“Arid Raid” Poetry and Painting Exhibition by Stefano Losi/
By Ermira Babamusta, New York/
Extraordinary Italian artist and poet Stefano Losi will showcase his second solo exhibition “Arid Rain” in New York. The exhibition runs from May 12 – 31, 2013 at Dacia Gallery.
The successful artist exceeded the expectations at his first gallery show in New York. His second exhibition shows tremendous amount of art and talent highlighting the human condition, captured through painting and poetry. The fine artist Stefano Losi is one of the early pioneers of this new art movement since 1980s. The combination of poetry and painting challenges the audience beyond the visual, and digs deep into their intellect and emotions. His artwork explores the significance of existentialism in history, interpreting the ideas of liberty, war, peace, beauty, life and love by telling a story.
“The study of classical art and literature has always been an integral part of my life. The Mediterranean culture still emerges as a reference in my visual works, yet with a clear contemporary sensitivity. The poetry, regenerating the classical lyric and then neoteric Greek and Latin schools, intends indeed to foreground different interpretative perspectives as an attempt to frame the terms of contemporary social debate, facing crucial themes as liberty and love, essential constitutive personal element, but formidable tension in a political dimension,”said the talented artist Stefano Losi.
The main themes of the exhibition are embodied by the poem with the same title,“Arid rain”:
I am generated by restlessness
The uninterrupted movement of the seas of Methymna
By a continuous thirst
Powered by a rain of ash and copper
The insistent caress
Of a most terse sand
In opaque light
My features of burned soil
The thin hands smoothed by the sun
Amongst the wind
I approach my lips to yours
Wet of salt
You bring to you my body
Now stripped of shadow
As a god
After death I sit behind your eyes of ash.
The combination of poetry and painting adds an intriguing dimension to the display of the thoughtful, interesting, and creative work of Stefano Losi. His journey takes the viewer to Milan, London, and New York, a project the artist has been working on since the early 1990’s. The collection of poetry and author’s work, together with anew poetry volume featuring a foreword of the renowned historian and art critic Renato Miracco, will be presented at the opening ceremony on May 16th at 6:00 pm.
May 12th – May 31st
May 16th 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
53 Stanton St.
New York , NY 10002
For further event details please visit Dacia Gallery in New York:
Or the author’s website:
With the great Stefano Losi about his art movement Poetry & Painting
Exclusive Interview for Gazeta Dielli
How would you define your artistic identity?
Stefano Losi: I paint and I love poetry and I like to merge the two. I have been doing this for a very long time in my life. I grew up surrounded by art. I am Italian, I come from a family that loves art and I have many influences. It’s hard to identify. What is really peculiar about it, the world of poetry has an active role in my visual work. I have been working in Italy for over 15 years, as well as in London and now in New York. I am glad to have this great opportunity here in New York to both show my work and to be influenced and see the work of other artists.
Stefano you are one of the early pioneers of starting a new art movement since the late 80s, something that was never done before at that time. Your genre of art is very unique, where you have a marriage between poetry and art. How did this idea come about? I know you have also done poetry and published the successful magazine “Violent Dances Fade” in Italy. Tell us a little bit about your inspirations and how the merging of poetry and painting came about?
Stefano Losi: I grew up fascinated by visual art and also passionate about poetry. I grew up reading the classics and translating them in Italian for a long time. So it was a very natural passion. The two of them married very naturally in my experience. There is a long evolution in my artistic approach. I started writing my own poetry in the 80s. In the 90s I felt the need to communicate to people and bring to their attention important issues. I started publishing an independent magazine called “Violent Dances Fade”, with poetry, drawings, where I was part of it as well as others. At the time there was no internet; promotion was done through alternative channels, via book stores, in Milan and Northern Italy. At the time we were related to the alternative music scene and we distributed albums from alternative bands. We had great interviews from famous artists. It really took off for ten years and we received requests for copies of the magazine from all corners of the world. It was mainly done by post, a lot of effort but absolutely worth it and rewarding for us.
I still write poetry, whilst in my visual work I really like to study the human body. It complements the best words of poetry using a range of themes such as love, liberty, the passion of the human condition in a positive way but also in desperation. I try to represent a range of emotions in my work.
When I have shows in both formal and informal spaces, in the opening I like to read my poetry especially from the works displayed there. The response is good. When you get the visual aspect and the live performance it gets really interesting for people and it captivates their attention.
You have showcased several galleries in New York. What has been some of the most interesting feed back that you have received from the fans that attend your art shows? How do people respond when they see your work as well as when they listen to your poetry? Does it make a difference in their understanding of your work as an artist? Or do they understand you more as a poet by looking at your artwork?
Stefano Losi: I have had many shows in the last few years. I have displayed my work at United Nations several times, as well as other galleries. The reaction is very important and strong. It is not the usual opening. People are much more engaged for a few minutes, at least to dedicate attention to the words and the meaning behind the poetry. That is stimulating a lot of reaction and questions on the real meaning. Sometimes it takes a bit of reading and assimilation. Other questions I get are about the process itself. People ask me if I start with the poetry and then comes the image, or the other way. It really varies. Sometimes you are inspired by some words then you come up with the vision, the colors, the expression and forms that would complement it. Other times you get the visual idea first. Sometimes they both come at the same time. Every work is in itself different.
As an artist how have you developed over time. You started as a young artist at an early age. Then you continued your passion and success in London and now here in New York. What sorts of themes resonate most with you? You mentioned love, war, peace. How have your artistic concepts developed over time?
Stefano Losi: The topics are somewhat similar, but seen in a different light and perspective. I have been working on this for over 20 years and it is natural to have an evolution. At the beginning I had a sense of naivety wanting to spell it out, to explain the exact meaning of my work. And sometimes, if you are working on poetry or art this is immediate but it would be without depth. There is a need for people to give their own interpretation on the theme and not spell it out for them.
I recognize that in the first works back in late 80s early 90s I tried to explain more. Now I try to put it out, leave it more open to the interpretation of
people. The themes are the same love, liberty, human condition which I think are crucial, but seen from a different perspective.
Also technically, you evolve. I was very minimalist at the beginning. It was detailed but only black and white. Every year you see something different in my work. I use mainly acrylic because it is easy to mix with other media. In the last few years I like to explore the creation of emotional and natural colors, through natural pigments, oxidized metal minerals and gold. The goal is to give a wide range of natural expression, and earthy colors.
Another change has occurred in how the word mixes with the image. In the last couple of years, my work displays the image, the human figure interrupted with the words. I am still playing with this idea and look at it from a critical eye, to do something different and unique.
What painting is one of your favorite pieces?
Stefano Losi: I am close to everything that I have done. I had the opportunity to work with Maxidus, a great dancer from New York who is passionate about poetry. I shared the poems with him and he understood the meaning and tried to interpret that meaning visually. I took pictures of the performance, and started to represent those into the visual art. From this few pieces have been developed.
Arid Raid Gallery, which will be on display at Dacia Gallery in the Lower East Side this May is a very interesting work. It is about the restlessness and the uniqueness of the human condition, the continuous research of the person that doesn’t find satisfaction, who keeps looking for something all the time. In the process also suffers. The figure is revolving in itself, in the movement. I did contrast dark background, natural red and brown. And from the background starts to come out the portion of the body. I am very pleased and proud of this work.
What do you want the audience to take away when they come to your show?
Stefano Losi: My objective is that my shows stimulate people to think, to have a discussion on the important themes illustrated in my work. I want to engage them in the subject matter and think about it.
On May 16th at the opening ceremony I will also present my 2nd book of poetry, which is a tool of discussion during the art show. The book explores a wide range of emotions, focusing on the restlessness of human condition, and is introduced by a foreword by art critic and international curator Renato Miracco.
I invite everyone to come to the opening of the show on Thursday, May 16 at Dacia Gallery and discuss art and poetry. I am open to collaborations. New York is full of talented artists and this is a great opportunity to work with other performing artists and reach each other. My current projects are on my website:http://www.violentdancesfade.com
Thank you for the interview.
Tags: Ermira Babamusta, Poetry and Painting, Stefano Losi