Andrea Saltini is a very prolific painter and poet from Italy. His distinctive paintings bear the brush strokes that create a haunting ambiance where fear meets unusual and unexpected. Chalky and pasty pigments in her frames form a monochromatic effect that exaggerates the emotions and disturbance of her subjects, some of whom are imaginary and mythical creatures.
Andrea’s canvases are in a state of equilibrium or equipoise having even steadiness and stability. With a creative frenzy overpowering his mind, he vigorously paints with his brushes and knives as if attempting to bring out an early morning dream lest it should be forgotten. Drawing heavily from his experiences from childhood, Andrea stated in one of his interviews that his subjects are the “hands” that we cannot touch: the love, secrets, laughter and cries- everything that you would want with all your heart but you’ll never have, those that when you get them you don’t notice it and you start again to desire them. There’s more from this artist in or Q&A with images of artwork selected by him:
My name is Andrea Saltini and I was born in Carpi, a small town “without music” in the north of Italy. I express my art mainly through painting, even if it has been exposed to several different channels of communication, such as writing, performance art, video, etc.
After studying art and becoming “Maestro d’Arte”, I received a Master’s degree in Communication with a thesis entitled: How to Talk Dirty and Influence people.
For a few years I lived out of canned food, spending my days looking out of the window, drooling in the throes of the mania of painting, waiting to.. waiting to become an established painter.
I’ve always been drawing a lot, even as a child… One day my grandparents took me to “Palazzo Te” in city of Mantova, and there I was struck by the frescoes of Giulio Romano, “Giulio Romano the rugged”. That day something happened that I cannot explain and since then I have never stopped drawing and painting. All my work, all my subjects over the last twenty years, have drawn inspiration from my childhood. My childhood has never lost its magic, its mystery and has never lost its drama, too.
You also write beautiful poems. Does the writer inside you ever get in conflict with the painter? Please read for us an English translation of one of your favorite poems:
Thank you, but I respect real writers too much to be able to call myself one! I could call myself “a writer who does not write.” Painting and writing from a certain point of my life have gone hand in hand, side by side. They are two mute arts and after having faced each other and twisted like snakes in a glass jar, they have become one. My poems are images in the form of words and my paintings are the hands that allow these words to reach out.
Yes, I’ll be alone and dryto cultivate my vineyard buzzing bee Until then, until leaving for Paris I’ll just try to keep myself alive.
Now tell us about your method into creating artworks, i.e. paintings:
I can say that my painting is real, not realistic. The projection of something that you feel repelled or attracted to. My work is serial. A series can comprise a variable number of paintings of medium and large format, but also drawings, videos and writings. When I decide to work on a theme, I give all I have to it, until I feel completely emptied. For practical reasons, I often work on two or three works at the same time, since the large size requires a longer period of preparation and drying.
The paintings are made with a mixed technique that I have perfected over the years: black pigmented clay, plaster, Chinese ink, wax and pigment on canvas or board. When I make works on paper the technique is the same except for the plaster. Recently I stopped drawing and I use directly the brush. This allows great freedom and brings out creativity in the act of painting.
Much of your art is very edgy with a lot many references to psychological elements, dreams, fantasies. At the same time it’s incredibly beautiful and symbolic at many level. What do you feel is the core idea behind all your artwork? How did you discover your inner voices?
I think the painting is nothing more than a desperate attempt to exorcise and to be possessed at the same time by loneliness. The loneliness creates gods, and I believe that God is an exceptional person. I watch all the subjects of my paintings as if they were Gods: they have a name, a body and they talk to me. They are alive and at the same time are abstractions, they speak another dimension of thoughts, or the reality of the work itself, even when it is a representation of the visible. The question that the public should themselves ask when they stand in front of an art work, maybe one of mine, is: “What am I looking at, what does the artist want to express? Is the message of the artist necessary? Is this work of art a necessity?”
Sometimes, one thing seems beautiful only because it is in some way different from everything that surrounds it: the knotty knees, long bony arms, skin so white as to appear bleached… big and peculiar hands. The shape of an eye or an ear… big lips, etc. My subjects are tragic and comic. On the other hand in our culture it is impossible to separate the tragic from the comic. Today, one is ridiculous who avoids the ridiculous. Sometimes even the feeling is ridiculous, but we cannot avoid feelings.
Note: All images used with permission. Please do not copy or distribute without the approval of the artist.