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A Painting Cycle | Conversation with Luca Bertolo

Luca Bertolo, Il buon futuro di una volta #4, 2011. Installation view, Nomas Foundation, Rome. Ph. Giuliano Pastori Luca Bertolo, Et in arcadia ego (detail), 2007-2009. Installation view, Nomas Foundation, Rome. Ph. Giuliano Pastori Luca Bertolo, Untitled, 2007. Installation view, Nomas Foundation, Rome. Ph. Giuliano Pastori Luca Bertolo, Still Life, 2011. Installation view, Nomas Foundation, Rome. Ph. Giuliano Pastori

May 3rd, 2012

Luca Bertolo’s personal research on painting focuses on a heterogeneous practice, investigating the conceptual and figurative approach through an intimist register.

Nomas Foundation: If you were to describe your work through some key words which would you indicate?
Luca Bertolo: Attention, Appearance, Care, Difficulty, Enigma, Lightness, Surprise.

NF: When did your interest in painting start, and how did you become part of your vocabulary?  
LB: Painting is a form of love. Things that you can understand in the early teens. Before, children touch themselves not knowing yet that it is erotic. Regarding the vocabulary … in Germani it sounds Wortschatz, I like it, because Schatz means treasure, a word used metaphorically as here: - Ehi Schatz do shall go to the movies tonight? Vocabulary: words are a treasure. I believe that we build it slowly, in every area of reference (treasure-painting, treasure-hurt, treasure - awareness etc). Once, at my grandparents’ in Friuli, during the summer holidays,– I was eight or ten years old – I was painting a copy of a basket of fruit. I remember that my granfather, a mosaicist, coming in the kitchen and peeping at what I was doing said: you’ve to dirty the colours, don’t use them as they get out from the tube. I remember that it was a little shock: to dirty. Welcome in the adult’s life, welcome in the kingdom of compromises.

NF: Which peculiarities of your research are being pointed out within the works presented on the occasion of ‘A Painting Cycle’?
LB: I think that the curators or even better the public are the best candidates to answer to this question. For me, it is enough that this exhibition explains the uncompromising variety of my route through painting.

NF: What, is specific aspect of painting as a medium?
LB: Silence. As once said Tal R - a wonderful Danish painter: ‘at the end of the day a painting demands only to stay there, hung, and drying silently’.

NF: Most of tour work is part of a series that is often developed for a certain period of time and sometimes is not concluded. Other works are far from this logic. Why and how do you deal with this two different aspects or methods of working?
LB: The series in my case, stops when it ceases to surpise me. As the philosopher Gilles Deleuze said in a interview, the philosphical heart of alchoholism is this: it’s about arriving until the last but one glass; the last one could knock us out and the day after it could be impossibile to begin again.
Then there are the single and solitary works, never appreciated enough since they are even less culturally expendible because of their resiustance to Discourse. If these works, that might be with reason called fuoriserie (out of a series), succeed, they belong to the category that includes the chance encounter on the train, the dream and that struck, sudden, powerful, that is not apparently inscribed in the series of events that came before and after it.

NF: What does it mean to make painting today and in how your work reflects, beyond your personal research, the alternate fortune of paintings and of its reception in its historical development?
LB: The so called reception of painting is a delicate topic and I think that the space for the answers it’s up. Let’s just say that we care of art, if we do, and that’s already grand.