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Artist/Maker Spotlight

Bislacchi / « back

Bislacchi is a painter making large scale works, his work currently explores the medium of canvas. He has had a studio at ASC Grafton Road since October 2018. Bislacchi has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting from City & Guilds of London Art School and has been practicing since 2015. His work is featured in upcoming group show ‘Yellow Archangel Perceiving Anomalies’ at General Practice in Lincoln in May. More information can be found here. Bislacchi will be partaking in a four month long residency at Via Farini in Milan, starting in September. He has produced a film documentary on his latest series of works Wall of Canvas which can be seen here.

@Bislacchi | bislacchistudio.com

Is there a starting point for your art practice?

The real starting point of my practice was during my first year at art school when I began rejecting my traditional painting training with the intention to find a new voice that was purely mine.

What artists have been your greatest inspiration?

It’s really hard to list them all, but in a more general way one of the most remarkable periods to me is post war art; going from American minimalism and abstraction to the Italian informal painting with the subsequent advent of the Arte Povera movement in the late 60s.

What was the first artwork of note you remember making?

I made a copy of Van Gogh’s Sunflower between 6 or 8 years old. That was my first painting ever, also using oil paint for the first time. It’s a work I made when I was a kid so I couldn’t take it that seriously, however I’m still particularly attached to it because it was like the beginning of a journey full of discoveries.

What piece of music is a constant in your studio?

I don’t usually listen to music in the studio, I only listen to various art podcasts.

What is that trip that you have always wanted to make?

I have a thing for Iceland. When I was at art school I applied for a painting award whose first prize was a fully funded study trip to Iceland. In that occasion, I had to write a very accurate proposal of the places and locations I wanted to visit and it was then when I found out about the beauty of that country.

Do you collect anything in particular?

No. Perhaps one day I would love to start collecting art.

Is your artwork where you want it to be?

Not yet. I want my work to reach a larger audience, especially working towards shows within art galleries and public institutions.

How do you order your time?

Currently I have a very strict daily routine, especially during lockdown. I wake up very early in the morning, I have breakfast and then I head to the studio trying to make a start between 8.30/9am. Here, I usually spend between 8 and 9 hours every day. I only take Sundays off. It doesn’t sound like a very interesting schedule but whatever can get me into the studio to make work turns up to be a great day.

Do you have a mantra?

Yes. “Nulla Dies Sine Linea”.

Tell us about a piece you are currently working on

I’m currently working on new pieces for part of my latest series of paintings titled Wall of Canvas, where I explore the medium of canvas as a constructional element to make work. These paintings feature long strips of hand twisted painted canvas that I singularly stretch over the painting support, creating tangled patterns reminiscent of wall construction motifs.

Is there any advice you were given that you would like to share?

One of the many that I particularly remember is from Sean Scully who once said that painting isn’t only a practice where you can get something out of it but is also very important to think about what you can add to it.

What sources do you turn to for inspiration when you are creatively stuck?

I think I’ve never experienced being creatively stuck so far. I like what Chuck Close used to say that inspiration is for amateurs, but the rest of us show up and get to work. I believe that creativity is not a choice but is a state of mind that either you have it or you don’t.

What pastimes have you been entertaining yourself with in lockdowns?

I have been reading a lot. I think I’ve read more during lockdown than in my entire life. Very recently, I read BOOM by Michael Shnayerson, a journey into the art market and the rise of contemporary art.

Is narrative important in your work?

Not so much. My works are often narrative but in an implicit way. When I work I think about art in the first place because a painting is a good painting with or without a narrative. The thing is that people like a story whereas artists like myth.

Do you like mistakes?

I love mistakes because without them there wouldn’t be any art. I don’t remember who said that art comes from chance not from knowledge. Mistakes come from lack of knowledge therefore they are good.

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