The Italian artist Enzo Cucchi is known for his paintings of colorful landscapes containing people and nature. Often they give way to fantastical, absurd realities, simultaneously exhibiting the in-betweens of hell and heaven. (And this does not necessarily mean purgatory). The audience is presented with images that seem familiar yet also alien, drawing constant references from forms of existentialism. A little bit of Enzo Cucchi’s very own, down below.
Enzo, your paintings are particularly memorable to me. Somehow there’s almost always a certain type of division taking place on canvas. A separation between two worlds. Good and evil, past and future, ruin and salvation. Do you often consciously exist in duality?
I often wake up with my ass burned, like a macaque red ass… you know...duality is just a way to read the realm.
What does painting allow you to do and sculpture doesn’t? As well as vice versa.
Sometimes painting has saved me! Some other times sculptures may save me.
Your paintings often seem to move between faces and landscapes. Which examination offers the most emotional challenge?
Everything has to be emotional. Every single sign you make with your hands, your skills, the stuff you draw… Every movement you make should be done emotionally lit.
During your long-lasting career as an artist, what confrontations have you learned to accept?
You can accept only yourself, nothing else.
For you, where within lies the difference between painting and drawing? Do you see certain limitations more in one than the other?
First of all, the difference lies in the technique. In order to paint you handle a brush, to draw you use other stuff. The body takes a different position. They are two kinds of visions, because of the materials and surfaces. A lot of differences that are seen by standing very close, totally disappear. Yesterday a physic proved me when two different surfaces get in touch, they never really touch each other. What you feel when you touch a wet body is not the contact with that skin, it’s just electric micro fields reacting and exciting each other... for atoms we’re big as galaxies... Research in itself is an important cultural act. But the Method. Drawing three hours a day everyday, even when you have nothing to draw. I get used to drawing images... my little idols in the space... on a paper sheet, in the empty space... giving them matter in a villain landscape... then bronze... whatever. Every day you have to do the same thing, that’s method.
Are your paintings and drawings ever based on autobiographical experiences, feelings? Or would it rather be the opposite, away from the personal?
No autobiographical… Personal… trainer…You need? (laughing).. Dunno
What is one of the most important ingredients within an artwork?
Considering that human bodies often exist within a natural-seeming landscape (often laying on the ground), I wonder what the relationship between the two of them behold within your paintings. Sometimes I feel as though the bodies are eagerly trying to return, become part of earth again. But there is a clear impossibility. Is it also a matter of purity vs impurity?
Purity and impurity are both ok.. they are just itches of our body and mind. We have to try every second to get in a new long lasting landscape.
HOW MANY BODIES CAN U IMAGINE, BUDDY? THE TARJAN’S COLUMN, ONE OF THE FIRST GRAPHIC NOVELS, FROM THE 114 AD, BUILT IN 8 YEARS, REPRESENTS THE DACIAN WAR.
2500 SETS PUT IN 18 MARBLE BLOCKS. EVERY CENTIMETER OF THE COLUMN SCULPTED IN A SPIRALIZED CYLINDRICAL BAS-RELIEF, ABOUT 400000 CHARACTERS IN.
interview LARA KONRAD
More to read