Questions & Answers with Alberto Repetti

It is our pleasure to feature the very talented Italian artist Alberto Repetti in this weeks Q&A session. Alberto's paintings are exceptionally beautiful and dramatic.

He utilizes his deep knowledge of art techniques to produce work that is inspired by the possibilities of an encounter between the real and the imaginary. Subject, technique and formal approach unite to tell the story of each creative emotion. Carry on reading to learn more about Alberto Repetti's creative process and inspiration.

Detailed oil on canvas painting by Alberto Repetti, Flag's noise

Detailed oil on canvas painting by Alberto Repetti, Flag's noise

SG: Where do you get your inspiration from?

As I often say, painting is a sum of meetings that we have every day and that we report, where the colors and the shapes intertwine and blend up each other to make the line between reality and the imaginary.
We can then apply this to the painting where the correspondences with reality seem more pronounced

SG: Which artists do you admire?

From the point of view of the color painters such as Turner and Constable I have always been interested in as well as the abstract expressionism of painters like Pollock and De Kooning. From the formal point of view I can not forget the charm that exerts on me a personality as strong as Francis Bacon.

But I must say that of all the painters, who always astounds me and where I always discover something new and unexpected is Picasso, that despite the hype and clichés on his painting he remains one of the least not totally understood painters of the art history.

SG: Can you talk about your ideas and how they evolve? 

When I represent reality on canvas that makes up the fundamental part of my work, where I reduce, simplify and summarize the shape to focus on the details that I prefer.

In order to observe better the details or to focus them paradoxically use blurring, I put objects in the foreground in focus others blurred in the background or vice versa, as it happens with the skies that are almost always in focus.

Here's a kind of stream of consciousness that happens inside of me every time I work to the easel. All this, of course, without a plan would be impossible.

With the abstraction it is easier or better, that I design it directly on the media. The shapes and colors are suggested inside of me, but they always come out from reality experience. Also what you image is real. Only single line that you think is part of reality.

Whether you draw with pencil or pen, or with the digital tablet or paint with brush, the idea can also develop quickly. The materials used suggest what should I do and how I have to move on the surface. A form, comes from my memory or from a painting that saw, in a book that I read or just looking at a spot on the wall.

The experience, technique and exercise, this is my painting.

Alberto Repetti in his Studio

Alberto Repetti in his Studio

SG: How would you describe your work?

AR: Continued research on the possibilities that the real to penetrate the imagination and vice versa, but it is not surrealism, is a survey that tends to represent the matter and the form for what they are, is the sign, the color and shape the dealing not the meaning.

The emotions can influence my paintings, there's a lot of me in the my works but it is always the shape and the brain that win over the heart. I can say that is a physical pleasure to satisfy the mind.
Titles of my works are almost advertisement or say a license which I take to remember them better, this is not to say that they are not open to interpretation.

SG: What is a ‘typical’ workday for you like?

AR: There are usually two creative moments, one in the afternoon, and once in the evening. In The afternoon I prefer to work on the canvas to use better natural light. In the evening I prefer drawing and I use a light bulb with natural light. However I decide to work over a particular material considering the kind of light, that I need in that moment.

SG: Is there a specific theme or concept you keep in all of your work or does it change with each series?

AR:  I am very interested in series classification I need to establish an order in my works to have a clearer view of what I'm doing. I think that classifying my works helps me to build a creative path. Sometimes I develop a theme in a few papers; other times I need more time to build a complete work. I often interrupt a work to begin an other one, but later I return on the first one to resume the series, enriching it of experience that I have in the meantime gained. Matta said: “art is a serious thing” and every job, every issue also was for a single painting must to be recognized as the most important work of your life. The risk to seem an eclectic artist is evident but I can deal with this risk, because I want to represent all possible shades of my world interpretation

Alberto Repetti, An unmade bed

Alberto Repetti, An unmade bed

SG: Tell us about the materials and techniques of your latest work. Is there a specific process and set up for creating your paintings?

AR: I apply On the canvas a priming to guarantee a correct and uniform drying of color before the beginning of a work. Then I cover it with ground. Generally I prefer warm colors like light brown or light ocher. At this point I directly draw with a brush a small track to delineate spaces and in every space I apply an intermediate shade and then I paint later with the light and dark hue. I Always use very soft and round brushes that allow me to get the nuances I want. There is no difference between the way of abstract representation and the way of canvas approaching. In the abstract painting there is a different approach in the use of the brush strokes. I like to say “I lay the color”. A color suggests another one, and so on until I have an idea how my painting will be The enamel instead requires a good experience that you get only testing again and again the degree of density of the medium. Only by having a control over it, effects can be achieved voluntarily and not randomly on a plexiglass surface.

The drawing pen is very much tied to the medium itself, it can be said that drawing with it becomes almost a kind of mental discipline, which allows me to focus the concentration and draw the design with all the expertise possible, pushing beyond the medium itself, until you can get to solutions and shades for me still unknown. Pen drawing with the same spirit of a caver who enters the cavity of a mountain, I do not know what I will find but it will definitely be something that I've never seen.

SG: Are you a part of any artists groups or organisations that have been beneficial (to your work in general or career as an artist)?

AR:  It has been important for my artistic training, the knowledge of artists such as Tranquillo Marangoni and Giannetto Fieschi who influenced, my painting technique.
My participation in occasional or collective exhibitions comes from a long evolutionary process that has taken very long and just now I can consider my paintings are ready to be shown, because I think that now I am able to express my feelings and my emotions which represent myself and my personality In the second half of the 80's I have taken part of artistic groups, and during and after attending the Academy of Fine Arts, I tried to start with other painters a common artistic experience The participation with a group of artists at the art gallery "Le Prigioni" allowed me to develop a good experience in the gallery, where we organized collectives and occasionally our personal exposures.

Later, the group disbanded and I started to perform works on commission such as portraits, trompe l'oeil and I started to work as an interior decorator and restorer of painted ceilings.
However I have always continued to paint, taking sometimes part in collective exhibitions as official.
After to have become a secondary school teacher, I abandoned the decoration activity and I dedicated myself to the pictorical research, and above all to the exploration of my artistic identity, that now I’ll want to show you. So it’s time to say: “ Here I am, if you want to watch my works, now you can do it, this is my art”.

SG:  If you could own one work of art what would it be?

AR:  Here I answer without hesitation even if it seems trivial: Guernica. Picasso is the artist that I love and look carefully Guernica gave me a lot from pictorial point of view, which i wil always carry with me in my brain and in my heart.

To view more of his work click here.