Where did you initially develop your painting language? Did it start from painting itself or where else does it have roots in?
The painting process is the base for every artist who wants to approach this classic medium.
Since the beginning of my career, I have always been inspired by those artists who put the human condition at the centre of their practices.
When I was a young student, I travelled to all the biggest European Museums, and I learned how to appreciate the works of the great Modern European Master.
I have always thought that the creation of a painting has to be reached through the appropriate usage of the “pictorical” tools: color, sign, materials and, above all, light. I am saying that because I think that “the concept” is not enough to sustain the strength of a work of art.
Moreover, I have always thought that, during the creative process, it is fundamental to loose the usual control and be surprised by unexpected situations and conditions.
Who are the three most significant artists of the 21st century, in your eyes?
The 21st century is too close in order to be examined critically.
Trying to mention a few names, I would dare to name Anselm Kiefer and Peter Doig. Regarding the beginning of the 21st century, my name is Chao Lu. Graduated and based in London, he is a young and talented Chinese artist. I met him and he is really serious and motivated, according to me more than other internationally acclaimed Chinese artists.
Surely, there are other good artists, but the violent brutality of the market is obscuring them.
I would like to specify that the choice of three painters has nothing to do with a rejection of other ways of expression. We live in an epoch where the art world has been contaminated with notions of commerce and exaggeration.
I strongly believe in a more reflective and silent approach in confrontation with the past.
Which element, if any, triggered your treatment of “light"?
The use of light is the fundamental tool for every painter; we can say that light represents a mirror of the artist’s own soul.
There is no strategy behind, light has to naturally inundate the surface of the painting, making the works alive.
Your painting process seems to allow you to process, digest and replace humanity’s crimes with paintings: is this your aesthetic vehicle to forgiveness?
The drama of child soldiers, the global ecological disasters, wars, the crisis …. all these dramatic events inspire my works.
Nothing is predetermined. Sensations and perceptions took shape inside of me and I try to communicate them, using the medium of painting.
My works are not a mere reproduction of reality, they are the result of my own critical interpretation of it. This is not linked to the idea of forgiveness.
The work of art doesn’t have to document the reality, rather it should stimulate a reflection in the viewer.
Have you forgiven mankind yourself? Are you hopeful today?
A man without hope is a dead man. Surely, I am not the one in charge of condemning or forgiving mankind. I believe it is a serious question and no one could be able to answer it.
“Technology is important, but computers cannot do anything without the assistance of the human brain,” says Jacques Herzog. What is your take on this subject?
I believe that Herzog is completely right.
Your aesthetic control of your body of Art in the end leaves room for pleasure, gratification. Not only your paintings are extraordinary because of their content and universal themes, they also are a joy to the eyes. Is this something you would be content with?
The idea of beauty and grace are essential components of works of art.
However, It is important to define the meaning of these concepts. It is because of this, that I try to avoid trivial decorative or pure intellectual solutions in my paintings.
Why can’t we reach the mountain and how do you cope with that?
In this exhibition, the landscape is an absolute protagonist. With its references to dramatic events and situations, the landscape appears as a battlefield where the human figure is always beaten. In other works, the landscape is interpreted as an ideal paradise, never reached by human beings with their limits.
What is that remains, today, for Lucchini?
What remains is a bitter consideration, always relevant, if we just open a daily newspaper.
On the canvas I transfer my sensations in front of the existential threats of our time translated into painful evocations.
What remains is what survives when we face these dramatic realities.
It is not a description of an event, but it is an attempt to go beyond the surface of things, trying to communicate impalpable feeling and perception of the existence.
Cesare Lucchini. From Battlefield to Paradise will be at Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery from 6 February - 21 March 2015.