intervew with Giovanni Fierro – italian writer, art critic and man of culture

-your art talks about our present. Is it an your first desire, or something that you feel and that you can’t control?

I cannot stop myself from referencing our present time. Sometimes, I would like to paint something ‘nice’ for both myself and my audience – but I cannot help myself. That is pretty much the answer to your question – a very good question, might I add. We live in amazing times. A long time ago, I abandoned ornamental painting, inspiration, trends imposed upon me by galleries, etc. That would obviously be the easier path to fame, but as my friend says, life is too short to spend on pretty flowers. I am paying the price for the path that I have chosen – or rather, have been chosen by – but I would not exchange it for anything in the world. I am also afraid that in a few years, standing in front of a mirror, I will think ‘you held a hammer with which you could have struck and make people pause in front of your art; give them something, make them note some problem, sow the seeds of anxiety, or even change something about their perception of the world. Is there anything more beautiful than that?

-which kind of silences live in your paintings?

I watch reality on a broken color television that loses sound and vision. The world is becoming more and more quiet and colourless. It’s onlyrical silence, mystifying and very loud. Silence before storm. Lots of hanging about waiting’ for something to happen. This silence is a punch line, there’s a spark of hope in it. It’s the gateway to a whole new conversation. It takes a lot of sensitivity to see it, I’m discovering it myself. Without music, there’s no silence. I’m finishing my new picture of The Luncheon on the Grass , which will probably answer this question perfectly. That’s amazing. Thank you for that.

-and your art has in itself something of political, is it right?

I must say that I have no interest in politics; I reach beyond it. Naturally, when touching upon some problems, I dabble in it, as I do with religion, morality, philosophy, science, spirituality, etc. My more mundane themes include: love, loneliness, crime, poverty, mental illnesses, etc. For example, I have painted a painting called INTIMACY, which has gained recognition. It depicts a pair of lovers in bed; in the background, there is a grey gloomy city and factory chimneys. A camera is spying on them through the window. I have received many comments about surveillance, control, totalitarianism, etc. But no one has asked why there was no curtain on the window, why they did not cover the window – that is still something they can do. What terrifies me is how easy it is for part of the society to be manipulated by a group of people, how some people lack their own judgement, how they fail to see the real problems. But this is changing; my paintings have been noticed.

-your paintings have few colors….why?


The simplest way to answer that question would be to compare my paintings to music. Besides, paintings, literature and music have to interpenetrate. Rhythm is very important to me. At the beginning, we get to know all the notes, learn them, become familiar with various techniques. That is our base. Later, when we begin to create, we gradually cast away unnecessary styles and flashiness; we wish to achieve simplicity, purity of emotion and message. That is how it is for me; out of the entire colour palette, I use several, combined with emotion and expression. I think that is a good combination. A simple, pure melody.

which kind of feelings are at the start of your art?

That is a difficult question. I think I am tormented by all feelings. My main one is protest, the disagreement with some of our behaviours. Can I be happy on a beach by the sea, when people are being murdered on the opposite coast? Can I ignore the sick and poor and leave them out of my art? That is simply a matter of taste and sensitivity. I do not wish to talk about it anymore; this can be seen in my paintings; I pay my price for that.

-it’s hard to find hope in these canvas…..

Yes, exactly. And if I know about even a single person on Earth who is suffering alone, it will be difficult. Civilisations develop and collapse; we are not the first, nor will we be the last. I think that we are simply wired so that aside from marvellous things, such as art and science, we start wars and kill. Do I hope for justice to come and for the poor to inherit the earth? In spite of everything, there is a tiny spark of hope; everyone who is moved by my art and stops to think ignites that spark. This conversation is the best proof of that. Thank you very much for it.