On June 10, the opening night of the new permanent art display “Toscana”, an exhibition of oil painting by Tuscan artist Domenico Monteforte was presented at The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, in California. Among the participants at the beautiful evening there were many art collectors and simply curious people, but also the Consul General of Italy Fabrizio Marcelli, many Italian and American journalists, the actor and director Gabriele Lavia together with the director of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Nicola Luisotti who, in a short but intense show have recited poems by Giacomo Leopardi.
This important event has been the brilliant beginning of the first personal display in California of this Tuscan artist, born in Forte dei Marmi and in the following days, many articles were written on it. The exhibit will be open until the end of August 2012 and is organized by “Corsi Monteforte” and Gianmarco Puntelli.
Nice to meet you Domenico. What was your impression, after a few days from the opening night of your exhibition at the Institute?
My overall impression was really very good, it was a very exciting experience as it was my first exhibition in San Francisco. The evening was beautiful thanks to the artistic contribution of Gabriele Lavia and Nicola Luisotti. Not everybody has the opportunity of being introduced by two such important people, who did that for me because they are my friends. If I think of how renowned Luisotti is in the city and of the famous directors with whom Lavia has worked (Dario Argento, Gabriele Muccino and the actress Monica Guerritore), I feel very proud.
After I came here for the first time last November, I worked in Italy for five months to prepare the art display in all its aspects: the paintings created expressly for this exhibition, the catalogue of the works, the DVD and the footage of the work of creation.
What is your artistic background, and how was this Exhibition “Toscana” welcomed in Italy?
After graduating at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara in the course of painting by Umberto Buscioni in 1990 where I have always had my art studio, I started making more exhibitions in many cities from Milan to Reggio Calabria.
I have always worked as a professional artist and three of my works were selected to become a part of the collection of the Senate at Palazzo Madama in Rome. In Italy, the magazine “ArteIn” , the second Italian art magazine has dedicated four pages to my exhibition and other newspapers such as La Nazione, Arte Mondadori have mentioned it while Il Tirreno, will write an article on the opening night.
Have you ever worked in the USA before?
A few years ago I made an exhibition at the Chrysalis Gallery in the East Coast, at Long Island , Southampton, NY. This is my first time in the West Coast and in an interesting city like San Francisco.
A common element in your exhibition are the natural and musical elements together with the landscape which are your sources of inspiracion?
I like working with the landscape very much, in this case with the Tuscan landscape, but actually the landscape is only an excuse, because it is in the color that I am really interested. To create it I follow my instinct. Nature and flowers lend themselves easily to the use of color. I try to convey the sensations lived on the spot, the light, the wind, the heat. For example in the painting “Estate”, the prevalent use of the color red is used to convey the intensity and the sensation of heat which permeates the atmosphere. As far as the use of the music score is concerned the idea is more recent and it was born after a conversation with Nicola Luisotti. My technique consists in making them dirty or staining them with extrapolations from some of my paintings already made. I don’t concentrate much on the fact that what I represent is real or false more or less realistic, but I try to represent the essence. This is also what Picasso used to say.
Talking with your gallery manager Ilaria, she told me that you changed your famous art studio in Forte dei Marmi. Is it true?
Yes, it is true. I have lived and worked in Forte dei Marmi for many years in an art studio in the center of the city. But it has always been a place where I was constantly visited by many friends, also while I was working. So I decided to change this art studio into a gallery with other artists.
Now I have a bigger art studio in Camaiore, between my home and Lucca, where I can work more concentrated and until very late, in a more spiritual environment and in contact with nature.
What are you future projects?
Next week I will go back to Italy because in July I will be in Spoleto, in Umbria, at the “Summer Festival”, thanks to my curator Gianmarco Puntelli. In September and November I have already planned two public exhibitions in Frosinone and Viterbo. Of course, at the beginning of September, I will be back in San Francisco to dismantle this exhibition, and this could be the opportunity to meet again and see the results of this experience which seems to have started in the best way.