Interviews | November 28, 2022 |

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Image courtesy of Paolo Manzari

Interview: Paolo Manzari
Luca Curci
talks with Paolo Manzari during the 16th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Palazzo Bembo.

Paolo Manzari was born in 1940 in Bari, where he lives and works. Education Graduated in 1958 in Painting Decoration at the State Institute of Art of Bari, in 1962 he obtained a diploma in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples under the guidance of the master Emilio Greco. From 1962 to 1966 he taught Plastics at the Vibo Valentia State Institute of Art. From 1967 to 1995 he taught Art Education in the Middle Schools of Bari. He has participated in the artistic life of Puglia since 1960, receiving critical acclaim, prizes and awards. His works appear in private and public collections such as, for example, in the Council Chamber of the Province of Brindisi.

He has set up exhibitions in Bari, Cortona, Roma, Venezia, Fiano Romano, Matera, Morlupo, San Giovanni Incarico, Santo Stefano di Camastra, Castellamare del Golfo, Santeramo in Colle, Noci, Reggio Calabria, Lecce, Milano, Trieste, Foggia, Molfetta, Castel di Sangro, Borgo Sesia, Corato, Martina Franca, Selva di Fasano, Marina di Ravenna, Genova, Bitonto, Vibo Valentia, Altamura, Gioia del Colle, Molfetta, Taranto, Brindisi, Roma, Napoli, Verona, Bitetto, Trani, Cisternino, Ginosa, Margherita di Savoia, Rotondella.

Since 2021, thanks to the commitment of his daughter Mara, he has resumed exhibiting his works in collective (including Cortona in Arte) and personal (Matera) exhibitions. His works are going to be collected on edited by his daughter Mara.

Manzari is the artist of pure love, a singer of life, and as such his art tends to the creation and never to repetition, tends to elevation and never to narrow materialism” – Giovanni Amodio (art critic)

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Image courtesy of Paolo Manzari

Luca Curci – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
Paolo Manzari – I often find inspiration from dreams in my sleep. I imagine the gimmick that makes the work unique. I first establish the theme. Then on the plan, I see the composition and movements. The scene in my mind is never static. Often the images are superimposed as in analytical cubism. In the superimposition, I dwell on the details I want to highlight. Colours and chiaroscuro are dosed carefully even though they can be chosen there and then. For sculpture it is different. You absolutely have to know what to do before and after because the technique, and the material to be sculpted and modelled impose their limits.

LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
PM –
I cannot answer this question. Certainly, it is not enough just to have a smartphone in your hands. Rather I appreciate those who can still draw.

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
PM –
At this age I describe my need for expression as ‘addiction’. I do not set limits on themes. I am limited by space and strength, so I have put sculpture aside and am devoting myself more to works on oil or pastels. Strictly on paper. I did not like canvases. They are too fragile for my sculptor’s hand.

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Image courtesy of Paolo Manzari

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
PM –
I have been working for more than sixty years. Naturally, I feel tenderness for my beginnings as a teenager and when I was imitating the classics in Naples at the academy near the archaeological museum. But I quickly found my way by wanting an original point of view resulting from contemporary research recognised by critics and amateurs. My works are deliberately different and recognisable. I have never deviated from this style.

LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
PM –
I generally never work on themes proposed by others. As in this case, I drew from already finished works. The concept of this performance is interesting, especially in its versatility and I immediately found the idea to propose.

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
PM –
‘Icaro’ (Icarus) depicts the well-known mythological character in his fall. The work does not represent the moment of longing to reach the sun, nor the moment of impact. He is suspended between sky and sea, between his aspirations and his limits. He has not given up pursuing his goal, but the liquefaction of his waxen wings has led him to disappointment. Or maybe not…who knows what he is thinking at that moment. Is he repentant? I leave the answer to the observer.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
PM –
I am 82 years old and have chosen to leave my choices about exhibitions and performances in the hands of my daughter Mara. She has approved and I am glad I got to know the platform.

LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our
PM –
This is my first experience with ITSLIQUID GROUP and I am not in a position to make
a final judgement. The professionalism and helpfulness of the staff are commendable.

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Image courtesy of Paolo Manzari
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Image courtesy of Paolo Manzari

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