Interview: Michele Viana
Luca Curci talks with Michele Viana during VISIONS – CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023, held in Venice at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“My artistic journey travelled as a self-taught, started from a figurative drawing, with watercolour technique, very sweet, tenuous. In this first phase, we find images of urban and rural landscapes of the places of my childhood (Novara, in North Italy). Little by little the subjects, especially those from the city, began to be represented with glances and increasingly captivating perspectives as if they were coming to life. With the progress of the artistic journey, an energetic, vigorous, clear stroke emerged first – which can be found in particular in the pen, pencil or charcoal drawings (and in some engravings) – then an explosion of colours (in the techniques with acrylic, tempera, inks, oil) clearly visible in expressionist ideas up to abstraction. These two new developments were conveyed in a unicum on the canvas which gives a strong character to mixed abstract-figurative compositions, which become my indisputable trademark”.
Luca Curci – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
Michele Viana – Thoughts? None, my mind needs to be clear as a new canvas. But I do have habits and rituals: I need to listen to music, different types, according to my state of mind / my emotions of that particular moment (moving from jazz to rock, classical to punk, blues to folk).
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MV – Yes, as I told I started from a naturalistic-figurative painting which progressed into an impressionist and expressionist phase then into an abstract one. Now I often combine abstract painting (on the background) and on top of which I sketch – with figurative energetic strokes – urban landscapes od architecture.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your favourite subject, if there is any?
MV – My favourite subjects are urban landscapes or architecture in general.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or instinctive process?
MV – For what concerns the abstract works, it is totally an instinctive process. About the figurative ones, I’m inspired by my trips to European big cities (such as London), or by my everyday life.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
MV – This artwork analyzes the relationship between bodies (2 persons), space (the small space in front of a street coffee kiosk), and time (the waiting in line when time seems to be stopped), in a social/urban setting which reminds me of London streets. It also explores the connection between desires, needs (and fears?) through rituals such as the coffee time, had in a typical urban London setting.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
MV – I have one artwork entitled “Street Coffee Break (in London)”. About the content/subjects of this artwork, I already said in the latter question (then the relationship of bodies, space and time in an urban setting). From a technical/stylistic perspective, this work is representative of my peculiar style. It is characterized by an abstract-informal background with a vibrant and intense palette on which I draw architecture and views of big cities with strong brushstrokes. The subject here represented a typical element of London (but also of many other cities in the world): a street coffee kiosk. I find a such way of expression interesting for at least two reasons: first, the abstract painting, placed in the background, re-proposes a well-known urban feature or landscape through a new perspective, under new lights and atmospheres, giving us new emotions and experiences. On the other hand, the figurative signs drive and take our look over the canvas, allowing us to investigate and appreciate with more curiosity and attention the colours and brushstrokes of the abstract composition.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
MV – I really liked working with ITSLIQUID Group as they are trustworthy and professional. They spend all their energies supporting the artists, and they always reply to my e-mail (with several requests/needs) within a few hours. Something not easy to find elsewhere!
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MV – I do! You are always involved in creating new and exciting events, always presented and conducted with seriousness and professionalism. I hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with you for a long time!