Critical review of:

Marco Bevilacqua

Prof. Mr. Marco Bevilacqua: Art Critic, teacher and writer
"In Gianni Piva, the result is what you see and you can touch on his canvases, a tridimensional idea of picto-sculpture"

The narrative world of Gianni Piva is not only idyllic observation of the cosmos. It’also fascinated by contrasts, from the magma and underground energy of the manifestations of nature. The result is what you see and can touch on his canvases, whose rigid consistency, saturated color, leads to an idea of Pictish-dimensional sculpture (Marco Bevilacqua)

Gianni Piva is one of those artists for whom real life and art merge into a single precipitated of existence, in a synergistic dualism, indissoluble. It all started about ten years ago, in Playa Fronton, in the Dominican Republic. Before that, the paint did not match Piva still with a conscious identity as an artist, but it was only a secret passion, the natural expression of a recall primitive and almost carnal nature for colors, for the act of daubing a canvas, of smearing. In fact, they will understand later, a personal mode of expression, which has its roots in the inner dialogue and empathy with the things of the world, the same that still guides him and inspires him every time he produces a work.

One fine day in the spring of 1997, Piva decides that the life of the city, Treviso, is the ever closer. Too many deadlines, too many constraints, too many cages, for a restless man, who always feels stronger within himself, as a feeling, like a still undefined omen, his destiny as an artist. His father, Luigi Piva, is a pretty well known designer: designs and manufactures interiors of homes and offices, it would take with him to continue the business of the firm. But Gianni Piva looking his way, for 3 years dealing with fashion, then open a local alternative, a music bar in exotic style, with colorful frescoes on the walls and the sea sand on the floor. The hologram of a destiny, the projection of a dream. In his spare time you close in a room and painting landscapes. He does it as a child, is his favorite hobby. In addition to the brush is already using the hands, the spatula. He loves and extensive fields of color, the lively contrasts, the swirls of color. His is a figurative still crude, but a dense material. Gianni is a complete self-taught, not inspired by role models, transfers on canvas just what the instinct suggests. Although painting has been chewed, since little breathing the smell of tempera and oil paints: his grandfather, retired stationmaster, dabbled in art copies of painters of 900. Figure that, next to his father designers, send the decisive imprinting, the secret thread that leads to art. And it is perhaps on the trail of the bond acquired as a child, that Piva, at age 27, he abandons everything, sells local who ran for 6 years, and takes the first flight to the Americas. Feeling the need for a sabbatical, a period of general suspension away from everything and everyone. I do not know why, but he feels that the turning point has arrived. Arrived in the peninsula of Samana, Dominican Republic, Gianni decides to stop.

As Gauguin, he landed in another world, in which to find the silences and the ancient force of nature, in which reset the certainties and comforts of the bourgeois world. But the truth does not pass through the stories and faces of other people, because unlike Parisian Impressionist, Piva seeking isolation, withdrawal, contact with the absolute of the self, with the truths of the primordial elements. To fascinate are the wind, the high beams and clear colors of the tropics, the whistles of the strange birds that live the intricate of palms and mangroves, the undertow of the ocean that includes in itself all the noises of the world. To share this research is the wife Emanuela. They live as hermits near the beach, you build a hut and feed on fish, fruit and few products for sale in the nearest village, 16 km away At the small local convenience store you can also buy large linen cloths. Not having tripod or other support, Piva tents between them and the other a palm tree and paint en plein air with his hands, his arms, warm and enveloping in gusts as the wind strengthened some evenings in from the sea. In these earlier works, “tropical”, the landscapes become more elaborate. Predominate brightly decorated, the bright greens, blues dazzled. Piva paints with pleasure and joy for his own pleasure.

From this moment on, the art involves full-time his life. Now it has found its way, feels reassured and produces a great pace, for a renewal – and this time sharing-creative impetus. Continues to travel, to observe and to paint. After New York, Piva exhibited in Miami, London and in many Italian cities. He developed his ability to transpose the existing. Gives itself a capacity of near vision, depicts reality observed nearly a microscope. Of his works, like the different measure of seeing: Piva paints glimpses of landscape increasingly dense and tight, in which resurface signs and symbols linked to memories and feelings of the artist. As if inspired by a naive pantheism, the artist enters the secret structure of things with the eyes of a child, the one who knows how to capture the magic. His is a game of crystals and mirrors, which approaching and suddenly dismisses the details in a continuous reversal of perspective: a blade of grass, the undulating surface of a lake, the net profile of a hill, turn into fragmentations of color, sedimentations of matter, of reds, blues, whites, gleaming spider webs braided in silver, earthy ripples in the surface of the painting, which itself becomes tangible substance, tactile, sensual.

There you will find echoes of casual, abstract, action painting, even impressionism. But you never escapes the feeling that the big Piva is an exclusive product of himself. It ‘also fascinated by contrasts, from the underground magma and energy of the manifestations of nature. In certain works red filaments light up like star bursts of funds blacks, sometimes ripped. The result is what you see and can touch on his canvases, whose of rigid, saturated color, leads to the idea of ​​three-dimensional painter-sculpture painter.