Luca Curci talks with Harti during MIXING IDENTITIES, second appointment of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Harti, has both Italian and German heritage, and is an artist, musician, composer, animator and director. He has spent his life observing and studying the diversity and history of cultures and lifestyles both from a philosophical, religious, political and societal perspective. He only started to share his work in 2020, at aged 52 years of age. Undiscovered so to speak, he is now one of the most exciting emerging artists on the scene.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Harti – Art is life, a transcription of life. We live in a slaughterhouse of absurdities, where layers of realities need to be peeled off. Art is the process of flaying the tissues of society to expose its hardening veins. Yes, we are suffocating in the narrow confines of inculcated narratives imposed by religion and society. I believe that a painting must be a wound, and somehow it must change the life of the viewer. When I paint, I want to wake someone up and whip them. Oh well, instead of slapping someone I paint something outrageous, truth-seeking, and certainly provocative. Let’s wake up our society from its culture of depersonalized anonymity. To be precise, an unquestioning, sheep-like, directionless society. Society’s hold on life is as slender as its hold on sanity. In a world that has become one-dimensional, religious, political, and philosophical powers have become, undisputedly, obsolete. Has democracy levelled the playing field to the degree of applauding passivity and giving rise to new forms of proto-tyranny spearheaded by technocrats?
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
H – In my paintings, there is a hellish sincerity that is excruciating, between dementia and provocation. This is what happens when you are an incurable doubter, and you live on the fringes of everything, a sort of non-militant irreparable marginalization. I have an immersive way of doing things, once the concept has been ravaging and doubt consuming my brain windings ad infinitum, there’s no way back. The canvas and I become a symbiotic unit, a creative duel to the bitter end. Incidentally, the canvas always wins, while I must lick slavishly my wounds. My thoughts swing always between wisdom and tragedy, unfortunately, the first cancels out the second. The sound of my thoughts is like an axe which can be heard cutting deep into society’s soul. This is the price, I suppose, one has to pay if one is in love with one’s doubts. Only, the music of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans can balance the tangled undergrowth of my nerves. Yes, Jazz is very therapeutic, it fills me with a soothing intensity and energy. Without Jazz, a great chill, the icy wind of a charnel house, would be blowing through my workshop. So, here you have it, no painting session without Jazz. Nevertheless, I need silence too. These fertile effervescent moments of soundless torment present themselves with a sense of inner infinity. Please, don’t knock on the door, I could be sleeping.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
H – When ideas fall silent, and one realises that creativity is just a temporary salvation from the claws of death. Art breeds both plenitude and void, exuberance, and depression. In a savage whirlwind, one is thrown into nothingness, right? Yes, a vortex that swallows us up into absurdity. Is subjectivity an illusion? Are we no longer masters of the life within us? Are uncontrollable forces seething inside us? The challenge is to taste all the poisoning sweetness of the absurd, only then you will have pushed negation to its final expression. You wait for the inner conflagrations, with fearful lucidity, waiting for the painful antinomies at the base of our existence. A weariness which consumes and destroys takes over, while one remains shocked witless by one’s own catastrophe. Only now, caught in a cold and levy darkness, finally, I’m ready to kick-start the creative process. My work becomes like an incurable sickness which torments me intermittently. Yes, life is the great unknown. Well, history reveals the failure of the human condition, right? Well, this was a good cerebral warm-up, I think I’m ready to take on my next canvas.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular?
H – Yes, it’s all about life. It’s about questioning life. Life is in the questions, never in the answers, because the answer is the end of all promises. Are we not engulfed in a pleonastic universe, in which the questions and answers amount to the same thing? Questions need to be provocative, polemic, auscultating, outrageous, truth-seeking, doubt-consuming and above all intoxicating. My questioning is visceral and therefore a statement. It’s an explosion of slaps. Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui, right? Is our existence nothing else than an empty and prostrate languor? Whereas all beings have their place in nature, Man remains a metaphysically straying creature, vulnerable, lost in life, a stranger to the creation, right? Man lives in the margins of the comprehensible in the suburbs of the sublime. Man is looking for the antidote for lucid despair, right? Against whom wage the struggle and where lead the assault when injustice haunts the air of our lungs, the light of our eyes, the space of our thoughts, and the silence of the universe?
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
H – Mostly, ill, and alive on the altar of the uncertain, reaching the frontiers of my nocturnal fate. Sometimes, frozen in the high altitudes of my measured madness. Certainly, ready for a long snooze.
LC – What is the message you want to convey through the artworks you have shown in this event?
H – That freedom is everything. The freedom to be who you are. The freedom to be who you want to become. The freedom to unshackle the negative thoughts that hold you back. The freedom to say no to the court of public opinion. The freedom to stop your very own perfectionism. The freedom to live all your absurdities. The freedom to say no to all the parasites of the sublime. The freedom to say no to all plagiarists of ecstasies. The freedom to accept the limits of our singularity.
LC – ITSLIQUID group?
H – Very nice staff. Young, energetic, and motivated in their presentation.