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In a digital society in which audio-visual images have more and more power, painting permanently preserves its place in the collective imagination. This prestigious art succeeds in silencing all languages and creating a completely new one. Thanks to Giuseppe Buzzotta we return to the idea of depth in the soul of painting. Something that goes beyond the playful dimension and manages to enter the soul of the observer who gives it its own meaning. For Giuseppe, this is the accomplishment of his work. Among the streets of Palermo, Giuseppe manages to find the images to create his paintings. The artist lives in different realities and all of them are represented in an abstract way in his paintings. We met Giuseppe and his “poetics made of color”.

rend_Alfabeti del cielo e della terra, 01, 2020. Oil on linen 90x120 cm
The aim of these projects is to be against those places of art that are held hostage by local politics.

Who is Giuseppe? When did you start painting?

I was born in Palermo in 1983. I started painting in the early 00s years. However, my first exhibition appeared in 2006 in an independent theatre in Palermo and then immediately after it took place also in an amazing karaoke bar in the Capo district. There, the lady at the counter and also the owner of the place bought for 100 euros a watercolor painting dedicated to the city of Prague. I took up painting out of necessity to translate into an image everything that has no other way to be communicated. At that time I was also studying chemistry.

Do you find any inspiration in your hometown Palermo, which is a symbol of history, art, and culture?

In the 80s, at the Zisa shipyard, on which the balcony of my room was overlooking, trains and aircraft components were still produced and there was a large and important textile company very close to my building. I have some family tales of a very flourishing period. Palermo is a place composed, like all big cities, of many layers.

In the last ten years, we have been working on the construction of a new model of thinking about art with work at its center. This strong attitude was born in the observatory classrooms in the Academy of Palermo. Especially in the extraordinary collection of the library, animated by the presence of artists and curators such as Daniela Bigi and Toni Romanelli. This attitude persists in the various projects of independent spaces that we have directed and founded, in an attempt to spread what actually emerged from the research of some artists based in the city. The aim of these projects is to be against those places of art that are held hostage by local politics. Thus a generation of truly independent artists was born and with a potential that certainly comes from experiencing a city like this. And then the time has brought to light those who had a real desire and need, compared to the more privileged ones belonging to wealthy families who live in favoritism and privileges of belonging to a parallel elite city.

rend_Untitled (Alfabeti del cielo e della terra), 2020. Oil on canvas 80x60 cm

Tell us about your creative process, please. Behind your works, every time hides a deep study or a strong instinct?

I have never lived in the historic center, the possibility of living at the same time near the mountains and the sea convinced me to move my studio to Carini, a city beautifully settled in the industrial area along the state road 113, where there are many companies, and life is fully expressed, where people wake up to go to work in the factories when the dawn is still on the neighboring mountains. The connection between life and activity in the world, the specific skills experienced over time, and expressed in the daily life of an individual, the secret relationship between image and imagination… These three main themes stand behind my creative process. The smell of diluents does the rest.

In your paintings abstraction reigns overall. In your opinion, why art must escape from reality?

Abstraction is an integral part of reality and takes part in many mechanics of realization in everyday life. Not only in art. Even in a kitchen or working in the fields. Even in the most psychological or inner sphere it works looking for balance. For example, I think of the sculptural sketched form of a scarecrow which has the duty to save the sowing, I think of the sign strips on the asphalt. Here’s another thing I love: the road. The asphalt, the potholes, the hairpin bends…

rend_Alfabeti del cielo e della terra, 05, 2020. Oil on linen 90x120 cm

rend_Alfabeti del cielo e della terra, 04 e 06, 2020. Oil on canvas 80x60cm & 80x60cm-1

You can boast performances around Europe and America. Do you think each exhibition has a different flavor?

Of course, each exhibition has its own story and flavor, and also everything that comes before the exhibition itself. Behind every exhibition, there are often many pitfalls and difficulties but I cannot imagine a linear path for art. In fact, this kind of paths really gives meaning to my job, in the sense that through these obstacle course races you can focus on those points of your research that otherwise would remain short-circuiting within your own self, in a sterile dialogue between oneself and oneself.

Is there a project you feel particularly attached to?

There are many projects to which I am very attached and I would not be able to choose just one.

For example, the experiences with “A project” with Vincenzo Schillaci or those of Mccn contemporary at Castello di Carini with Daniela Bigi. But also the last exhibition with Prometeo Gallery by Ida Pisani "Di creste e ventri"[Of Crests and wombs] with paintings made halfway between the archive and the Viafarini studio in Milan, overlooking the Monumental Cemetery and empty Chinatown during the lockdown last spring. Few living interlocutors, but very lucky to have them close.

Scalza - Giuseppe Buzzotta e Gianni Politi

Scalza - Giuseppe Buzzotta e Gianni Politi

I don't believe in enlightenment or nirvana, in the static sense of the matter. I appreciate movement and regeneration more. I accept the change of pace and sudden braking.

How do you consider your works: a reflection in which to look at yourself and in which you can find yourself or a vortex that pulls you into another world?

Both, thanks for the assist. Because my works are always incomplete, they only make sense if an interlocutor is observing them. I imagine the Brera's art gallery splendid canvases at night with the lights off, when the museum is closed. It anguishes me a little to think about my work being put aside.

In your experience, does art have an endpoint?

No, I do not think so. Art, like everything related to human existence, cannot have an endpoint.

I don't believe in enlightenment or nirvana, in the static sense of the matter. I appreciate movement and regeneration more. I accept the change of pace and sudden braking. Everything but not the arrival or the achievement of something.

courtesy il_crepaccio_untiled 01 ira, 2019,scanned drawing with overlapping elements,

Do you have plans for your future?

Today I finished one of the works for the next exhibition at “L’ascensore” [The Elevator], an independent space in Palermo, on which I am working with the young curator Elsa Barbieri and the Genuardi Ruta who, together with the founders of the space, invited me for this project.

Thank you for the questions and I really wish you the best for your project.

To know more about Giuseppe's work, click here.

Interview and Article by

Vivian Di Lorenzo

Images sourced from

Giuseppe Buzzotta