Art, via the artist, can bring the spirit close to artificial elements without diminishing it. Giampaolo Tomassetti has chosen “Soul of Steel” as the title of his next exhibition in the city where he was born – Terni. His was a limiting reality, dominated by the mundane work from which he escaped; made strong by youthful rebellion. This flight, a crucial moment in his life, is represented by an installation created specifically for the exhibition, in which clay dolphins pierce a steel plate; rather as he himself has done with his existential crisis.
by Eleonora Mariucci
He always knew the path he wanted to take, because he possesses the connection between thought and action which is the basis of artistic work, but it would not be easy to express stuck where he was. So at 23 he went to Florence, where his artistic form took shape. He became an illustrator and embarked on a very special journey that lead him to become a Hare Krishna monk and live in the Krishna community for a long time. Some of his works are still on display at Villa Vindravana, a 16th century building which in 1966 became home to an institution promoting spiritual awareness of Krishna. The search for transcendence has influenced his ideas, leading him to think of art as the input and output from one reality to another, not as an escape.
After 10 years in the Krishna community, the birth of his son and the need for a “den” for himself, he moved to Città di Castello in 1987, which at that time was a hub of artistic activity. He embarked on a ‘reassuring’ phase, in which the forms of his paintings are soft ones of enormous women who remind him of the round rocks of Sardinia. Then he began a process of individuation through his art, which led him to know himself, not to represent the world. It defines his technique, using oil paints for the vital stages, and acrylic and stucco for the more rational ones.
Today, Giampaolo is yet another man. ‘Out of the newspaper’ is a new chapter; art utilising the world of print, these days full of news and flattened reality. The colours are devitalized and newspapers, with their torrent of words, form the backdrop to his paintings. Right in the midst of this media bombardment, from which the man doesn’t seem to be able to choose, he places a huge subject; animal or human. The viewer perceives only this figure amongst thousands of words. That figure is Giampaolo, who speaks through the picture and chooses not to be lost.