From Fabio Mariacci’s study you can see rolling Umbrian hills, but on his paintings you won’t find a trace of our landscapes; geometry fills his paintings with decisive colors and futurist brush strokes.
By Claudia Belli photo Molotovstudio
Convinced self-taught and a protagonist for many years in the Tiber Valley artistic community, Fabio Mariacci discovered his passion for art at a very early age and since then he has not stopped experimenting. He paints colors and shapes, trying to reproduce their infinite possible combinations.
Fabio, when did you understand that you possessed a special talent in painting and drawing?
There wasn’t really a precise moment, I just remember that I had always drawn and colored since childhood, even before going to nursery school. Out of all my childhood artwork, only one colored drawing is left, which I preserve like a shrine, the interesting thing is that I remember the moment when I made it perfectly, the same goes for all my work, they become unforgettable memories.
What did you like drawing as a child?
I remember that I had a closet where I kept my toys. I had it filled with paper kites, none of which could fly, I only wanted to color them. I would make a hundred, hoping that I could use up all of the possible color combinations. Even now I find myself painting pictures as if they were kites, there have to be hundreds, and anyway they don’t manage to fill the infinite number of possibilities that colors create when they mix.
So even as a child you loved geometric shapes, but when exactly was it that you decided to change style?
I felt the need to explore new dimensions when I was about thirty: in that moment I moved from reproducing to creating, shutting myself in my study and experimenting for many months, for about two years. Then I invited Novello Bruscoli to see my new work. He knew me as a figurative artist and when he saw what I was starting to do he said “Remember that you can’t go back from here.” So my first abstract exhibition was born, Croma.
What is left of ‘figurative’ in what you do?
It is always a part of my life, I use it anytime that it is useful in scenography, in graphic design for advertising, in the design phase. Even when I go on holiday, I always bring an album and watercolors with me. It relaxes me to paint interesting sights and subjects in the open air. Then from a brush stroke an idea is born and I take off in my abstract research again.
Do you think that your works have a fundamental goal?
That is a difficult question. I’ll give my definitive answer at the end of my human experience. For now I only have a hunch; maybe painting is only the search for knowledge, life experience, maybe it is my contribution to the others or perhaps it is my chosen way to exist. I try to transfer an image of balance and harmony onto the canvas; painting the background using colors and space I try to create new chromatic vibrations.
You are part of a generation of artists that are tied to The Well (Il Pozzo) by the Novello Bruscoli gallery. What has this represented (for you)?
Il Pozzo was the place where they city met with art. Everyone passed by that place where you could find ideas, stimulus, people, and where everyone, sooner or later desired to present their own work. It was from there that initiatives began and artists met, and then began the various artistic associations of the city; even the group Artefare is a product of that experience. A personality like Novello Bruscoli could not help but be remembered and thanked.
You have also worked with Nuvolo, how did this important collaboration come about?
I met the master, Nuvolo, in 1999, at the exhibition which was tied to the Bicentennial of the Grifani-Donati printing works. Nuvolo had been invited for his work in silk screen printing and I had the honor of setting up the exhibition. Then we have had other collaborations, always tied to shows about graphics, and he saw my works and esteemed them. Our esteem for one another is demonstrated by the two serigraphs that he gave me.
What do you have cooking now?
Up to now I have been working on this last personal show called “Il sogno di un assoluto astratto” (the dream of an absolute abstract), which is set up in the Galleria Immaginaria Arti Visivi in Florence and is open until October 8th. To introduce it there was a good critical text by Ivan Teobaldelli. Then, of course, there is always something cooking, but for now, I prefer not to reveal my projects, not for secrecy but because they could change or take unforeseen directions.