It seems to me that there are two factors that have influenced the life and work of Lorenzo Chinnici, a Sicilian painter that has made the service to the people his vocation. One such factor is a significative meeting with Renato Guttuso in 1953. Even though a child at that time, Chinnici already had a clear idea about his artistic aspirations and was eager to learn from the well-known master. The other factor is long co-living with a disease, which has been damaging Chinnici particularly heavily and which is capable of undermining the sense that is, per antonomasia, a sense of painting: the eyesight. From the former, Chinnici received an imprinting, which has maintained its frank rustic character albeit changing over time in light of new encounters, new experiences of life and form, new mental acquisitions and new sensitivities, developed as a result. Chinnici has avoided any scholarly approach, even though knowledge and references to this or that artist are rather evident. All this with a view to keep utmost coherence between his mode of expression and the main object of his representations, the world of Sicilian common people, the primary veracity of which he grasps perfectly, as an equal, avoiding to mystify it under the aura of the idealization of the sociopolitical matrix (and this represents a major difference with Guttuso) or to trivialize it in search of a more folkloristic picturesqueness. The second factor has emphasized a predisposition of Chinnici, which was already inherent in his way of interpreting the world he encounters (a good example, in this sense, is the Fishermen cycle in the spirit of Michelangelo). The disease has immersed him in reluctancy and difficulty of living, which frees him from unjustified optimism or ancient romantic legacy, which viewed the condition of the commons as in itself the closest to the pure and the good. Nevertheless, Chinnici’s artwork is also far from lacking the pleasure of consoling serenity, when a balanced relationship between a man and nature is re-established. And if the sight does not always assist, it is the memory and the inner vision that compensate for it to confirm the fact that the eye is the most mental of all the senses.
Open Your Art
Open Your Art invites you to immerse in the evocative bright and coarse language of maestro painter Lorenzo Chinnici and the ethereal, feminine work of French artist, Christine Bleny.
This exhibition involves great dynamics. Here you will see the intense, authentic universe filled with insular imaginary of one of the most significant Sicilian artists, in contrast to the fragile, mysterious feminine nature of Christine Bleny.
Two interpretations, different in technical styles and emotion, united by a thin common thread: the suffering.
The works of Chinnici represent a coarse and indignant emotion which is subdued by the delicate and often concealed suffering of the works of the French artist.
At Open Your Art, the artists will exhibit the paintings of maestro Chinnici titled Evasion, that was a witness of his meeting with Christine Bleny during The Synergy of Sons exhibition held in London in 2015.
In the painting, one can see the evidence of a heated argument between the two artists in which the French painter indignantly threw a glass of wine on the canvas in protest to the Sicilian artist's painting style, creating a red stain on the work.
A year later, Lorenzo Chinnici and Christine Bleny met at the opening show of Fire on the Water exhibition and the initial conflict, caused by the difference of artistic languages and the hot temper of both, gave birth to a dialogue that grew into a strong friendship and desire of discussion.
The two artists have sealed their agreement by putting their signatures on the painting.
Giovanni Carfì Urso, curator of the exhibition, has created the title Fire on the Water to reflect the impact that two powerful elements have, when they find a balance and a dialog for confrontation.
The exhibition of Milan opens a new season of Fire on the Water project, which came to life on the shores of Lake Como in the summer of 2016: a series of exhibitions that during the year of 2017 will take place in such towns as Positano, Venice and Taormina.
The works of the maestro Chinnici will also be presented at prestigious international exhibitions in New York and Monte Carlo.
Open Your Art is also an opportunity to showcase the contrast between art and design, taking place in a showroom of doors which is the archetype of architecture and which has always been a refined and exclusive object of design.
The inauguration ceremony will be performed by the art critic Antonio Lombardo, who will introduce the artists and will guide the visitors to the understanding of the exhibited artworks. During the evening a monograph of the artist Lorenzo Chinnici will be presented under the editorship of a famous Italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi.
Let yourself be driven by your imagination.
Spoleto Art meet New York
The proportions and balance of his paintings bring out the best of every scenic detail, which characterises the work of Lorenzo Chinnici and shows the figurative tradition in the middle of an interesting trail, which reproduces and enhances the features and the most important aspects, with an elaboration that is attentive and focused. The aesthetic vision of the whole appears in harmonious composure utilising a chromatic system of tonal consistency. The depictions seem to follow a clear and linear order, which makes it simple in its structural form, but at the same time infuses an essence of deep intensity. It is the voice of a painting, combining past and present that recovers from the existential experience and personnel memories, a vast corollary of images and figures. The carefully chosen colour palette, burning and thick, reminiscent of the vibrant and enveloping warmth of Sicily, with its special and unique life energy.
No need to the artist to touch something real to believe in it,
his imagination is powerful enough to put it there,
he knows it can be created.
Giovanni Carfí Urso
Be brave in your travels through your imagination
Those who bring light to the shadows illuminate the mystery of creation
Giovanni Carfí Urso
The Synergy of Sons
Lorenzo Chinnici and David Kent: two artists, two nations, two parallel worlds, meet again after forty years in Milan and London and create the project "The Synergy of Sons."
"The Synergy of Sons" is the title of the project born from the passion of two sons of art that, after a random meeting that occurred in June of this year in Brick Lane, the heart of London art, have collaborated their effort into creating an art project that starts from the experience and the chance meeting of their parents: two artists, two parallel worlds, two nations Italy and England, Lorenzo Chinnici and David Kent.
The project aims at the construction of two cultural events in Milan (Six Inch, September 29 to October 5) and London (Menier Gallery, November 2 to 7) in which will exhibit the works of the Italian master Lorenzo Chinnici with the English surrealist/pop artist David Kent.
It was a usual wet afternoon in London, in June of this year, when the son of Lorenzo Chinnici across the many picturesque streets of the British capital, was on vacation for a few days in London. It was during his stay in something seemingly extraordinary happened:
He decided to stop off at one of the many inviting local galleries in Brick Lane, driven by the desire to show his friends a painting, exhibited on the walls of a room, that he was particularly impressed by.
Suddenly, just as the son of Italian artist insisted on deep cobalt blue and the elegance of the lines intersected, a man in his forties, suddenly interjected into the conversation, trying to interpret in turn the beauty of the painting.
The man was not slow to come forward with his views, his name was William, and was the son of the renowned English artist David Kent.
After a few moments the ice broke between the two men, and the son of Chinnici, in particular, felt an intense empathy and decided to reveal to William that his father, Lorenzo Chinnici, was a famous artist.
What happened at this point was a once in life time feeling for William, who froze and stared in disbelief at Chinnici's son, as his father talked all the time of a master artist he met 40 years ago in London and also at the same venue, surely this was too much of a coincidence it could not be the same artist? The chances of meeting was a million to one shot, was this fate?
Lorenzo Chinnici that night phoned his friend of 40 years, David Kent who was stammered in astonishment and emotional amazement. Forty year ago, since they last spoke.
A young Lorenzo Chinnici exposed one of his first works in a group exhibition alongside those produced by David Kent. On that occasion, the two did not lack appreciation and courtesies that, quite naturally, that culminated in friendship, in spite of themselves, they had no chance to grow.
The son of the two artists, united by the emotion of their meeting, decided to give a deeper meaning to that point and thought of developing a project with the objective to meet again after forty years the two fathers, along with their art, and a symbol of their friendship and the union of two great nations, Italy and England.
The project consists of the playing of famous sax player Florencio Cruz, An Argentinian musician who fell in love with this story and the artistic style of the two Masters, and will accompany them as a testimonial.
Lorenzo Chinnici is now a painter visually impaired: hit by maculopathy, he lost his sight in one eye while the other had visibility reduced by 40%, vice destined to degenerate from year to year. Nonetheless, his energy and his strength still allow him to achieve great masterpieces. Similarly, albeit mild, David Kent, has glaucoma, he continues to create great masterpieces. The artists have chosen by agreement, to donate to the RNIB The Royal National Institute of the Blind and in addition, the Menier Gallery, London the gallery that will host the artistic event, and will also donate the proceeds of the cost of the premises to the charity "Paintings in the Hospital".
Some heartfelt figurative presences of Lorenzo Chinnici are situated on colorful landscapes marked with robust paces that well complement the solemnity of certain attitudes.
The real landscape of Chinnici
Chinnici’s painting, homogeneous in its polychromatic drawing, pleases for several reasons. First of all, his painting is clean, geometrically contained within well-defined boundaries that expresses itself in an uncommon mastery of drawing. Secondly, it is not only the drawing itself that gives prominence to the subject but also the choice and combination of colors, not only used as a filler but also as the content in order to express the fullness of things. Third, his paintings bestow a quiet and soothing feeling that make one feel closer to those places that become part of ones aspirations as ideal moments of rest and relaxation.
Maybe there's a message in this definition of the nature “chinniciana”, a message or an invitation: tolove nature more and to feel it as an important element of human life, to respect it and not just to perceive itas mountains of cement and long ribbons of asphalt, cold in winter and hot in summer. Nature expressed by Chinnici reminds me of pastoral elements, green corners looked after by manfor his civic wellbeing, glimpses of marine life kept in order by man withlittle effort.
It does not seem to me entirely accurate to define Chinnici’spainting as a concrete transposition of reality as a result of a brief if accurate reading of the present. In fact in some of his marine depictions the position of his boats, viewed from any perspective contain a veil of fantasy, an almost dreamlike vision of the images which, in some cases, are purposefully held firm in a precise but non linear outline, almost transfixed in the veiled glow of a pinch of restrained unreality.
Let us look for example at his marine views with their boats and his landscapes with their house’s. Here Chinnici, rather than merely emphasize his obvious deep love for nature, also attempts to communicate with it. Attempts to establish a sensitive relationship, an exchange of mutual cooperation, as if to say “ nature I'll give you life, and you man help me to be remain neat and clean, without degrading or killing me”. Perhaps there is also this message in the naturalistic paintings of Chinnici, a kind of color poetry that sings the simplicity of country life and of sea life, to contemplate an ideal of bliss and serenity of the soul, content with what nature provides and that human civilization has not yet spoiled and contaminated.
Neither does it escape consideration that wherever one finds space to consider the framework of a Chinnici painting one becomes pensive and thoughtful, almost religiously respectful of the natural environment in which it is located and from which it draws inspiration, this is exemplified in those paintings depicting old men sitting alone by the marina.
But this is not all there is to Chinnici. His paintings are equally at home in modern surroundings away from the clichés of traditional classicism and can fill a decorative role in any situation.
In each figure there is almost always an air of suffering, of sadness, of melancholy. There’s a climate of drama and at times also of tragedy that communicates to the heart sensations of trouble gathered in corners of loneliness exactly like those of certain fishermen and unsmiling matrons. Perhaps in those persons torn by the author from reality, there are memories and visions of a tormented childhood and an insecure adolescence, already witness and heir to the many ruins of war. There are figures who offer one, without recourse to rhetoric other than images, a message, sometimes a reprimand or admonition, to ensure that the end of one war does not become merely the prelude to the next as unfortunately occurs only too frequently. The most recurrent themes are those of suffering and labour. In the picture showing a fisherman mending nets there is also the figure of a seaman who appears to be doing nothing other than gazing out to sea. But who can say that seagazing and thinking is a sign of laziness? This fisherman leaves us to guess the anguish of his thoughts and his unease even though his back is turned to us. He contemplates the waves, the clouds, the horizon and sees that it’s not serene. And so Lorenzo Chinnici, through his characters reveals himself as an artist who manages to give colour to thoughts, and very often they are grey thoughts that are dying, suffocated by boredom, by apathy or by resignation. That resignation which was not pleasing to Guttuso and which in his characters became rebellion.
It is important to mention that many qualities that belong to Chinnici’s masterpieces, are also inside the Artist. He is humble but not shy. He is not a careerist and the other artists do not make him nervous and jealous. He does not envy the fellow who, even with less merit, is higher than him in the official rankings. Chinnici knows that the success does not make the real cleverness of a man. Although he is a self-made man, he is a man of school. He was on the shelves, now he is on the chair, but he obviously knows that the best and the most indelible lessons do not belong to a regular course of study, but to life experiences. In the world of modern Arts, He gives more importance to affections than judgements. With these assumptions, which reflect a maturity and an inner balance achieved, it revealed both in the man and in the artist. Lorenzo Chinnici fits with his art in the overview of the new generations, with that sort of authority that comes from the qualitative energy of the art itself and not from the economic and political centers of power that appear so polluted of bias and injustice.
The real poverty of the poor lies not so much in their economic status as in their state of mind. When men do not have ideals anymore, then it is better not to even have ideas, as to have ideas alone, not illuminated by ideals, ultimately makes them slaves to selfishness and often to crime.
It seems to me that in Chinnici’s poor there is a presence of mind not as a justification for a particular political affiliation, but as the gnawing of inner thoughts on the human condition by those who know that regardless of who governs, their lot in life is to work to keep body and soul together and to eventually pay for their own burial. More or less all of Chinnici’s figures force me to ponder on life’s problems and to enter a realm of thought with wide entrances but narrow and difficult to find exits. But, on close examination of his landscapes, I feel as though I am in front of the works of a different artist; I do not say better or worse, but just different, able finally to commit more to feeling rather than to thought, and therefore mentally more restful, more lyrical, more Mediterranean. In fact, the contrast between these two aspects of Lorenzo Chinnici’s artistic production should not be surprising, nor be regarded as an inconsistency, much less as a contradiction or a false note. Just think of the painful sadness of the Greek tragedies.
They were always tragedies, but were presented in front of the most beautiful scenery, under beautiful skies, in theatres purposefully built in the most pleasant and charming locations. The beauty of the natural scenery was not at all incompatible with the sadness of the tragic work, because, in the final analysis, even in sadness there is beauty and in tragedy poetry. Without the pain, the fountain of art dries up. Lorenzo Chinnici perhaps unknowingly, that is, without a predetermined will, but out of pure instinct, has created like the ancient Greeks, has felt like the ancient Greeks, as if he had said to his art the same words spoken by Baudelaire to his wife: “Be beautiful and be sad”
Every landscape has its own soul and its own expression like a face, and every face is at the same time a landscape in which the artist seeks to capture not only the lines, but the drama that is its hidden secret.
Lorenzo Chinnici, when still young had developed an uncommon maturity and capacity of expression. His technique is the fruit of long study conducted with seriousness and application. His style is nervous but without frenzy, is attentive and precise without affectation.
One could say that many of the qualities inherent in the work, are also inherent in the artist, and it is natural that it should be so, at least for those who regard sincerity as a cornerstone of their art and life and see in art the antithesis of artifice. He is humble without being timid.
He is not a careerist and is not nervous of self-proclaimed experts and those who pander to current trends for either personal gratification or profit. He does not envy colleagues who, with apparently less merit, supersede him in official grading ’s for he knows that pedestals do not form part of the true stature of a man. Although self-taught as an artist he is a man of learning, he has served his time on the student’s bench and the teachers desk and believes deeply that the most valuable lessons are not those learned in school but rather those taught to us by our life experiences.
In a modern artistic world which appears to have a greater rapport with opinions than with affections Chinnici who strongly believes in the latter does not believe in a cerebral art deaf to the reasonings of the heart and those social callings which are the yeast of the bread of life.
On this premise and with an acquired maturity and inner peace which is revealed both in the man and his art, Lorenzo Chinnici takes his place amongst the new generation of artists, with that authority which derives from the quality of the art itself and not from any artificial fame purchased in an art world which today more than ever appears to be contaminated by partisanship and injustice.
Chinnici’s artistic nature was evident from a very young age.
According to Voltaire “All those who have made a name for themselves in the field of art have done so against the wishes of their parents”
The cultural direction of our artist in his very early youth was undoubtedly mistaken
For the rest, the life of an artist consists of a multitude of unexpected and strange events that may hinder or delay but never manage to suppress the overwhelming power of artistic inclination.
How many poets, painters and sculptors have commenced life forced into the arid study law and mathematics, but such artists although resigned have equally managed to escape the banality of daily life constantly immersed in the sweet spirals of their poetry.
Perhaps our Lorenzo has always kept in mind the words of Gabriele D’Annunzio “love your dream even though it torments you”
And so it is that from inauspicious beginnings he embarked on the voyage of life with the prestigious virtuosity that gushes not from easy and superficial improvisation, rather from introspective meditation and real vision.
To paraphrase the words of the great Petronius.
Art is a tough mistress and those who strive for excellence must be prepared to lead a simple and austere life.
“Ambition to fulfill the austere demands of Art,
The mind moving to mighty themes,
Demands discipline, simplicity –
The heart like a mirror.
Disdain the haughty seats of the mighty,
Humiliating invitations to drunken dinners,
The addictions, the low pleasures,
The mental spark guttering out with wine.
Refuse theatre seats,
Refuse to sell applause
To the actor’s empty mouthings.”
Before producing it is necessary, especially in the field of art, to have a glimpse of one’s inner self in order to be able to explain the world that surrounds one, to contemplate according to one’s own vision, sad or happy as that may be.
Who knows how many times our painter, prey to his own artistic drive, at the most unpredictable times, has returned to his work to retouch an element, to better form an expression, to trace the outline of a face, to make clear on canvas a state of mind by way of the configuration of a glance or a particular attitude of the body.
One happy day the conditions may fall just so and allow for an easy production. Then as Maupassant would say, the ideas seem to fall from the hands and automatically fix themselves to the canvas.
Perhaps similar to the painter Oliver, behind closed doors, seperated from the world, in the peace of a closed house, in the mountain village where he teaches, in the peace of his studio, with clear eye and lucid spirit, over excited, active, he finds the happiness granted to artists to produce their works with joy.
There are moments in which nothing else exists for an artist in those hours of work, except the piece of canvas on which an image is born under the caress of a pen and in this crisis of creativity he feels a strange and beautiful sensation of richness of life which exalts and diffuses in him.
In themes in which art, regardless of rare exceptions, in every field marks time towards a bewilderment of the spirits, our artist, taking a backward step, has intended and intends to realize with his paintings, a note of brightness, extending a pointer towards those abundant morals and spirituality that through the centuries have comforted man, snatching him from lethargy, to that exestential ascetism that in deed imparts the will to learn even from the forms of a decadent art.
To portray nature without indulging in hysterical contortions of lines and forms pushed by a lively passion, says, in our judgment, to educate and recreate the spirits
Lorenzo Chinnici wants to be an ardent guiding light towards the values of life, of thought, of the spirit, of that world in fact so unlike those youths who are desperately searching for something new, forgetting the old lesson of Orazio who taught that “there is nothing new under the sun”. NIHIL NOVI SUB SOLE.
The paintings of our artist tend to affirm that same nature, permeating and diffusing from our interior world that reflects itself like a divine and mysterious light, and exactly in the same universe that one traces an affiliate of life and of joy of great Art, of true Art.
G. C. Capritti
Chinnici deeply loves nature in all its best delicate expressions, in its most beautiful sceneries, in its quite and eloquent loneliness.
G. C. Capritti
Lorenzo Chinnici's Pictoresque Art
Lorenzo Chinnici: a young talented artist that surely will be successful all around the National Territory.
A chance made me enter among various paintings of the Artist, exhibited in a room on the ground floor of the "Garibaldi Marina" in Milazzo. It has happened the other night, towards the sunset, when the veils of scarlet clouds aligned to the calmness of the sea, in the hot spell of August, while I was walking distracted into the gallery of dark trees among vermilion lights.
Lorenzo, we prefer to call him only using his proper name because it already expresses poetry and high lyricism.
He loves everything is beautiful, true and good.
He deeply loves the nature in all its most delicate, in its most beautiful landscapes, in his loneliness and silent as eloquent.
They are groups of huts protected by degrading hills where there is no soul: it vibrates only the contemplative spirit of the painter.
Roofs of tiny villages, with tiles eroded by time and weather.
Barefoot women, with faces worn by fatigue for the squat daily leaning to the side of a boat.
A baby with a discouraged face that clings to the mother so heartfelt.
Houses spread around a serene lake.
A man with a desperate face, with shut eyes, that rest his occiput on the palm of the hand, in a troubled slumber.
Lines of trees that lie next to the sea and tower their tops in a clear sky.
Chinnici’s painting penetrates the soul and break with the mysterious voice of a high poetry: a poem full of sad notes.
The artist knows how to capture the sublime spectacles of nature, the sensory qualities of form, line, color, and he is able to rip any true harmony.
His canvases are measured and balanced in composition, the masses and shades.
The paint flows from a sincere emotion and it possesses the power of suggestion in the heart of the beholder.
The technique of the artist responds to the call of feeling ready.
The different paintings materialize pages of heartfelt intimacy that remain etched in the soul.
He succeeds because he is inspired by the reality 'of life not to the vagaries of the theories that mostly end in "isms", destined inexorably even if they have benefited from apparent, triumphal parenthesis, the total DISAPPEARANCE of the world of ART.
Chinnici could correspond to the motto of the Goncourt: " ARTS IS “THE REAL” POETRY".
The note that fascinates me most is the silence of the picturesque landscapes, superb peace and amplitude.
G. C. Capritti
The new trendin painting tends towards the abstract and a particularly marked aspect of art today is to no longer reflect reality, that reality which has for so long been the window through which art was viewed. Modern art thrives on surreal images fed by the jargon of museums which speak of abstract art, deformed, almost bent. A painting derives a surrealism which, by way of expressionism, assumes the tones of a new alphabet which can be primitive or savage. Strangely therefore reality is almost excluded from art and is superseded either by memory or consciousness and which therefore on the canvas’s of the new artists is used solely as a pretext for a more simplified form of communication. It seems then that these days, almost no artist wants to paint reality, depicting figures and landscapes, it’s as if modern artists don’t want to look around themselves, and at the same time, don’t want to risk placing themselves in competition with those artist’s who, throughout the long history of art, have been the symbols of realism and figurative reality. Lorenzo Chinnici is prepared to take this risk, an artist who seems on the threshold of his expressive maturity and who inserts himself in a realsitic ambient, rediscovering the flavour of painting day to day life. This is art born directly from the reality that surrounds us, turning on the one hand to the landscape of his beloved Sicily and on the other to the persons who inhabit this landscape and their daily lives in all its aspects, it’s joy, its drama, its euphoria and indeed its boredom. In doing this Chinnici (Born Merí Sicily 1942) with his art well grounded in his Sicilian environment, avoids that great pitfall,to which so many succumb, a sterile representation of realism, not only being deluded into trying to produce something better, but above all betraying the basic principles of the artist. So it is in Chinnici’s recent artistic output one notes how his realism, if on the one hand freed from the filters of memory and consciousness, has fully adopted as a guidline the total incorporation of “the world as seen through the eyes” from which he derives an interpretation of reality free from sentimentality. An approach which is practically the opposite of those who today apply elements of “neosurrealism” or of “neoexpressionism” which actually reduce realism to something different, (visionarismo or protest) which already existed, while Chinnici derives his sensations directly from reality. It is possible in some ways to view his work under two profiles. There is actually primarily the wish to recover moments from a world almost trivial that the artist takes upon himself to rescue from its condemnation to anonimity. As for example Chinnici does when he paints the weariness of farmers and fishermen, when on the canvas he shows glimpses of rustic folk, the landscapes of childhood in which everything appears limited and narrow, or when he grasps scraps of life such as a meeting, somebody waiting or a small scene. If in doing this the artist assumes almost the role of reporter, reducing the art to the mundane or, bestowing on the mundane the dignity of art, his realism offers also another aspect, which derives from the ability to squeeze the unremarkable to harvest on the canvas the juice of a sensation, of a participation sometimes sorrowful sometimes nostalgic, sometimes dramatic, in this way the human figure, usually very well depicted, implies a strong tension almost tormented, while the landscape seems to introduce and to invite a peaceful conquest of an anxiety satisfied by serenity. From the complete body of work, which sometimes resembles, especially in the landscapes, a tuscan style, transposed into a Sicilian reality, comes forth a type of narrative that goes beyond the images and which involves the participation not only of the eyes but of the heart. The involvement of that heart with which the artist is watching the reality to interprete or to fix the present in his mind, if only thinking that soon all this will have passed, irredeemably swallowed by time, that it will finish with the cancellation of all these scraps of life, even the memory.
His realism ... is given by the ability to express the daily life in order to collect on the canvas the core of a feeling, of a participation that could be sometimes painful, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes dramatic.
Chinnici lives in Sicily, in a small town; in my opinion, he has a secret balcony in the seaside, the airy and colorful blue seafront that only Sicily has, or in the countryside; I say that because he only knows how to give to the themes of his Art images and truer meanings that belong to the sea and to the people and landscapes of a opulent and sunny countryside. The latest works presented confirm the “Chinnician” rationalism and his conflicting vision of aesthetic conventions, but also reveal, in our opinion, an accomplished expressionist technique that seems to conclude the artistic experience, which began with passion many years ago. We feel perplexed, in fact, in these last works the smooth surfaces and the excessive attention to details draws the innate instinct of Chinnici as interior decorator. This is without considering the artistic limit, however, we refer to other appointments for budgets or new evidence.
The Master of Colour
Chinnici was already a committed painter when, as a youth, the great Salvatore Pugliatti, in a crowded competition singled him out for the award of first prize, encouraging him on an artistic path that would never distract him from a tense relationship with reality, always represented with robust richness of theme and of colour. Since then the artist albeit with characteristic reserve and detachment from the fashions of figurative content has inserted himself in the artistic ambient and has participated in various competitions and followed the artistic debate. I have personally followed the work of this artist for some time and I confess that the comfortable fashionable ways of cold and analytical experimentalism do not attract me, his work is wellgrounded in the history of realism. Today the artist, as observed by Lucio Barbera who has presented him in catalogue, has arrived at expressive maturity of taste in the daily depiction of the landscape and the life of his homeland. His present exhibitions permit one to observe his obstinate artistic perserverance.From actual locations in the Sicilian landscape, (maise harvesters-olive harvesters) to those imaginary (country landscapes-hill roads) where the language is that of creative reality he submits to the seduction of the heart and of fantasy, to the natural melancholy of the Sicilian, to the sense of solitude and to the pity oflife’s fatigue and his work takes life and power, pity and pathos from it. His fishermen, old people and their boats are both symbols of humanity and of myth, his humble people simply waiting for who knows what. These latest works in fact announce a new phase in the work of Chinnici and underline his state of contentment. Of great artistic commitment they have in common an immobile background and are charged with sadness, the representation gives the impression of bitterness and sadness and exalts in colours in absolute tones which endows the subjects with a modern Caravaggio like light.
Energy that the critic Marcello Danzé has singled out in the Eros........one of his more celebrated works, in which the physicality of the lovers resembles those of michaelangelo and the colour, resonant with vermillion, manifests feeling, vitality, enthusiasm. Inevitably therefore Chinnici’s voyage around reality, full of danger and risk, happily avoided, comes to rest at the memory of the truth, at the metaphor of reality, at a type of narrative which goes beyond images and which demands the participation not only of the eye but also of the heart, in a synergy increasingly more intimate and involved between life, nature and art.
The story of the artistic life of Lorenzo Chinnici has its beginings in 1965, when the highly respected art critic Salvatore Pugliatti chose him from amongst hundreds of competitors for the award of a prize for the maturity and meaningful expression of a thoughtful Sicilian Landscape. Since then Chinnici has remained true to his artistic values whilst honing his skills and pefecting his technique. He continues to regularly exhibit his works year after year. Chinnici’s work evokes memories and takes one to a promised land to which only his pictures can transport one. Extraordinarily his view of the world isolates him from the conventionalism of contemporary art, from physical naturalism and social repression and provides a breath of the warmth of humankind, a screen to display the hard working life of poor devils, to the gloom and charms of the daily human drama.
Chinnici is an artist with a style which is unmistakeably his own, original for the ability to translate his vision onto canvas. Certainly the taste of this artist owes a lot to the mediterranian realism of the great Sicilian painters, primarily Guttuso, but the overall tone of his work draws influences from throughout twentieth century art and from his own life experiences, and the truths which reside in each of us. He creates landscapes, portraits, the flakes of existence such as farmers, fishermen, friends variations of the world of man poured forth from our time, from every time.
The reality between creativity and emotion is thus recombined in the paintings of Chinnici that span the seasons, fashions and time and manage to combine the reasonings of the eye and the heart with an evocative magnetism as only the feelings and expressive values of a true artist can do.
The sfumato realism of Chinnici
Visiting an exhibition of the Artist Chinnici what firstly emerges are the human figures, caught in a moment of essential daily activity, work. Effectively, they are well positioned on the canvas and represent the typical realistic painting fiction. If in some cases, Chinnici paints a past as lost energy, it doesn’t want to mean being conservative. He evokes the past because he wants to let us remember that there is something valuable and healthy, composed of sacrifice, on it that cannot be abandoned to this invisible and paranoid sense. I therefore share, in the critical notes that open the catalog, those of M. Truscello that emphasizes a sense of the author that participates at the wave of time distant from conventional art, social contenutism and physical naturalism, in order to achieve in his human subjects a warm breath. I was actually given the same questions and answers, sliding the eye from one painting to another. I liked most, more responsive to my feelings, the untitled mythical laundresses, the peasant at work, the women in the balcony and the elders on a bench. So he intends to offer (most importantly) on the habitual gesture, a spontaneous tranches of daily life or drama. In this amazing work Chinnici is already a poet, even before grabbing the brush. The “reality" of his work, at this point, is a transcendent reality; because, dedicating him a famous Brechtian concept, realism is not the way things are but how they really are.
The “gruppo di corrente”* around which collected the major exponents of art of the period 1938-1940, left to posterity a new pictorial reality devoid of compromise and therefore free from any restriction. This tradition nurtured the great artists Guttuso, Maccari, Migneco etc. Who were able to develop their own style of avant-garde realism.
Lorenzo Chinnici has managed to get the most from this historic political and cultural moment. The masters style has two fronts: on the one hand his depictions of the Sicilian landscape to which he seems deeply connected and on the other the people around him as they go about their daily life, with its attendent drama, joy, and indeed boredom.
His painting, uniform in its multicoloured drawing, therefore pleases for a number of reasons. Not only because it is a clean picture, geometrically composed within precise borders that already demonstrates an uncommon mastery of design which emphasises the subject, but also the choice and combination of colours used not only as a filler but also as an intimate part of things.
Chinnici was born in Merí in NE Sicily in 1942. The Sicilian environment and some bitter childhood experiences influenced his early artistic output and lead to the production of paintings charged with drama which slowly changed and lightened with maturity while at the same time retaining the themes closest to his heart, that is, the Sicilian world.
Thus he went on to create landscapes, portraits and glimpses of the life of country people, fishermen, and children with an almost imaginary realism. In doing this the artist keeping his feet firmly on the ground avoids that grave mistake which many make of offering a sterile representation of reality, not only in the illusion of making something better, but above all drawing a world apart not as a mirror but as a projector.
With the human figures usually very well drawn, he implies a strong tension almost torment, while at the same time his landscapes seem to induce a pleasing serenity, a type of narrative which goes beyond the images and requires the participation not only of the eye but also the feelings.
*Historical note. The youth magazine founded in 1938 as the “Current of Youth” (and suppressed by Mussolini’s censors in 1940 at which time the name had become simply “Current”), during its brief existance became the focal point for many young artists who would later achieve greatness. This grouping became known as the “gruppo di corrente” because of this association with the magazine.
The battle between Arabs and Normans
The painting shows the well-known battle between Arabs and Normans, which took place in 1088 in the area of Milazzo and Tindari, north of Sicily. Roger I, Norman Count of Sicily, was the son of Tancred of Hauteville (Normandy 1031 – Mileto, Calabria 1101). He was leading the battle in 1060 to conquer south of Italy with his brother Robert Guiscard, with whom he shared the land of Calabria and conquered Messina, Palermo and Siracusa.
Over the course of thirty years, until 1092, Roger I snatched Sicily from the Arabs. After his success, the Norman Count of Sicily restored the churches destroyed during the Arab domination and built a Basilian monastery, a church dedicated to St. Filippo and one dedicated to the virgin and martyr St. Lucia, properly called Lucia del Mela.
Despite the Normans victory, the Arab culture was still strong in Sicily and merged with the Normans, which led to the formation of a peaceful and multi-ethnic society.
The wall painting features an impressive chromatic dynamism that strongly highlights the action of the Count D’Altavilla, Robert Guiscard, on his horse bent and jibbed, wielding his saber against the Arab knight.
The warrior's dead body lying on the ground around which the bloody battle takes place is realistic as much as the other figures. Looking at scene, it seems to perceive the clash of the irons and to hear the injured shouting and the death rattles of the warriors. It also seems to discern the dust caused by the knights or the horses and it is amazing to think that this happened in our land.
Piazza "F.P. Fulci "recently restored, could not have a better role in terms of not only on the socio-cultural and aesthetic level but also on an educational one. With the participation of the Mayor Giuseppe Cocuzza, councilors and civil, military and religious authorities.
The crucifixion presented in this church to believers and non believers alike, comments Professor G. Anania, an artistic masterpiece of ten metres in length and approximately five metres in height -is born from the intense interior anguish of the artist, Renzo Chinnici, in the moment of his creative act and his reflections on the sublime sacrifice of Christ, made man in the womb of the virgin mary, to redeem humanity from sin.
Lorenzo Chinnici in the act of his creation lights his fire and grasps the objective meaning of new content, of new forms of a painting disgorged from the depths of his soul the soul of an authentic believer. He translates in colour and form his concept of the crucifixion, allowing the observer to see with amazement, with trembling reflection.The sacred representation of Lorenzo Chinnici which springs from a deep act of faith is given not only to the faithful believers in the hope of reinforcing even more the faith of those who already possess it, but also to open, rather to throw wide open to god the doors to the heart of the agnostic and the indifferent.
The composition of the work is divided into two distinct zones, to the right of the viewer one sees the crowd gathered on Golgota, amongst whom stands out the young John who is turning his gaze towards the sad Mary and the ancient Joseph of Arimatea with a dumbfounded expression. These are personalities of much spiritual fascination.
To the left are depicted Roman Centurions with red tunics, with sandals and knee length boots, with banners, lances and helmets. All of whom display an attitude between menacing and perplexed. In any case they are all figures which, once seen, can never be forgotten.
At the centre of the work is Christ crucified stoneyfaced with pain, made marblelike by the intense physical suffering, a face dominating and intensely magnetic.
Worthy of note is the figure of Mary Magdalene who, with her long disarrayed hair is prostrate at the base of the cross in a gesture of great love.
Lorenzo Chinnici, holds a highly respected position in the difficult world of contemporary art by virtue of a personal and incisive mastery of colour, not to mention a deep awareness of design and perspective, with the present sacred representation he leaves of himself to time a mark of no small importance, albeit with different judgments.
S. Andrea'a Church
This artwork in all its glory differentiates itself from the previous Crucifixion painting by Lorenzo Chinnici. This is not a deliberate choice. The sufferings related to the Greek tragedies are replaced by a sequence of the artist’s hidden pain. The artist identifies himself with this masterpiece by transferring his agony for the advancement of the loss of his sight, knowing that it will lead to blindness. The theatrical portrayal of a hermetic world of this emotion unites his torment with that of Christ. The many moments of panic while painting, the anguish and hope of the artist flow and intersectsimultaneously arriving to a point of experiencing the suffering similar to that of Christ. The artist paints as though he is already blind, a pure rationalized energy, catalyzed by his unexplainable internal propulsions. A message not only for Catholics but to the world and of all religions, to those who are in suffering and to all who are looking for “the “ reason of Life. When one finds themselves in this vortex, everything seems hazy, there is a part of our soul united with hope,an uncontrollable force and energy, partially tied and softened by the artist, which moves and contrasts harmoniously. Without practically looking at the surface touched by the stroke of the brush, almost unable to see, the artist forgets all the technical forms of balance, convention and parameters of painting. The patterns begin to form from panic and rebellious energycombined with hope, coordinated with a method acquired over time by the artist. Lorenzo Chinnici asks his clients to look beyond the superficial image and try to read between the lines as their opinions are his best critics for his work.
Paul James Smith
Wait of a Mistique response
We will return to worship idols
We will desecrate the graves to embrace our dead loved ones
We should have thought about that before
We have never existed
We should ask our sister – monkey or our mother - science
We should ask our God Father or our christian brother
If we have the strength, we should also ask ourselves.
It could also respond the unique and common God
who is inside of every of us.
Dedicated to Chinnici
I have seen the pictures you have made
I see you while you are getting older
Painting people, houses and Jesus since you were born
Compensations are not many and the path you went through is sad
The best wish is peaking, you as a painter and me as a writer.
The Synergy of Sons.
Works by David Kent and Lorenzo Chinnici, Six Inches, Milan, 29 September 2015
Written by Marcello Francolini, Art Critic
The 2 artists meeting again, after more than forty years thanks to a chance but decisive meeting, for their children as a result of a critical discussion about some artwork.
It seems to be the beginning of a story of the taste of the past. Today in our communicative society, in which we are able to enter at any time of the day in any place of the world, it focuses on a bygone era for the 2 artists.
This reunion has something symbolic also of the chance meeting of the two children.
This acts as a demonstration of the consistency of these two artists, who after many years of mutual unknown activities are found in the same clothes that are very frayed and worn which highlight the thoughts "to see."
Both artists, David Kent and Lorenzo Chinnici, move away from being a reality in contemporary art, recovering a mystical representation.
By reality I refer to the practice now disruptive, in contemporary dell'incorniciamento of things, a process that sees its role in the re-definition of reality: ready-made.
Here nothing is closer, we perceive at once the distance with the reality of the picture to be asked first. No works to be seen, but are ways to see through work. As objects arranged and are organized according to a predetermined way (as in the case of ready-made) are able to leave their functionality to suggest new meanings which are inevitably present here and expose themselves in their evidence and their material flow occurs nell'evenienza of reality.
This contrasts with the practice of these two artists that are pursuing the way of painting remain silent in an attempt to abandon it, the significance of its subject, and retrieve it as part of being acted out (in fact the painting is not as an observation post but as the action of the work) we could define it as an imagination, considering that everything is transformed (the painting is basically a job and how this transformation happens) before it is imagined.
Back to the Real
Critical reflections on the work of Lorenzo Chinnici:
How do we look at the works of Lorenzo Chinnici? Which side to measure the features? Within which we can bring together the historical perspective?
So it is with these works that seem to be suspended in time. Some of them are finely veiled touches of sea breeze, as the cycle of "fishermen". Behind these coatings lie gestures simple but essential, on the whole this retains a genuine spontaneity so as to generate an immediate empathy with the subjects represented, their moods, their thoughts, what they have done and what we still have to do.
This is evident in the close-ups, all the attention is focused on being. The viewpoint has been lowered and puts the viewer in a state of confidentiality; the volume of the bodies is magnified in volume.
This simple majesty, invites us to a pleasant intimacy of the artist, and we can move to the territories of the beyond.
Prospects border on the skin of the figures, and yet such a short space that form and emerges as bullies mending a status que of an ancestral image of the world now abandoned by contemporary society. Who would not want to pause so, all'albeggio of a Sicilian day at the foot of the Mediterranean?
[I would like, for a moment, to open a bracket around the "pause" for the viewer. The pause is a condition in which the man closes the world to learn to feel it, looking at it. The pause in this sense, today, is beyond doubt an action to rebel against the status quo. I am reminded of the concept of Horror Plen Dorfles, presented in the book of the same name in its opening of the twenty-first century, this horror of the overflow, which corresponds to excess noise, both visual and auditory, is the opposite of any information and communication capacity. Now, within this status quo, Dorfles, complained of the possibility of a break, an estrangement with the ultimate goal of maintaining self-awareness, today continually endangered. ]
Many of the works of Chinnici, seem to come to light in the timetable that the sun rises, many of his characters stop at dawn, as the Lampara, work, the others begin. But what is this dawn that is revealed? It is in this dawn that shows the evidence that takes form, in this time of day that despite all the pain, clears the body in its towering majesty. As we remember Nancy -until there is a body there is a dawn - and adds that - the dawn is right, and also it extends from edge to edge.
His mezzotint is not the darkness of a conflict or contradiction. It is the complicity of the places that opens and extends -So in the hour of sunrise half tone range and any difference in them fades and comes out being in its total body of evidence and meat.
Ecce Homo for an artist like Chinnici is a "revelation" of the intimate things of the world.
His works seems to be fundamentally geographic from latitude, in which they generate.
Sicily located by rugged cliffs and sharp vertical profiles, suggests the primacy of line and plane instead of being modulated and shapes; The African sun burning landscapes requires the primitive force of the color instead of tone, and atmosphere.
Even the characters are those around him, part of the Sicilian world.
But at the same time these men have no identity, they do not recognize as singular but as a symbolic expression of the human being.
Dispositio former Clausione Linearum!
(Arrangement produced by demarcating lines)
Critical reflections on the work of David Kent
David Kent, being English, reflects in his works, the custom design of the Anglo-Saxon culture.
A linear tradition that is nourished from Normandy architecture of Durham Cathedral, and crossing the boundaries of English artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to rejuvenate with the season of the Pre-Raphaelites and bring his art to the twenty first century with Pop Art in Hamilton, that the boundary line makes the more effective tool of imagination and of reality.
Here is the origin of the method of representation applied by Kent.
[I'd like to open here a bracket on the structural function of the outline that emerges clearly in theory, perhaps for the first time, in a medieval text: Commentaries in Sententiarum of Bonaventure.
William Blake said that only fools see outlines and therefore they draw, but he also said that only the wise men see outlines and therefore they draw. The fact is that the boundary lines do not exist in nature and are instead the product of the process of abstraction precisely, as has been said before each performance.]
The contour line is the way in which it releases the creative thinking of the artist. Through it appears the evidence of the image that springs precisely from the figure / background and the shape is well marked in its spatial arrangement.
What is it that we want to highlight in Kent’s, work and of what form does it take?
It seems that the whole of his iconographic register is taken from the history of culture, each work refers to an image which itself embodies a particular concept. For example, Dali in Wonderland, Philosophy of Dreams or Snake and Ladders, they are not, as erroneously claimed, surrealist works but as works regarded as Surrealism.
The image of Dali, in which inevitably leads to the urgency of a metaphysical practice. This is not only a tribute to an end in itself, but takes on a more quirky nature in the form of an idea, especially in today's society of mathematical rationalism.
Kent within his work shows wild imagination, a poster of the unconscious chaos, the one defined by the choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre as Bel disorder (disorder prospective and language disorder).
At this point I would be inclined to move toward the original characters of the Pop Art movement, that of English matrix that contaminate the model representation derived from the forms of mass communication in order to involve a wider audience in the artistic debate.
From this perspective, Kent, seems to be at the origins of what is considered in today society as the "cartoon" whether used in cinematic advertising purposes: the storyboard that he uses is, in most of his works to be found in the popular biography of various artists and personalities of the eighteenth-twentieth century.
I think if Kent had used various forms of expression, today he would be considered as an original pop artist of the English movement; which he seems to join with some illustration of the social customs of the time, it is the evolution of technical drawing that comes in its transformation of his paintings.
Kent’s technique is, therefore, all English, - a "greatness" that is re-born in Kent just like a gentleman who does not get his hands dirty with reality but building it as he sees fit.
Two painters, Kent and Chinnici, originating the painting from their roots; one of the streets of Surrey and the other on the streets of Sicily
Lorenzo Chinnici. David Kent.
David Kent. Lorenzo Chinnici.
A duality without symmetry.
I would probably have chosen these words as a sub-title for "Synergy of Sons”, a project that opens tonight.
We live in a time when everything seems constrained to respond to a symmetry, from the bytes of our smartphones to the whisk of the most common egg beater.
Banal examples, if you will, but I believe they are - sadly - a part of our everyday lives, where everything is led or channelled into "measures" whose unity or multiplicity we rarely identify, as we become ever more conditioned by the huge, single container into which our system is being transformed. Economics, finance, literature, cinema, communications and art. Feelings. Emotiveness. Food.
But suddenly, in the space of a few weeks, two young men who have just met overturn every symmetry, or measure, and involve ourselves in this magnificent evening - which could be represented by the expressive icon of a mismatched pair of shoes.
One shoe is English, the other Sicilian. The first is dense with saturated colours, the second loses itself and re-emerges in a labyrinth of shades.
In one, always the echo of a smile, in the other the trace of a tear.
And through it all runs one common theme, a beautiful truth, the most asymmetrical that has accompanied humankind throughout our existence - friendship.
The first question is almost obligatory. Who were Lorenzo and David when they met? Who are they now, forty years on?
Synergy is a lovely word, if a little overused. In the context of “Synergy of Sons” it takes on an extraordinary value. What does synergy mean to you?
Of course I'm not an art critic, but I have deep love of painting. Beyond immediately identifiable influences, I'm very struck by the perspective vision that emerges from your work. What are the "roads" David and Lorenzo follow?
A theme that your art may be said to share is the feeling of solitude, sometimes extremely explicit, like in Lorenzo's fishermen's “bellies” or vests or David's profiles, others extremely subtle, almost modest, never sad. So what is "solitude"?
What inspires your emotions when viewing one another's works? How would you describe one another?
You use different colours, derived from your own culture, with influences from your masters and their particular idioms, and both of you are representatives of an extremely heterogeneous yet incredibly strong social reality. In this way of painting, which narrates reality but does not describe it, I detect a constant return to myth. What role do mythology and its symbols play in your life and, subsequently, in your art?
“Synergy of Sons” dedicates a proportion of its takings to institutions working on the front line of the fight against eye disease and blindness. What does light mean to you?
Your meeting and reunion is a fascinating story. Our guests have read or heard about it, so they're already familiar with it. I myself am a little in love with this slightly unbalanced axis that connects you and of which Milan, in the middle of an imaginary line leading from Sicily to London, could be the fulcrum. Forty years from now, what is the city of the future where Lorenzo and David will return to meet again?
Interview by Deborah Blakeley - AUSTRALIA - Zone One Arts - Lorenzo Chinnici Painter
Lorenzo Chinnici, Sicily, Italy
Lorenzo Chinnici from Sicily began his career very early in 1953 when he was taken by Renato Guttuso and shown how to paint, this was to be the first of many artists who have influenced Lorenzo Chinnici over the years. He has developed his own art and practices in the medium that he feels will best suit the work, from watercolour, murals, and frescoes to oil.
Zoneone Arts is delighted to bring Lorenzo Chinnici to you…
Can you explain about the chance meeting of your son with David Kent’s son in Brick Lane, London and where and how this lead to ‘Synergy of Sons’?
In 1974, I met David Kent during our group exhibition in London. We immediately click and bound. Over the years, we had lost contact. It was by pure coincidence that my son met David Kent’s son in London. If you believe in fate, this is one of the good surprise life offers. Or maybe it was written that we would reunite.In a London pub, my son Francesco was commenting an artwork with his friends when someone joined in the conversation; it was William Kent. After a while, Francesco and William discovered that they were the sons of two painters who had exhibited together four decades ago. The sons became friends like the fathers, and decided to set up one exhibition in Milan and one in London: “Synergy of Sons”.
In the excitement of the preparation of the shows, I immediately went to work in my studio and started painting again. The effect of “Synergy of Sons” was like a catalyst; I am preparing a major event in Lecco (lake close to Milan) for the summer 2016. I regain such energy.
Discuss one work from ‘Synergy of Sons’ – Pescatori – fishermen
The artwork Pescatori 6 (Fishermen 6) is one of the paintings that describe my work best.
Fishermen - oil on canvas 90x130
My fascination of the human labour comes from my childhood memories. Since then, I paint the psyche of the figure. I want to show the hard light, the strength of the physical labour, and the energy of those fishermen. It’s a very hard and necessary work to sustain a family. I want to underline the hope for a better day, the nature, the freedom to express all our inhibitions and ourselves. This painting encompasses all the elements that characterize me: the light and the darkness, the happiness and melancholy, the strength and the fear, the hope and the resignation.
Expand on yet another coincidence and your mutual donation to the RNIB- Royal Institute of the Blind, London and their help with this exhibition?
Since I have been suffering from maculopaty (a condition which affects sigh), like David Kent (Glaucoma); we both have decided to donate to the two national associations of the Blinds in Italy and in the UK. We collaborated with both institutes to raise awareness and support their cause.
At the same time, I collaborated with YoungMi Lamine from The House of The Artists (THoTA), a charity based in London that represents and supports the Artists and the Creatives in the world. THoTA helped me a lot to promote the exhibition. Hundreds of guests from Europe came to the private viewing.
Discuss the effects of your loose of sight and the effect it is having on your work?
As a visual artist, sight is the worst sense an artist could loose. The idea to become blind is hard but hopefully I can rely on my family and my love of creating art to keep strong.
Of course, I noticed that my paintings have changed. However, I fully embrace my new style; it’s almost like the impression and the vibrations of a scenery, it became much more poetic.
Many great artists have help you develop you career. Take one and discuss how he influenced your art?
Michelangelo Merisi, called “Caravaggio” influenced me a lot. The force expressed in his figures, the deep and profound colours have always provoked insightful emotions. I have always admired Caravaggio’s compositions; the manner he staged drama by directing our attention on specific areas: a hand, a foot or a portion of a body. He mastered the “chiaroscuro” (clair-obscur), which keeps the viewer in suspense. Caravaggio inspired me a lot; you can find the same force and contrast in my paintings.
Many artists have assisted you, how have you helped the next generation of artists?
I had the great chance to work with established artists when I started. I know that when you have the chance to be successful, it’s really normal to share and give back to the community. Moreover, I contributed to inspire the next generation, as I was also an Art and Design lecturer. I engaged my students to know the techniques first, then visualised art through their own filter. Once equipped, I pushed them to test new hypothesis to finally discover their true self.
You capture the life of local fishermen discuss.
I grew up in Sicily. This island offers pure and un-sophisticated beauty, its light, its warmth, its vivid colours surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. When you are a keen observer of the nature and its inhabitants, you can only fall in love with it.
Fishermen, Oil on Canvas, 70 x 120 cm
I paint Sicily with two distinctive sides of it. The landscape, which offers infinite beauty and peace, contrasts a lot the hard life of the people living there. Being a fisherman is a very hard job. They are fighting the natural elements and their works involve a lot of repetitive workmanship, which induces resignation and fatigue. The fisherman are physically strong and emotionally weak at the same time.
Your work has a biblical feel, even your modern day paintings discuss?
You are right, being a Christian; the study of the Bible had a lot of influences on my art.
I reconnect religious images from the past that interact with a more synthesized representation of my own faith.
I think that the past has had significant impact on whom we are today. I like to leave some food for thoughts and to everyone’s appreciation of the world we live in. And therefore, the figure, even in group, remains in silence and in solitude almost being afraid to face the reality.
You also do work of local women at work and children at play, discuss both?
My wife was a teacher in a kindergarten and I used to often visit her. I noticed the air of joy and the genuine happiness on all these children’s faces. This candid joy contrasts with the daily life of a Sicilian women usually filled by shores such as the preparation of the tomatoes, the olive and the grape harvest. All those snapshots relate to my memories of Sicily, its rhythm and seasons; its life.
The Laundresses, Oil-on-canvas, 100 x 120cm
You bring the outside in through murals expand using ‘The Relatives”
I have always liked the large surface of a wall; it is big enough to portray some happiest moments of my childhood with my relatives. It is like having a family picture but larger.
The relatives, varnish acrylic on wall, 40 x 400 cm
This mural is located in my villa in Sicily. As I paint from my personal experience, I wanted a personal mural in my home because it represents dear memories with my family. Every time, I recall I see it, I cherish that period of my life.
The placement of each person and the composition within the work?
In the mural, the women are predominant. It’s a typical portrait of the matriarchal Sicilian family style.
It’s a typical afternoon when we used to play cards in the garden. The family members are dressed well, that indicates that it was a Sunday after masses.
In the foreground with her arms on her hips, there is my cousin Giuseppina , my aunt Anna and aunt Nina. The side facing the viewer find my aunt Maria. In the middle, my mother, Felicia, and her husband with the white hat, cousin Salvatore, the old woman standing on the right is my “Tindara” grandmother and the man with beret is my uncle Nino.
We think of murals in churches especially Italian Churches as work from the past. Can you expand on the two murals you have done in Churches also about the commission?
The Crucifixion, Varnish acrylic on wall 450 x 1040 cm
In Sicily, there is still a huge appreciation of the tradition and therefore, I was commissioned to create various murals. I presented a few sketches and the priests were confident in my abilities to paint the passion of the Christ. The murals are from two different churches but the second murals emphasise the turmoil of the Christ during the agony, and the Virgin Mary at the base of the cross.
S.Andrea's Church -varnish-acrylic on wall 500X700
Many of your large works are done on scaffolds, explain?
Working on a large scale
Working in difficult spaces
Those artworks are very challenging but I like painting huge artworks. The surface to be painted is around 100 square meters with huge ceilings.
In order to reach those heights, a scaffolding structure is a must. The rigid structure is usually not facilitating the viewing of the space, so you need a scaffold that can be easily moved with different levels to see the entire ceiling.
Some of the disadvantages of this type of work?
To work on scaffolds require some agility, basic H&S security and physical strength. I used to paint for 10-12 hrs per day and my flexibility in restraint space was put to the test. One day, I tripped over and my wife, who was there, ran to cushion the fall. She was in hospital for three months and the priest waited her recovery to open the church.
On an artistic point of view, the challenge working on non-plane surface is the distortion. You have to keep the proportion of each figure by creating a geometric grid.
Expand on the importance of “Place” in your work?
The importance of “Place” is my island that I paint from personal memories. I love my country and all my paintings tell a story about Sicily. The antagonist side of Sicily comes from my childhood. When I was five years old, my dad left. And at the same time, all Europe was recovering after WWII.
Life was hard, people worked hard, people were poor but there was no other choice than surviving in this picturesque serene solitary landscape.
Modern Art – Anthology of Art 2016
"The personal closeness to eminent masters of the twentieth century as Migneco, Guttuso, Sassu etc .. make the painter Chinnici Lorenzo a pioneer in the expressive aesthetic canons of Mediterranean Art. The subjects created by Lorenzo Chinnici put the meticulous graphic revelation of physicality with the chromatic essentials in the classical art expression of our nation. The paintings become an instrument of knowledge that goes beyond the horizons of the mannerism, figurative reality of forms and themes. It takes the form of warm colours and stricken fishermen, washerwomen who work for the common good and family spaces, suitable to transmit the values of work and honesty to future generations "
Flavio De Gregorio
The World of Lorenzo Chinnici
It’s easy to be happy in Sicily, but it requires an adjustment that is as much biological as cultural: learning to live on Sicilian time. (Sicilian Odyssey – Francine Prose)
It can be summed up in a few lines the immense concept of "life in Sicily" ... because one must live it, and the artist Lorenzo Chinnici has made Sicily his world, made of a strip of beach by the sea, captures the senses of endless beauty, in a habitat of nature, sea, sand, cadenced rhythms that follow the waves and then the wind and the raging sea, each equally beautiful and charming. But also the sun, palm trees, marinas full of painted wooden boats, and then the earth, prickly pears, the dialect, the colours of green, abandoned boats, people, men who look at you in the face, painful but not resigned, a whole world of memories linked to his land, his inspiration that he has discovered, as a boy, that you live in Sicily to another rhythm, watching the golden sun and the crystal sea. Lorenzo Chinnici‘s love for his land is expressed on the canvas, with its overbearing and shameless colours. From his early approaches with the teachings of Renato Guttuso, the brush technique and then having to master the techniques of Salvatore La Rosa, the attendance of the Art Workshop of Salvatore Fiume, the importance of knowledge with other great artists such as Mario Rossello, Giuseppe Migneco, Sassu, Ernesto Treccani, Ugo Nespolo, a past life to "tell" this land, stealing colours, painting with his hands but above all with the heart, the passionate red fire of Etna to the blue sea, the white of its snow, nature, cacti, flowers, the greenery and much more….
Cristina Vannuzzi Landini
Fire on the water
Paintings by Lorenzo Chinnici
Lorenzo was born in late spring. At a very young age with his indomitable character and stubbornness, Lorenzo was determined that his life could never do without art, and so it has been for over half a century.
Lorenzo during his youth, working and studying, painfully and with difficulty, constantly stirring artistic inspiration, anger, grief, poverty, rage at work, strenuously defending his thinking and art-making. Without giving in, he followed his instinct with titanic force, with his unremitting efforts and the adversities of life, always doing art, encouraging everyone to consider him and his work.
Art for Lorenzo encompasses the catalogue of figurative arts.
He worked tirelessly from his early age, against the barriers of life. This hardness means that Lorenzo has not lived his life like any of his peers but with the spirit of a previous generation, as if he wanted to be, himself, the father who was not there.
With this absence and pain, through his brushes Lorenzo wants to communicate this suffering which dominated most of his life.
Through these conditions of life, colours are connected with timeless memories, mythological or even more distant.
To share these strong and concrete moods you add the "Sicilian", that sense of mystery, sensuality, opulence and laziness that the islanders have inherited from several different overlapping cultures, which make the beauty of Sicily the most languid and penetrating Island.
Gathered here in the beautiful surroundings of lake Lecco are about twenty works which is a very limited portion of the Master's production.
Among these paintings one can recognize particular views certainly not tied to Sicily but rather views of lake Lombard or other seas.
But his message is always to tell the human story, the daily reality of life, the unremitting battle, that man, is called to bear under any sky, on the shores of a sea or a lake, the land of the Cyclops or on that of the Lombards.
We find in the landscapes rare clarity and freshness, that rarefies every pain in the atmosphere of a still warm sun. Still lifes full of colours and flavours, but not lost in a timeless dream, framed in the everyday reality of life.
Most of the paintings depicts human scenes, linked to a simple and elemental life of suffering spending their life mostly working long hours during long days.
Lorenzo Chinnici is a painter of the human form and these paintings have a deep breath that almost burns your nostrils, giant figures which are not constrained to the size of the canvas, painted directly with a brush that makes forms and colour at the same time.
The epic scope of the canvases where towering fishermen intent on their hard work capturing the last efforts of the animals lifes.
The large canvases with the female nudes depict the softness of the womanly flesh, without the grace of the French "Baigneuse", here the feminine beauties are worn down by fatigue, which from a distance looks close to death.
Among the poets of the twentieth century Eugenio Montale has dealt with a lot of depth of the "mal de vivre" externalizing an uncomfortable condition that is a characteristic of the human condition, here, to the poetry so little pleasing, which puts in very little words such as "bald peaks" or "sharp shards of glass", has affected Lorenzo Chinnici’s images.
Like Eugene Montale he has the sea and the sun in his eyes, but the suffering of life is rampant and submerges everything, leaving us to contemplate the infinite motionless horizon, which echoes in us, deeply, pain so old as the time from which man inhabits the earth.
Fire on the water
9 - 19 July 2016, Lecco - «The artistic event of the summer on lake Como 2016»
This multi-focused exhibition presented by Dorothy De Rubeis - the most extroverted Italian gallery owner – presents an intriguing mix of hallmark pieces and new works and is set to become the Artistic Event of Summer on Lake Como.
Fire on the Water is a celebration of the many forms of Italian creativity, including poetry, painting, theatre, fashion, and music. Such complete, multi-faceted, engaging and glamorous artistic events are rarely seen in Italy.
Curator Emanuela Catalano describes the exhibition as “a frame surrounding the figurative art from Maestro Lorenzo Chinnici.”
The goal of the event is to create an unforgettable memory of MADE IN ITALY. Rather than art being confined in solemn, lifeless exhibitions that don’t engage the public, Fire on the Water aims to create a dialogue with the observer and give the art work the glamour it deserves.
FIRE ON THE WATER
The event will be illuminated by the colours of Lorenzo’s paintings, which speak of humanity in opulent yet defeated forms, and the art photography of Nini Ferrara, whose work depicts precise portraits of humanity.
The creativity and the strength which have brought to us the birth of MADE IN ITALY are represented in these pieces.
Live performances will feature high fashion models showcasing dresses created specifically for this exhibition by Katerina Budnikova and inspired by Master Lorenzo Chinnici's paintings.
An enchanting piano will accompany the magnificent voices of Soprano Anna Gorbachyova and the Tenor Rodolfo Maria Bordini who will sing melodies of the Italian Masters. Jazz singer Beatrice Zanolini will remind the audience that with only seven signs of a pentagram, creativity can give rise to endless, infinitely different music combinations.
Poetry readings by Nini Ferrara and Giusy Nicosia will remind us of the delicacy and beauty of words, which can act as a soothing balm for the spirit of the listener.
As in "La Grande Bellezza" of Sorrentino, this artistic meeting - which also has gained the interest of FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) - will celebrate an incredible number of protagonists to create a truly Beautiful Event.
Ampellio Ramaioli, director of this production, has curated everything down to the last detail with the collaboration of Domenico Parisi and his staff at Six Inch. In addition, the owner of the famous Cantina Valenti will be present in order to raise a glass and host a toast with all the guests. He will be at the disposal of the public to showcase and discuss his purple nectar in detail.
We would like to acknowledge and thank World Fashion Channel TV – our official partner for the event.