Oil painting portraits

For four years, from 2006 to2009 the portraits have been the main subject of my artistic research. Mainly oil painting portraits, with a few mixed media portraits and other technics as well, like inks, collages, acrylics,….
I have a deep interest in ancient art and old masters, and the portrait has a history as long as the human history.
Italy has an extraordinary art history, and Veneto, where I hail from, is so rich in witness of this amazing art adventure. Tiziano, Tintoretto, Veronese, Bellini, … just to talk about the main portrait painters of those glorious times.

This legacy is something to make the most of, not something to abandon to follow a rough idea of modernity. A contemporary view is possible and mandatory and can add something and revitalize this evergreen genre.
With these few words, I’m going to illustrate my journey in the world of the portraits.

Early portraits

In the first works, dated 2006, the Strip series, the focus was on the eyes only. The colors dropped freely on the canvas.
In 2007 started a change, as a result, the view is of the whole face. I threw the colors from short distance to the canvas never touching it directly with the brush, in a sort of figurative dripping. The titles make reference to the color in the background (Yellow Portrait, Blue Portrait, …) and this means that there’s an inversion of roles.

If the title comes from the background color it’s a non-portrait, the subjectivity is replaced by something different. It’s not the portrait of an individual person. Foreground and background are merged and the figure loses his main position in the composition. Every element is at the same level, hence they are just dots, no matters what they depict.

Portraits evolution

In 2008 a change took place. I developed a freer technic where every way to paint is accepted: bold brush strokes, dripping, accurate drawing, … everything matters to better depict the subject. The traditional roles are restored at least apparently. The titles do not mention the person’s name yet. It’s a transition point as if the individuality must be conquered.

Latest portraits

Eventually, in 2009 the view is even wider, the body appears (although separated from the head) and the history of the subject and the subject himself return to be the most important thing (Histories of boys series).
The name of the main subject has evoked by his initials (PU and ST).

In parallel there are the works on paper, here, I’ve played and experimented with several technics: inks, collages, mixed media … My logo is taken from one of these drawings, one of the very few, just in black and white.

Male portraits

Then a final note, yes, these are all male portraits. My world has always been pretty masculine, because I’ve grown into a family with my father, two elder brothers and my grandfather, and on the other side only my mather. Later in the gay scene, I found my friends and lovers. Then it was easier to find male models and develop a research following this way.

Links help the web to grow!

“Portraits” is such a huge argument that the links here are just intended to give a view on how the evolution of this genre is difficult to imagine at present.

Is there a future for the portraits in the era of the selfies? This interesting article by the New York Times gives a short glance into this matter:The new face of Portrait Painting