Critics / Press

  • Chinnici - Introspection

    The real poverty of the poor lies not so much in their economic status as in their state of mind. When men do not have ideals anymore, then it is better not to even have ideas, as to have ideas alone, not illuminated by ideals, ultimately makes them slaves to selfishness and often to crime.
    It seems to me that in Chinnici’s poor there is a presence of mind not as a justification for a particular political affiliation, but as the gnawing of inner thoughts on the human condition by those who know that regardless of who governs, their lot in life is to work to keep body and soul together and to eventually pay for their own burial. More or less all of Chinnici’s figures force me to ponder on life’s problems and to enter a realm of thought with wide entrances but narrow and difficult to find exits. But, on close examination of his landscapes, I feel as though I am in front of the works of a different artist; I do not say better or worse, but just different, able finally to commit more to feeling rather than to thought, and therefore mentally more restful, more lyrical, more Mediterranean. In fact, the contrast between these two aspects of Lorenzo Chinnici’s artistic production should not be surprising, nor be regarded as an inconsistency, much less as a contradiction or a false note. Just think of the painful sadness of the Greek tragedies.
    They were always tragedies, but were presented in front of the most beautiful scenery, under beautiful skies, in theatres purposefully built in the most pleasant and charming locations. The beauty of the natural scenery was not at all incompatible with the sadness of the tragic work, because, in the final analysis, even in sadness there is beauty and in tragedy poetry. Without the pain, the fountain of art dries up. Lorenzo Chinnici perhaps unknowingly, that is, without a predetermined will, but out of pure instinct, has created like the ancient Greeks, has felt like the ancient Greeks, as if he had said to his art the same words spoken by Baudelaire to his wife: “Be beautiful and be sad”
    Every landscape has its own soul and its own expression like a face, and every face is at the same time a landscape in which the artist seeks to capture not only the lines, but the drama that is its hidden secret.
    Lorenzo Chinnici, when still young had developed an uncommon maturity and capacity of expression. His technique is the fruit of long study conducted with seriousness and application. His style is nervous but without frenzy, is attentive and precise without affectation.
    One could say that many of the qualities inherent in the work, are also inherent in the artist, and it is natural that it should be so, at least for those who regard sincerity as a cornerstone of their art and life and see in art the antithesis of artifice. He is humble without being timid.
    He is not a careerist and is not nervous of self-proclaimed experts and those who pander to current trends for either personal gratification or profit. He does not envy colleagues who, with apparently less merit, supersede him in official grading ’s for he knows that pedestals do not form part of the true stature of a man. Although self-taught as an artist he is a man of learning, he has served his time on the student’s bench and the teachers desk and believes deeply that the most valuable lessons are not those learned in school but rather those taught to us by our life experiences.
    In a modern artistic world which appears to have a greater rapport with opinions than with affections Chinnici who strongly believes in the latter does not believe in a cerebral art deaf to the reasonings of the heart and those social callings which are the yeast of the bread of life.
    On this premise and with an acquired maturity and inner peace which is revealed both in the man and his art, Lorenzo Chinnici takes his place amongst the new generation of artists, with that authority which derives from the quality of the art itself and not from any artificial fame purchased in an art world which today more than ever appears to be contaminated by partisanship and injustice.

    Nino Ferrara

  • Renzo Chinnici

    Chinnici’s artistic nature was evident from a very young age.
    According to Voltaire “All those who have made a name for themselves in the field of art have done so against the wishes of their parents”
    The cultural direction of our artist in his very early youth was undoubtedly mistaken
    For the rest, the life of an artist consists of a multitude of unexpected and strange events that may hinder or delay but never manage to suppress the overwhelming power of artistic inclination.
    How many poets, painters and sculptors have commenced life forced into the arid study law and mathematics, but such artists although resigned have equally managed to escape the banality of daily life constantly immersed in the sweet spirals of their poetry.
    Perhaps our Lorenzo has always kept in mind the words of Gabriele D’Annunzio “love your dream even though it torments you”
    And so it is that from inauspicious beginnings he embarked on the voyage of life with the prestigious virtuosity that gushes not from easy and superficial improvisation, rather from introspective meditation and real vision.
    To paraphrase the words of the great Petronius.
    Art is a tough mistress and those who strive for excellence must be prepared to lead a simple and austere life.
    “Ambition to fulfill the austere demands of Art,
    The mind moving to mighty themes,
    Demands discipline, simplicity –
    The heart like a mirror.
    Disdain the haughty seats of the mighty,
    Humiliating invitations to drunken dinners,
    The addictions, the low pleasures,
    The mental spark guttering out with wine.
    Refuse theatre seats,
    Refuse to sell applause
    To the actor’s empty mouthings.”
    Before producing it is necessary, especially in the field of art, to have a glimpse of one’s inner self in order to be able to explain the world that surrounds one, to contemplate according to one’s own vision, sad or happy as that may be.
    Who knows how many times our painter, prey to his own artistic drive, at the most unpredictable times, has returned to his work to retouch an element, to better form an expression, to trace the outline of a face, to make clear on canvas a state of mind by way of the configuration of a glance or a particular attitude of the body.
    One happy day the conditions may fall just so and allow for an easy production. Then as Maupassant would say, the ideas seem to fall from the hands and automatically fix themselves to the canvas.
    Perhaps similar to the painter Oliver, behind closed doors, seperated from the world, in the peace of a closed house, in the mountain village where he teaches, in the peace of his studio, with clear eye and lucid spirit, over excited, active, he finds the happiness granted to artists to produce their works with joy.
    There are moments in which nothing else exists for an artist in those hours of work, except the piece of canvas on which an image is born under the caress of a pen and in this crisis of creativity he feels a strange and beautiful sensation of richness of life which exalts and diffuses in him.
    In themes in which art, regardless of rare exceptions, in every field marks time towards a bewilderment of the spirits, our artist, taking a backward step, has intended and intends to realize with his paintings, a note of brightness, extending a pointer towards those abundant morals and spirituality that through the centuries have comforted man, snatching him from lethargy, to that exestential ascetism that in deed imparts the will to learn even from the forms of a decadent art.
    To portray nature without indulging in hysterical contortions of lines and forms pushed by a lively passion, says, in our judgment, to educate and recreate the spirits
    Lorenzo Chinnici wants to be an ardent guiding light towards the values of life, of thought, of the spirit, of that world in fact so unlike those youths who are desperately searching for something new, forgetting the old lesson of Orazio who taught that “there is nothing new under the sun”. NIHIL NOVI SUB SOLE.
    The paintings of our artist tend to affirm that same nature, permeating and diffusing from our interior world that reflects itself like a divine and mysterious light, and exactly in the same universe that one traces an affiliate of life and of joy of great Art, of true Art.

    G. C. Capritti

  • Landscape

    Chinnici deeply loves nature in all its best delicate expressions, in its most beautiful sceneries, in its quite and eloquent loneliness.

    G. C. Capritti

  • Lorenzo Chinnici's Pictoresque Art

    Lorenzo Chinnici: a young talented artist that surely will be successful all around the National Territory.
    A chance made me enter among various paintings of the Artist, exhibited in a room on the ground floor of the "Garibaldi Marina" in Milazzo. It has happened the other night, towards the sunset, when the veils of scarlet clouds aligned to the calmness of the sea, in the hot spell of August, while I was walking distracted into the gallery of dark trees among vermilion lights.
    Lorenzo, we prefer to call him only using his proper name because it already expresses poetry and high lyricism.
    He loves everything is beautiful, true and good.
    He deeply loves the nature in all its most delicate, in its most beautiful landscapes, in his loneliness and silent as eloquent.
    They are groups of huts protected by degrading hills where there is no soul: it vibrates only the contemplative spirit of the painter.
    Roofs of tiny villages, with tiles eroded by time and weather.
    Barefoot women, with faces worn by fatigue for the squat daily leaning to the side of a boat.
    A baby with a discouraged face that clings to the mother so heartfelt.
    Houses spread around a serene lake.
    A man with a desperate face, with shut eyes, that rest his occiput on the palm of the hand, in a troubled slumber.
    Lines of trees that lie next to the sea and tower their tops in a clear sky.
    Chinnici’s painting penetrates the soul and break with the mysterious voice of a high poetry: a poem full of sad notes.
    The artist knows how to capture the sublime spectacles of nature, the sensory qualities of form, line, color, and he is able to rip any true harmony.
    His canvases are measured and balanced in composition, the masses and shades.
    The paint flows from a sincere emotion and it possesses the power of suggestion in the heart of the beholder.
    The technique of the artist responds to the call of feeling ready.
    The different paintings materialize pages of heartfelt intimacy that remain etched in the soul.
    He succeeds because he is inspired by the reality 'of life not to the vagaries of the theories that mostly end in "isms", destined inexorably even if they have benefited from apparent, triumphal parenthesis, the total DISAPPEARANCE of the world of ART.
    Chinnici could correspond to the motto of the Goncourt: " ARTS IS “THE REAL” POETRY".
    The note that fascinates me most is the silence of the picturesque landscapes, superb peace and amplitude.

    G. C. Capritti

  • Everyday Art

    The new trendin painting tends towards the abstract and a particularly marked aspect of art today is to no longer reflect reality, that reality which has for so long been the window through which art was viewed. Modern art thrives on surreal images fed by the jargon of museums which speak of abstract art, deformed, almost bent. A painting derives a surrealism which, by way of expressionism, assumes the tones of a new alphabet which can be primitive or savage. Strangely therefore reality is almost excluded from art and is superseded either by memory or consciousness and which therefore on the canvas’s of the new artists is used solely as a pretext for a more simplified form of communication. It seems then that these days, almost no artist wants to paint reality, depicting figures and landscapes, it’s as if modern artists don’t want to look around themselves, and at the same time, don’t want to risk placing themselves in competition with those artist’s who, throughout the long history of art, have been the symbols of realism and figurative reality. Lorenzo Chinnici is prepared to take this risk, an artist who seems on the threshold of his expressive maturity and who inserts himself in a realsitic ambient, rediscovering the flavour of painting day to day life. This is art born directly from the reality that surrounds us, turning on the one hand to the landscape of his beloved Sicily and on the other to the persons who inhabit this landscape and their daily lives in all its aspects, it’s joy, its drama, its euphoria and indeed its boredom. In doing this Chinnici (Born Merí Sicily 1942) with his art well grounded in his Sicilian environment, avoids that great pitfall,to which so many succumb, a sterile representation of realism, not only being deluded into trying to produce something better, but above all betraying the basic principles of the artist. So it is in Chinnici’s recent artistic output one notes how his realism, if on the one hand freed from the filters of memory and consciousness, has fully adopted as a guidline the total incorporation of “the world as seen through the eyes” from which he derives an interpretation of reality free from sentimentality. An approach which is practically the opposite of those who today apply elements of “neosurrealism” or of “neoexpressionism” which actually reduce realism to something different, (visionarismo or protest) which already existed, while Chinnici derives his sensations directly from reality. It is possible in some ways to view his work under two profiles. There is actually primarily the wish to recover moments from a world almost trivial that the artist takes upon himself to rescue from its condemnation to anonimity. As for example Chinnici does when he paints the weariness of farmers and fishermen, when on the canvas he shows glimpses of rustic folk, the landscapes of childhood in which everything appears limited and narrow, or when he grasps scraps of life such as a meeting, somebody waiting or a small scene. If in doing this the artist assumes almost the role of reporter, reducing the art to the mundane or, bestowing on the mundane the dignity of art, his realism offers also another aspect, which derives from the ability to squeeze the unremarkable to harvest on the canvas the juice of a sensation, of a participation sometimes sorrowful sometimes nostalgic, sometimes dramatic, in this way the human figure, usually very well depicted, implies a strong tension almost tormented, while the landscape seems to introduce and to invite a peaceful conquest of an anxiety satisfied by serenity. From the complete body of work, which sometimes resembles, especially in the landscapes, a tuscan style, transposed into a Sicilian reality, comes forth a type of narrative that goes beyond the images and which involves the participation not only of the eyes but of the heart. The involvement of that heart with which the artist is watching the reality to interprete or to fix the present in his mind, if only thinking that soon all this will have passed, irredeemably swallowed by time, that it will finish with the cancellation of all these scraps of life, even the memory.

    Lucio Barbera