Artist: Gianluca Cosci
Year/Location: 2021 Italy
Dimensions: Approx 83 cm x 72 cm
Artwork info: Painting
Materials: Oil on found painting
Bio: Throughout my career I have been interested in the concept of censorship both in metaphorical and literal sense and this idea often permeated into my work in many ways.
In my artistic practice I have been using (among other things) found paintings on which I make various interventions and alterations. My ‘irrevocable’ actions could be seen as a metaphor for the supremacy of the owner over the owned.
Through the painterly intervention on the found artwork I try to establish with it a dialectical – if imbalanced – relationship. The found painting, thus, becomes a palimpsest or a forced partner both ‘saved’ and ‘sacrificed’ in equal measure. Ultimately, I am interested in using ‘real’ found paintings rather than their photographic reproductions as the intervention must always be on the physical skin of the actual found artwork in order to question, challenge and subvert it in a deeper sense.
Indeed, with its questions around the notion of image-concealment and visual denial, my work could stimulate debates that engage with the significance of creativity and its opposite: exploring how the concept of destruction and negative approach to the object/palimpsest could be reversed into possible creation and affirmative intervention: iconoclasm, therefore, as a method to unveil processes of ‘creative friction’.
The act of covering with a layer of paint the whole surface of an old painting except for some elements, can create new focal points to the remained visible parts. The vision is hence always partial, blurred or restricted. The visual hierarchy is, therefore, completely overturned by impeding the sight of specific areas of the image, subverting the original intention of what is worthy of our attention, what is barred, highlighted or hidden. In this new re-direction of the gaze lies a creative freedom that contemplates the possibility of the negation of the image itself. This visual denial can have, therefore, an evocative effect that might even highlight the ‘censored’ elements.
Iconoclastic attitudes could also be adopted on one’s own paintings when they are used as palimpsests for newer pieces, acting almost as a hypothetical external agent who applies layers upon layers of thin paint during successive moments over a supposedly ‘completed’ work. In this sense, my interventions on my own paintings usually take place several months or even years after the completion of the initial phases. Therefore, even in the case of my works, the most recent interventions, while hiding and obliterating, actually act as "reactivators" of the oldest surfaces in an ambiguous game between revelation and concealment.
Gianluca Cosci, 2021