movies. As a sculptor I worked on the movie setting. I entered a magical world. In total I worked for him for 4 years.

Also I participated at the production of the movie King Kong. I was responsible for everything in the movie which looked green: plants, trees, landscapes. The next film production was The legend of Zorro, with second-unit photography in Wellington.

In 2014 I came to Stewart Island to visit a college friend. I felt in love with the place and I never left. Why? Because of its amazing environment, the few people here, no pollution and because of the weather which always is a surprise.

Want to know more? Contact: davegoodin464@gmail.com

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A journey into 3D realm. Dave teaches the art of greenstone carving in his studio on Stewart Island.

Lala, Painter, Udaipur

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I met Dhrur Sharma, nick name „Lala“ in Udaipur. His gallery is opposite the Hotel Pichola Haveli. He shows his paintings in miniature art. The 38 years old artist paints for the last 21 years. He got inspiration from his artist family. For one painting he needs about 9 days with daily 6 hours of work.IMG_4259 (Large)IMG_4258 (Large)IMG_4257 (Large)IMG_4261 (Large)

 

Burçin Erdi, Painter, Istanbul

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA„I like to watch movies. Normally I look at them in the night and I draw my inspiration from the moving pictures. Indeed, I like fantasy and science fiction movies.“

Burçin Erdi

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAfter more than 2 years I met Burçin Erdi again in Istanbul. I visited the painter in her studio at the Anatolian side of town. We had a drink together and she told me about her last exhibition in summer in Boston, USA. And that she got married to an Istanbul movie director. She seemed to be very happy. In a few months she is expecting her first child.

I saw her new impressive series of pictures. They are mostly made of dark colours. Burçin got inspired by the recent refugee tragedy which leaves Europe breathless.

„I cannot close my eyes when people are dying. Therefore I painted them. I combine them with Athletics, with sportsmen. I just saw many photos from extreme sportsmen. I looked in their faces and I recognized that they all have the same expression. The same as those from people who are dying in the war or between borders. When people are crossing borders they do have all the same expression in their faces.“KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

And Burçin focuses on those images: Dying faces.

Refering to her dark pictures she shows me one of her recent paintings with a group of people at night, all starring in their smartphones and laptops. „That’s my so called blue light“, she admits.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Further she refers to Caravaggio and to Rembrandt. „They all painted pictures in the shine of a candle. Dark pictures.“

Good Luck, Burçin, on your new series of paintings!

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Thép Thavonsouk’s sight of the world

L1180634 (Large)Brussels, Begramoff Gallery. The walls are decorated with stunning pictures in light orange, red and mystical dark colors. And in between there is Thép Thavonsouk, the Laotian-Canadian artists, dressed in a light silk dress and glad to greet all the visitors. I am also invited to his art opening in an arty quarter of the Belgian capital.L1180635 (Large) L1180639 (Large)

It is the first time Thép introduces his paintings to a Belgian, and to an European, audience. Most visitors here have cosmopolitan backgrounds, lived all over the world, worked at different places. Also Guy de Vleeschouwer, the gallery owner. Some time ago he met Thép in his gallery house in Luang Prabang in the lush northern part of Laos and was fascinated by his art. He invited him and his paintings to Brussels and everything started.L1180645 (Large)

Talking with Thép is a pleasure for itself. He looks to his picture in a deep purple color and with the imagination of a lonely monk in it. And then he speaks: About his intention to paint, about the world and his longing to go back once in a while to his birth place Laos – despite of living for decades in Canada. To pay respect to his father and his mother, whose ashes are buried in the capital Vientiane. “I have to go there every year to find my inner peace.”

Then he finally refers to that one purple painting.

“In my opinion purple is a color of spirituality. I like to share it with my audience. It is time to look into ourselves and reach a sense of peace. There is so much chaos in the world. I just want to share a sense of humanity. There is so much sadness around, so many things which are going against my human being. I like to see people happy but lately I saw the opposite. There is now so much uncertainty in the world. As an artist I like to say that it is not bad to go on, just to go on. I hope when people see my art they can feel spirituality and peace and the positive way of living their lives.

I don’t want to see people living in a negative way. Light, one of the focus of my paintings, means to me happiness. This is my small way of saying that I hope there is peace and tranquillity wherever you are.”

Thép Thavonsouk’s plans for the future are easy to handle. “I like to enjoy every minute of what we have and keep on going painting 7 days a week.” The 68 years old artist adds that he is a passionate tennis player. His home for the last 48 years is Calgary in Canada. “It is there where I have my friends who became my family and where my only fight is that one at the tennis court”, he ends, smiling.

Thep Thavonsouk at gallery Begramoff till October 23, 2015.L1180644 (Large)L1180630 (Large)