THE PROJECT “embracing forgotten values”
For just over a year I’ve been working on a project which I call “embracing forgotten values”. The idea is to install 8 large painting, 160cm x 100cm, inspired by the art of Byzantium, in a space where, with the help of lights and music, I can create a place of peace and serenity. I see how here in Switzerland values, spiritual or moral, are slowly disappearing and I would like, as an artist, to intervene by creating a place where a visitor may reflect on the forgotten values of modern society, and give him or her a moment to put aside the stress of everyday life and think about their lives and it’s values.
For this project I have chosen as subjects scenes from the Bible typical of Byzantine art, but to each one I have given my own personal interpretation. It’s an attempt on my part to reach out and remind people how these eternal messages are as important to us today as they were in ancient times. They are values, such as respect for the pregnant woman, forgiveness and the love a mother has for her children which, in my opinion, are a part of the human condition. The scenes are stories from the Bible which we all know but I have made changes so as to bring them closer to modern sensitivity, for example by using more vibrate colours then would have been used in the past. Attached you will find the images of the finished paintings each with its own commentary.
From the point of view of the techniques that I am using I have to say that after my studies of the ancient method of icon painting, tempera on prepared wood and gold leaf, I continued to use very fine brushes and repeated brush strokes but now using oils on canvas. These technical changes started a creative process where I am able to develop my own personal language, in a way that my painting are similar to the works of artists such as Giotto, “El Greco” and even Leonardo because of the precise pictorial passage that goes from Byzantine to Renaissance. I am convinced that I am continuing a tradition in art that started in ancient Greece and I am also convinced that in 2000 years time there will be other artists who, like me, are fascinated by the origins of art. These 8 paintings represent for me the first phase of a process which will keep me occupied for many years to come.
For the lighting and installation I can count on the collaboration of the arch. Giovanni Guscetti, a member of the committee for restoration of historic building in Ticino, and I am fortunate enough to have the brilliant singer of ancient music, Divna Ljubojevic, agree to do the music. I see in her a woman of my generation who, like me, interprets the antique in a modern language so as to remind us of our ancient origins. The art critics Prof. GianLuigi Guarneri and Prof. Zöe Zauartes will write the catalogue which will accompany the project.
Once I have finished all 8 painting, about another years work, I would like to exhibit the project in Ticino, maybe with the help of the Museo d’Arte Moderna in Ascona, after which I would like to see the project travel to different locations in Switzerland, from museums to art galleries, art fairs and biennales, from churches to public spaces. All this will require financing and I shall be looking for sponsors from Pro Helvezia, the Municipality, the Canton, the Confederation and private foundations.