RECENT COLLAGE AND SCULPTURE by Cristina Biaggi
Recently I’ve become involved with abstract collage, which I find liberating and satisfying. My method is the following: I create a series of works on paper in a purely expressionistic manner, not thinking about results but using my intuition and involvement with the movements of my hands and eyes. Then I tear or cut up these pieces and compose a completely new work, using interesting emotive sections of the old pieces to create a brand new composition. Sometimes I have a vision of the work I intend to create (the result seldom turns out like my initial vision); sometimes I don’t, which makes it exciting and challenging. The final work is never what I anticipated and that is in itself liberating.
My portraits are created from another place in my creative imagination. I attempt to establish a non-verbal communication with my subject to create not just a likeness but an inspired work.
AN ENCOUNTER WITH DEAD LEAVES By Gianni Biaggi de Blasys
Paintings are open-ended suggestions, I believe, not definitions: let the beholder enrich the work by his own interpretations, as stated by E.H. Gombrich. “The eye must not rest onto the painting right away, but float a bit, before settling on the whole picture.” Thus a form of ambiguity is to me a prerequisite, whether it be achieved through the illusion of informal art, by abstraction and reversible images, or by surrealism where objects are purposely out of context. Even figurative art is an illusion, according to Gombrich, since it can never literally duplicate reality.
I intend to express in a few of my paintings the contrast between live and dead vegetation, or more pointedly, the baroque beauty and power of dead leaves which I collect: twisted, shriveled and curled up things. As I was observing them a few years ago, they appeared riddled with holes opening up to the sky like bits of hope dotting an overcast and closed atmosphere. This idea inspired me and I yearned to portray something beyond ordinary existence – a liberating image. So, a majority of my works intend to show this aspect, often in a surrealistic vein; others go off the road, portraying a Corrida, a waterfall, even the portrait of a French model, a Tondo intended to contrast the other rectangular frames. My main subjects remain, however, landscapes and still life. I particularly care for the painting “a ficus strangler vine strangles a ficus tree”, for you can observe several images at the same time.
My paintings are mostly acrylic on canvas, sometimes mixed with gouache, or combining photo collages, or still originating directly from a photo, like the painting “Ambiguity”. Up to now, general composition, shapes and colors have been my main concerns, more than painting techniques. I use mostly paintbrushes, but I see more and more the potential of using palette knives, since they are more capable of producing transparencies and gleaming colors. Finally, some of my paintings will be accompanied with poems evoking their subjects.