Interview: Claudio Sapienza | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Claudio Sapienza

Interviews | July 22, 2022 |

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

Interview: Claudio Sapienza
Luca Curci talks with Claudio Sapienza during CONSCIOUSNESS, second appointment of the ANIMA MUNDI 2022 art fair, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal.

Being born in a volcanic area like that of Catania (Sicily, Italy) has perhaps defined my artistic choice: the relationship with Nature continuously experimented with through the combination of techniques, materials, and means of expression. Claudio does not want “the truth, nothing but the truth”; he does not choose to depict the “touching sentiment” prevailing over intellect. Also, he does not mean the genuineness of his work like ‘opposite of sophistication’ […] or ‘lack of ambiguity: he prefers playing with metaphors, allusions, ‘inaccuracies’, more than simply illustrating, so as to succeed in evoking, alluding to, and suggesting other dimensions. In this way Giuseppina Radice interprets my art form, synthesizing my need for progressing – always poised between reality and imagination – To represent my poetic world, by expressing my nature and culture: leaves, sections of trees, wood, nocturnes, mountains, sea, and volcanoes assume metaphorical and symbolic values, showering with human worth too. I use them as tools to discover the analogies and the subtle correspondences that bind Man to Nature. In some works of mine, the natural elements directly trace imprints and frottage (Fingerprints) – or the matter declares itself (Song of the Night, Secret, Magic). It is then that the signs of Nature become an eloquent universal alphabet that urges me to experiment with painting, assembly, drawing, installation, and site-specific projects.

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

My artistic training is constantly stimulated by suggestions deduced from the philosophical, literary, and musical world. In addition to the devotion to my masters (Land artists, Giuseppe Penone, Piero Guccione, Alberto Burri, Anselm Kiefer, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, and Joseph Cornell), I care about that richness derived from the in-depth analysis of the thought of Antonio Mercurio (founder of Sophia Art) and of Cosmo Art, which suggests possible paths to follow in a special field of energy. In my search for the sense of existence and art, I also wanted to deepen that primordial feeling, defined as “oceanic” by Romain Rolland, in my essay entitled “Il sentimento oceanico e il Sé Cosmico nella creazione artistica contemporanea”. As if I felt the need for overcoming the limits of individuality, among the projects being implemented, I collaborate with my wife Silvia Marzia Cacciatore, with a view to a fusion of intent and visual languages aimed at that unanimity that preludes the systematic growth and a more complete way of understanding the things of Nature and Life. Claudio Sapienza, already a matter expert at the chair of History of Contemporary Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania, with teaching experience in several Italian cities, is a tenured teacher of Graphic, Pictorial, and Scenographic Disciplines at the Secondary School of II grade in Catania.

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Claudio Sapienza – I have often thought about this… When I was younger, I realized that, for me, it is like water in the desert; it is something essential and beneficial for human beings. And I experience art as a natural fact, flowing from an intimate and profound need, which gives form and body to inner thoughts and images. Art is a constantly reconfirmed choice of creating and transforming.

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
CS – I have a specialized artistic education ranging from decorative painting to the history of art, and from painting to art teaching. The specialized study of art has made me aware of my work. Moreover, my training is constantly stimulated by suggestions coming to me from the philosophical, literary, and musical worlds. In addition to the devotion to honored masters such as the Land artists, Giuseppe Penone, Piero Guccione, Alberto Burri, Anselm Kiefer, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Joseph Cornell, I get enhanced through the comparison with the Cosmo Art, which suggests me possible ways throughout a special field of energy.

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
CS – For several years now, my research has focused on the relationship with Nature. In particular, I dwell on both the primary elements and the energy which characterize them, on the analogies and correspondences between my inner world and the universal dimension of Nature.

LC – Did your style change over the years? In what way?
CS – Always drawn by the beauty of Nature, I have worked on the theme of the landscape for several years. Over time, thanks to incessant experimentation and research – also the inner search -, I have come up with new linguistic and content choices. I have gone beyond the concept of ‘landscape’ for some years, and I have dedicated myself to a more evocative, symbolic, and conceptual dimension of natural fact.

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
CS – While I am creating my works, at times, I elaborate on a project born from a precise idea, and other times I let myself be guided by intuition, inspiration, and even randomness. Sometimes these approaches come together in a synthesis that amazes me.

LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
CS – The presented artwork Magia has been born previously. For me, it represents one of the most intense moments of my existence and consequently of my artistic research.

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
CS – In my opinion, the idea of a fluid and dynamic art ITSLIQUID is proposing is well suited to our complex contemporaneity, which is so much characterized by linguistic and expressive plurality. In this vision, the project ‘Anima Mundi’ comes across as having consistent ambition: to trace a sort of great circle from which multiple directrices depart and move towards as many multiple universes connected in a special energy field, namely the energy that is emanating from the different artworks. A dimension I am particularly in tune with.

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
CS – The artwork “Magia” is structured within a black wooden case in a circular shape: a sort of brazier containing an assemblage of coal, paper, color, and gold foil. There is dense and dark material which echoes to warmth, to an energy that can consume, destroy but also generate…
The assemblage reveals a collage-treated background with chromatic and golden streaks; This seems to give rise to butterflies, in a state of spontaneous and magical germination, obtained from musical scores and tissue paper, some of them golden. From the black of coal, from the passion and major challenge of raw material, the gold of the noble and poetic life of butterflies, metaphor of lightness, harmony, and beauty, arises. Magic is in Life itself, in its unstoppable fluidity, in the unfathomable inscrutable mystery of its creation and of its endless becoming. Transforming the pain into Life and Beauty is magic. Then, Art is a metaphor for a quest for immortality, and the artwork is an abridgement of the energy, which shows the wonder of creation arising from anguish.

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
CS – In ITSLIQUID I found openness, professionalism, and willingness: this I believe is an approach that can encourage the development of professional artistic paths, with a view to a wide appeal in the contemporary system.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
CS – ITSLIQUID truly is a dynamic and fluid platform; it is exhibiting space for knowledge and a comparison between different languages and artistic expressions; it is a place from which the brightest lights – as pulsating lights – in the art panorama can emerge.

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Image courtesy of Claudio Sapienza

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