Poppies never stay still.
They offer themselves to the wind and they are made of light.
Root, stem, shoot, leaf, flower, berry – the botanic table in progress.
The scientific, the ethic and the aesthetic eye gives meaning, now, to a vision and creates a bond with the essential condition of the plant, just as it is.
The reasons of my bonding are better expressed in some of the passages taken from a conversation I had with the philosopher Roberto Barbanti, Professor in Aesthetic at the Plastic Arts Department of the University of Paris 8.
RB: Which technique do you use?
MB: Watercolour, that I consider the noblest painting technique but keeping in mind that a technique, whichever it is, is a medium, an instrument of the creative act. Lately in my works I have been painting two similar images that question each other, lean to one other. They hold the beauty of bonding and in their essence, they express the enigma of life. Look, here there is the essence of an image. These two poppies offer themselves to the light... it's a matter of hue, of lightness, of transparency. In those, over there, the details are more profuse: they are my oldest ones, the first I made.
RB: Why were you saying that watercolour is the noblest technique?
MB: Because I control water. And you know that for me water is a sacred element.
RB: You cannot stay inside the painting...
MB: I cannot, you are right. Talking about technique, first, I start from the background, then if... let's say, if this poppy ends up in the yellow part, it will be of a certain colour, if otherwise it ends up in the violet part, it will have another colour. So it's quite a task. Watercolour is always an enigma that needs to be solved and I even make it more complicated because in order to maintain the same hue I always use water with the same tonality of the background, it's a bit elaborate... you have also to be on time. It's always more difficult to be light than redundant. Taking away, making it lighter, in one word synthesising, being able to get to the essence of the object is much more complex. Turner, for example, starts with the description of everything he sees, from the pebble to the detail, the leaf, the drop, etc... then he gets to the end: one colour with a line in the middle and two or three things! Just like that, that's great! He actually reaches the absolute, the perfection, I don't know how... he has digested everything, the pebble, etc. He really has reached the essence, I would say the quality, yes, his irresistible quality.
RB: Yes, certainly. However when I think about your work in more general terms, beyond the painting – in which it seems you cannot contain yourself – a question comes to my mind, how do you see the future of art?... In one word, you put together visual art, writing, different techniques of painting representations, watercolour, acrylic, sculpture, then also events, installations, actions... I don't know how to say it... now for example, I see these two botanic tables, here on your walls: your artistic background and these works make me go back to a concept.... which I would define “ ecology of the art”, wouldn't you? Even if the word ecology, we must say, as many others, has been emptied of all its meaning and even if nowadays people speak a lot of “ecology of the art”... Who knows what all these “tumoral productivist” little soldiers will invent to increase their projects of growth and development? However that may be... and for many aspects, and with the reservations just mentioned, I think that your work can be connected to the meaning of ecology of the art. Either as a subject, or as...
MB: ... as philosophy
RB: … yes as philosophy and as subject, as approach, as an almost strategical reference... And so, what is your perspective of things? Where do we have to go? Considering your sensitivity and your practice... which enclose feminism, environmental awareness, pictorial representation ability, visual-language-writing.... I mean, if we face the topic of what type of art project we can or have to commit ourselves to and what project is worth working on... How can I say, if we work towards an ecology of the art, what do we have to do? which is the new perspective?
MB: I believe – and I think you agree with me – that this kind of progress has come to an end and also there is not much change in mentality, no alternative. I believe that art, first, should lower its eyes. When I say this, I think about the awareness of art in its inclination towards wellness... Now passing from art – which can appear an abstract concept – to artists, women and men, who make me feel more at ease, I believe that we must all become allies. I find that relationships are, once again, the way to do things, because the artist is the person who does things, usually a bit before other people. Besides, I think that, considering reality, one should have a critical attitude and nowadays, she/he should also be a disarming revolutionary. Do you agree? I believe art is not the mirror of reality but its conscience... It should be aware, alert in observing and experience our world...