Daniele Girardi is one of the most interesting young artists of the contemporary Italian art scene (website). In his works Daniele explores the fusion of different techniques, repeatedly converting manual work into digital form and vice versa, resulting in a highly sophisticated mosaic of images that contain all the precepts of paintings and have no spatial references. Daniele's works can be seen at the MM Galleries in San Francisco from April 19 to May 26 in an exhibition of mixed-media works entitled Extension of the Inner Landscape. Thanks to Silvia Girardi, BAIA members and friends will have the opportunity to meet Daniele in person on May 24 at the BAIA Investing in Art: the Italian Contemporary Renaissance event. I took advantage of Daniele's recent visit to San Francisco for the opening of the exhibition to ask him a few questions about his artistic activities. Here is the interview.
Daniele, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your artistic activities?
My path as an artist is a fairly common one; I first attended the art institute in my hometown, Verona, then later the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, which was almost a pretext to leave my small town. In Milan I found inspiration and great connections to pursue my career as a painter, as well as a rich dialogue with many artists, who later became companions along the journey. Anyway, in relation to my artistic education, I feel more as a student of life than of academic studies.
I read that artists “feel the pain of the world while seeing the beauty of the world.” In this world do you feel more pain or see more beauty?
It is known that suffering is a necessary step towards wisdom… a similar kind of labored gestation leads to the birth of art. However the feeling of suffering and the vision of beauty are not the unique prerogative leading to creation. I try to ‘survive’ the continuous stream between reality and vision to build my ‘chromocosmo’ (cosmos of colors) and transform… in color the inquietude of living.
In 2006 you were selected to be part of the ISCP (International Studio & Curatorial Program) program in New York. How has this experience changed you and your relationship with America?
My recent time in New York has been an inspiring and significant experience. I had the chance to discover new realities, to meet artists from all over the world, and expand my creative horizon diving every day into the megalopolis. It has been a strong impact without compromises… such is the city itself! I looked and observed a lot, I have filled myself with images and sensations of the American culture, so that now only after a few months, I'm transforming those influences into a more fresh and global vision.
You combine digital and traditional techniques in a very interesting way. Can you tell us the reasons for this powerful hybrid combination?
Let's say I have never really worked with a single technique; I have always looked after the union of elements. I have always been intrigued by the alchemy resulting from the combination of different languages and materials. There is always a surprise when opposite elements react and lead you to a discovery of new paths. The nature of painting is at the root of digital image. I try to let these two languages live together in a single territory where both lose their own identities to create a shared one… like apolide, an identity without a homeland. The hybrid form is continuously changing, as my works are, moving from one phase to the other to fix themselves on the canvas in a continuous ‘come-into-being’.
Your art pieces are fully enjoyable even to people that have never been exposed to art. It’s common for artists to put meaning, shock value, or a message before aesthetic appeal. Can art just be beautiful?
Art, as well as the world, needs positive images available to anyone. In order to create an open dialogue with the viewer, I try to have experimentation and therefore a message coexist with a poetic style and an aesthetic ideal. In a sense I would define my work as ‘pop’ because I transform everyday objects into a new dimension, and give them back to the fantasy world of the painting. My works that are apparently easy to absorb contain under the skin an imaginative world to be discovered and that often remains secret.
What is your relationship with your paintings? Do you try “stay in touch” with them after the sale, or do you let them go?
The relationship with my works reminds me of the relationship between a parent and a son; at a certain stage of his life the son will have to leave the family nest and find his own path to grow and explore the world. This is the way I see my works when I finish them and they are ready to leave -- I wish them to find a good place in other's eyes also.
I would like to thank Daniele Girardi for taking the time to speak with me today, and Silvia Girardi for helping me with coordinating the interview. If you have any questions for Daniele or for BAIA, please leave a comment below and we will be glad to answer.