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Artist of the Month : Giacomo Cuttone

Feb 13, 2021 | Artscape | 3 comments

Giacomo Cuttone is a poet, in the most real sense of the word, where poetry transcends the lines written to the lines drawn. He felt an urge to represent poetry through colors and sketches on canvas. Giacomo’s early works ooze out poetic realism where he lyrically expressed the realm of the imaginary as an essential dimension of life and where ~

A
Shell
Walnut
Is in front
Only the sea
Between me
And the other
Shore
I
Brought
My child
Why?
In his
Eye
I see
Dawns
Of hope
The
Waves

They Have Risen
In the dark
Of the
Night
The
Shell
Is
Broken
We are
Slipped
Hugged
In
A wet
Shroud
Now
The other
Shore
Is
Further

Taken from his poem Diana Buffa inspired by his work on right Caro Amore Mio Acrylic on canvas

I met Giacomo over text. Following is a brief outline of our conversation.

TKR: Giacomo, Let me start in the most usual way; what brings you to the world of painting?

Giacomo: My attention to communicate (in literature) has also led me to convey my feelings graphically. In fact, I dedicated myself to express graphically quite early, which, throughout my career, I have never abandoned (my graphics have enriched the covers and pages of poetic syllogism, novels, and essays, as well as those of some literary magazines). I delved into activities that gradually favored the collective “we” rather than the singular ‘I’ – the individuality of the artist. Throughout my career, I believed this is how collective works of Art, texts, or lines with intersemiotic editing (Art, poetry, music, video, etc.) are born.

I also dedicated myself to ceramics intended not as decoration but as “kintsugi,” where potteries are made of fragments and shards or when broken, are fixed with gold dust so as not to disguise them as decorative objects but to add to and remember the history of the object. My idea is rather a synthesis between the Japanese practice of “kintsugi” as I was mentioning, and that of the Sicilian “conzalemmi”; that is, it arises from the idea that an even greater form of aesthetic and interior perfection can be born from imperfection and the wound.

TKR: So, you mean that your idea is to amalgamate art forms to gain a collective theme?

Giacomo: Yes, an intersemiotic work that goes beyond individualities, the “we” prevails over the “I.”

TKR: Giacomo, let me ask you this. If one seeks to trace your artistic activity over the years, what are the major defining episodes?

Giacomo: Well, this is something I think of myself often. It is possible to summarize my artistic activity in three great moments:

I – Poetic Realism (until 1989), where I lyrically expressed the imaginary realm as an essential dimension of life and where I sought expressive immediacy of travel, of joy, of strength; a language that claimed the civil commitment toward Art.

II – Ideogrammatic Abstraction” (until 2009). I experimented with magical signs that embraced infinite space and radiated it, where I wove my infinite canvas, a labyrinth of memory and creativity; a sudden painting full of chromatisms, projected into the world of the fantastic, shattered into irregular geometric figures.

III – Allegorical-sign Expressionism” (until today). Here I do not abandon the symbolic-critical mediation and contact with the reality of events, its levels, and its lacerations; I try to work within the sign-symbolic transformations with the symptomatic direction that sets out the form/image as a “differential allegory.”

TKR: I am intrigued by this painting, which I have seen on social media. What does it convey? If you can help me understand briefly.

Giacomo: The painting is entitled “At the corner” and deals with the theme of “femicide.” The male figure is found “in the corner” of the canvas, a shadow on a red background; the three female figures are close, embracing each other, are in solidarity, and are united by a red band (the violence of man) that surrounds them. The color contrast is deliberate.

At the corner: Acrylic on Canvas

TKR: Thank You, Giacomo! Let me ask you an albeit different question. I myself am intrigued always by this. What, do you think are the elements in a human character that you think are important to be an artist?

Giacomo: Well, interesting. I think what stands out as an artist is his or her way of coveying thoughts.The artist chooses a not so easy way to express his mood, or say to speak, to do, and to tell and, all these, he does using his own creativity.

TKR: As an artist you would consider yourself more residing in the past, present, or the future?

Giacomo: Knowing the past is very important for an artist. You are more aware of what you intend to do in the present. An artist is a person who lives his time. But then his constant search for expressive forms and languages (which is always new) project the artist into the future. In other words, combining “past-present-future”, for an artist, is essential.

TKR: Finally, my last question. What are the primary motivations behind your Art?

Giacomo: I don’t know what are the motivations that pushed me to “make” Art. I have always painted, since I was a child (my father was a self-taught decorator and painter); I have done all the studies in this area; I’ve been teaching Art to kids for forty years … Art has always been my life, it makes me feel good and, I think, it can make others feel good because, I am convinced like Dostoevsky, that “Beauty will save the world “!

TKR: Thank You Giacomo! I really am in love with the colors you portray in your recent works. It is my pleasure to know you further.

Giacomo: Thank You! Very kind of you.

The paintings/works are chosen here to provide the readers with an opening to the transformation of his Art over time as he mentioned before.

1. VOLO (35X50) Mixed media – 1987
 
3. ELEVEN SEPTEMBER (60X80) Acrylic and sand – 2002
5. GOOD LUCK (70X100) Acrylic on canvas – 2020
2. SHINING (35X50) Mixed media – 1987
4. FOR DENISE (33X48) Ink on paper – 2005
6. THE NOISE OF LIFE (60X80) Acrylic on canvas – 2020
Giacomo Cuttone (Marsala, 1958) completed his studies at the Art School and the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo. He has participated in the artistic life since 1972 exhibiting, by invitation, in numerous group exhibitions. He has to his credit several personal exhibitions held in the national territory. He illustrated poetry books and literary magazines. In the 1980s he founded, together with other Sicilian artists, the Cultural Center of Visual Arts of Marsala and, together with the Poet Antonino Contiliano, as part of the cultural promotion of the Municipality of Petrosino, he gave life to a Review of Contemporary Art and a Poetry Prize. He is the co-author of some collective poetry texts with intersemiotic editing. In 2013 he published, together with Gianmario Lucini, Song of lost children, Edizioni CFR, Piateda (SO). He lives in Mazara del Vallo and teaches Art and Image in lower secondary schools. One can reach him at [email protected] .
Tapas K Ray

Tapas K Ray

Primarily a self-taught pastel artist, Tapas K Ray received his training in oil from Kathryn Myers at the University of Connecticut. Being inspired by Indian mythology, especially the concept of ‘third eye,’ his paintings are mostly influenced by his sense of existence. Though brazen, they silently protest against human exceptionalism. He is also an economist, a published poet, and an actor. Catch him at thecommonmanartist.weebly.com.

3 Comments

  1. Antonino Contiliano

    Questa allegoria differenziale, che via via – nei vari passaggi del suo sperimentarsi – sostanzia e attraversa il realismo pittorico-poetico di Giacomo Cuttone, è uno dei tratti peculiari dell’artista e delle sue opere. Il tratto che, all’atto di nominare e significare poi le opere stesse con il verbale (dei titoli), l’altro linguaggio, ne sintetizza l’intersecarsi semantico espanso e filtrato che fluisce attraverso la permeabilità dei confini fluidi, dinamici. È il senso plastico dell’arte-poesia – che l’artista Cuttone cura – nel divenire intreccio di simbiosi creativa delle “parti” e degli elementi fono-cromatici cui dà l’essere, insieme di realtà, vita, immaginazione e rapporti.

    Antonino Contiliano
    Marsala, 14/02/2021

    Reply
  2. Name *Antonino Contiliano

    Nell’espressione ” …. che Laurea Cuttone cura…”, nel commento postato da Contiliano, la parola originaria è ” l’artista Cuttone cura …”, non “Laurea…”. Nella traslazione la parola non è stata tradotta per come era stata scritta. Sperando che l’errore non si ripeta, ripostiamo solo l’intero passo che contiene il termine giusto:

    È il senso plastico dell’arte-poesia – che l’artista Cuttone cura – nel divenire intreccio di simbiosi creativa delle “parti” e degli elementi fono-cromatici cui dà l’essere, insieme di realtà, vita, immaginazione e rapporti.

    Antonino Contiliano
    Marsala, 16 febbraio 2021

    Reply
  3. Name *Antonino Contiliano

    la parola “Laurea”, nel commento lasciato da Contiliano, non è la traduzione corretta della parola originaria traslata. Continua l’errore.

    Antonino Contiliano

    Marsala, 16 febbraio 2021

    Reply

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