Critics / Press

  • Dedicated to Chinnici

    I have seen the pictures you have made
    I see you while you are getting older
    Painting people, houses and Jesus since you were born
    Compensations are not many and the path you went through is sad
    The best wish is peaking, you as a painter and me as a writer.


  • Back to the Real

    Works by David Kent and Lorenzo Chinnici, Six Inches, Milan, 29 September 2015

    The 2 artists meeting again, after more than forty years thanks to a chance but decisive meeting, for their children as a result of a critical discussion about some artwork.

    It seems to be the beginning of a story of the taste of the past. Today in our communicative society, in which we are able to enter at any time of the day in any place of the world, it focuses on a bygone era for the 2 artists.
    This reunion has something symbolic also of the chance meeting of the two children.
    This acts as a demonstration of the consistency of these two artists, who after many years of mutual unknown activities are found in the same clothes that are very frayed and worn which highlight the thoughts "to see."

    Both artists, David Kent and Lorenzo Chinnici, move away from being a reality in contemporary art, recovering a mystical representation.
    By reality I refer to the practice now disruptive, in contemporary dell'incorniciamento of things, a process that sees its role in the re-definition of reality: ready-made.
    Here nothing is closer, we perceive at once the distance with the reality of the picture to be asked first. No works to be seen, but are ways to see through work. As objects arranged and are organized according to a predetermined way (as in the case of ready-made) are able to leave their functionality to suggest new meanings which are inevitably present here and expose themselves in their evidence and their material flow occurs nell'evenienza of reality.
    This contrasts with the practice of these two artists that are pursuing the way of painting remain silent in an attempt to abandon it, the significance of its subject, and retrieve it as part of being acted out (in fact the painting is not as an observation post but as the action of the work) we could define it as an imagination, considering that everything is transformed (the painting is basically a job and how this transformation happens) before it is imagined.

    Back to the Real
    Critical reflections on the work of Lorenzo Chinnici:

    How do we look at the works of Lorenzo Chinnici? Which side to measure the features? Within which we can bring together the historical perspective?
    So it is with these works that seem to be suspended in time. Some of them are finely veiled touches of sea breeze, as the cycle of "fishermen". Behind these coatings lie gestures simple but essential, on the whole this retains a genuine spontaneity so as to generate an immediate empathy with the subjects represented, their moods, their thoughts, what they have done and what we still have to do.
    This is evident in the close-ups, all the attention is focused on being. The viewpoint has been lowered and puts the viewer in a state of confidentiality; the volume of the bodies is magnified in volume.
    This simple majesty, invites us to a pleasant intimacy of the artist, and we can move to the territories of the beyond.
    Prospects border on the skin of the figures, and yet such a short space that form and emerges as bullies mending a status que of an ancestral image of the world now abandoned by contemporary society. Who would not want to pause so, all'albeggio of a Sicilian day at the foot of the Mediterranean?
    [I would like, for a moment, to open a bracket around the "pause" for the viewer. The pause is a condition in which the man closes the world to learn to feel it, looking at it. The pause in this sense, today, is beyond doubt an action to rebel against the status quo. I am reminded of the concept of Horror Plen Dorfles, presented in the book of the same name in its opening of the twenty-first century, this horror of the overflow, which corresponds to excess noise, both visual and auditory, is the opposite of any information and communication capacity. Now, within this status quo, Dorfles, complained of the possibility of a break, an estrangement with the ultimate goal of maintaining self-awareness, today continually endangered. ]
    Many of the works of Chinnici, seem to come to light in the timetable that the sun rises, many of his characters stop at dawn, as the Lampara, work, the others begin. But what is this dawn that is revealed? It is in this dawn that shows the evidence that takes form, in this time of day that despite all the pain, clears the body in its towering majesty. As we remember Nancy -until there is a body there is a dawn - and adds that - the dawn is right, and also it extends from edge to edge.
    His mezzotint is not the darkness of a conflict or contradiction. It is the complicity of the places that opens and extends -So in the hour of sunrise half tone range and any difference in them fades and comes out being in its total body of evidence and meat.
    Ecce Homo for an artist like Chinnici is a "revelation" of the intimate things of the world.
    His works seems to be fundamentally geographic from latitude, in which they generate.
    Sicily located by rugged cliffs and sharp vertical profiles, suggests the primacy of line and plane instead of being modulated and shapes; The African sun burning landscapes requires the primitive force of the color instead of tone, and atmosphere.
    Even the characters are those around him, part of the Sicilian world.
    But at the same time these men have no identity, they do not recognize as singular but as a symbolic expression of the human being.

    Dispositio former Clausione Linearum!
    (Arrangement produced by demarcating lines)
    Critical reflections on the work of David Kent

    David Kent, being English, reflects in his works, the custom design of the Anglo-Saxon culture.
    A linear tradition that is nourished from Normandy architecture of Durham Cathedral, and crossing the boundaries of English artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to rejuvenate with the season of the Pre-Raphaelites and bring his art to the twenty first century with Pop Art in Hamilton, that the boundary line makes the more effective tool of imagination and of reality.
    Here is the origin of the method of representation applied by Kent.
    [I'd like to open here a bracket on the structural function of the outline that emerges clearly in theory, perhaps for the first time, in a medieval text: Commentaries in Sententiarum of Bonaventure.
    William Blake said that only fools see outlines and therefore they draw, but he also said that only the wise men see outlines and therefore they draw. The fact is that the boundary lines do not exist in nature and are instead the product of the process of abstraction precisely, as has been said before each performance.]
    The contour line is the way in which it releases the creative thinking of the artist. Through it appears the evidence of the image that springs precisely from the figure / background and the shape is well marked in its spatial arrangement.
    What is it that we want to highlight in Kent’s, work and of what form does it take?
    It seems that the whole of his iconographic register is taken from the history of culture, each work refers to an image which itself embodies a particular concept. For example, Dali in Wonderland, Philosophy of Dreams or Snake and Ladders, they are not, as erroneously claimed, surrealist works but as works regarded as Surrealism.
    The image of Dali, in which inevitably leads to the urgency of a metaphysical practice. This is not only a tribute to an end in itself, but takes on a more quirky nature in the form of an idea, especially in today's society of mathematical rationalism.
    Kent within his work shows wild imagination, a poster of the unconscious chaos, the one defined by the choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre as Bel disorder (disorder prospective and language disorder).
    At this point I would be inclined to move toward the original characters of the Pop Art movement, that of English matrix that contaminate the model representation derived from the forms of mass communication in order to involve a wider audience in the artistic debate.
    From this perspective, Kent, seems to be at the origins of what is considered in today society as the "cartoon" whether used in cinematic advertising purposes: the storyboard that he uses is, in most of his works to be found in the popular biography of various artists and personalities of the eighteenth-twentieth century.
    I think if Kent had used various forms of expression, today he would be considered as an original pop artist of the English movement; which he seems to join with some illustration of the social customs of the time, it is the evolution of technical drawing that comes in its transformation of his paintings.
    Kent’s technique is, therefore, all English, - a "greatness" that is re-born in Kent just like a gentleman who does not get his hands dirty with reality but building it as he sees fit.
    Two painters, Kent and Chinnici, originating the painting from their roots; one of the streets of Surrey and the other on the streets of Sicily

    Marcello Francolini

  • Lorenzo Chinnici & David Kent

    Lorenzo Chinnici. David Kent.
    David Kent. Lorenzo Chinnici.
    A duality without symmetry.

    I would probably have chosen these words as a sub-title for "Synergy of Sons”, a project that opens tonight.
    We live in a time when everything seems constrained to respond to a symmetry, from the bytes of our smartphones to the whisk of the most common egg beater.
    Banal examples, if you will, but I believe they are - sadly - a part of our everyday lives, where everything is led or channelled into "measures" whose unity or multiplicity we rarely identify, as we become ever more conditioned by the huge, single container into which our system is being transformed. Economics, finance, literature, cinema, communications and art. Feelings. Emotiveness. Food.
    But suddenly, in the space of a few weeks, two young men who have just met overturn every symmetry, or measure, and involve ourselves in this magnificent evening - which could be represented by the expressive icon of a mismatched pair of shoes.
    One shoe is English, the other Sicilian. The first is dense with saturated colours, the second loses itself and re-emerges in a labyrinth of shades.
    In one, always the echo of a smile, in the other the trace of a tear.
    And through it all runs one common theme, a beautiful truth, the most asymmetrical that has accompanied humankind throughout our existence - friendship.

    Hello David.
    Hello Lorenzo.
    The first question is almost obligatory. Who were Lorenzo and David when they met? Who are they now, forty years on?
    Synergy is a lovely word, if a little overused. In the context of “Synergy of Sons” it takes on an extraordinary value. What does synergy mean to you?
    Of course I'm not an art critic, but I have deep love of painting. Beyond immediately identifiable influences, I'm very struck by the perspective vision that emerges from your work. What are the "roads" David and Lorenzo follow?
    A theme that your art may be said to share is the feeling of solitude, sometimes extremely explicit, like in Lorenzo's fishermen's “bellies” or vests or David's profiles, others extremely subtle, almost modest, never sad. So what is "solitude"?
    What inspires your emotions when viewing one another's works? How would you describe one another?
    You use different colours, derived from your own culture, with influences from your masters and their particular idioms, and both of you are representatives of an extremely heterogeneous yet incredibly strong social reality. In this way of painting, which narrates reality but does not describe it, I detect a constant return to myth. What role do mythology and its symbols play in your life and, subsequently, in your art?
    “Synergy of Sons” dedicates a proportion of its takings to institutions working on the front line of the fight against eye disease and blindness. What does light mean to you?
    Your meeting and reunion is a fascinating story. Our guests have read or heard about it, so they're already familiar with it. I myself am a little in love with this slightly unbalanced axis that connects you and of which Milan, in the middle of an imaginary line leading from Sicily to London, could be the fulcrum. Forty years from now, what is the city of the future where Lorenzo and David will return to meet again?

    Adelaide Sciuto

  • Zone One Arts - Lorenzo Chinnici

    Lorenzo Chinnici, Sicily, Italy
    Lorenzo Chinnici from Sicily began his career very early in 1953 when he was taken by Renato Guttuso and shown how to paint, this was to be the first of many artists who have influenced Lorenzo Chinnici over the years. He has developed his own art and practices in the medium that he feels will best suit the work, from watercolour, murals, and frescoes to oil.
    Zoneone Arts is delighted to bring Lorenzo Chinnici to you…

    Can you explain about the chance meeting of your son with David Kent’s son in Brick Lane, London and where and how this lead to ‘Synergy of Sons’?
    In 1974, I met David Kent during our group exhibition in London. We immediately click and bound. Over the years, we had lost contact. It was by pure coincidence that my son met David Kent’s son in London. If you believe in fate, this is one of the good surprise life offers. Or maybe it was written that we would reunite.In a London pub, my son Francesco was commenting an artwork with his friends when someone joined in the conversation; it was William Kent. After a while, Francesco and William discovered that they were the sons of two painters who had exhibited together four decades ago. The sons became friends like the fathers, and decided to set up one exhibition in Milan and one in London: “Synergy of Sons”.
    In the excitement of the preparation of the shows, I immediately went to work in my studio and started painting again. The effect of “Synergy of Sons” was like a catalyst; I am preparing a major event in Lecco (lake close to Milan) for the summer 2016. I regain such energy.

    Discuss one work from ‘Synergy of Sons’ – Pescatori – fishermen
    The artwork Pescatori 6 (Fishermen 6) is one of the paintings that describe my work best.
    Fishermen - oil on canvas 90x130
    My fascination of the human labour comes from my childhood memories. Since then, I paint the psyche of the figure. I want to show the hard light, the strength of the physical labour, and the energy of those fishermen. It’s a very hard and necessary work to sustain a family. I want to underline the hope for a better day, the nature, the freedom to express all our inhibitions and ourselves. This painting encompasses all the elements that characterize me: the light and the darkness, the happiness and melancholy, the strength and the fear, the hope and the resignation.

    Expand on yet another coincidence and your mutual donation to the RNIB- Royal Institute of the Blind, London and their help with this exhibition?
    Since I have been suffering from maculopaty (a condition which affects sigh), like David Kent (Glaucoma); we both have decided to donate to the two national associations of the Blinds in Italy and in the UK. We collaborated with both institutes to raise awareness and support their cause.
    At the same time, I collaborated with YoungMi Lamine from The House of The Artists (THoTA), a charity based in London that represents and supports the Artists and the Creatives in the world. THoTA helped me a lot to promote the exhibition. Hundreds of guests from Europe came to the private viewing.

    Discuss the effects of your loose of sight and the effect it is having on your work?
    As a visual artist, sight is the worst sense an artist could loose. The idea to become blind is hard but hopefully I can rely on my family and my love of creating art to keep strong.
    Of course, I noticed that my paintings have changed. However, I fully embrace my new style; it’s almost like the impression and the vibrations of a scenery, it became much more poetic.

    Many great artists have help you develop you career. Take one and discuss how he influenced your art?
    Michelangelo Merisi, called “Caravaggio” influenced me a lot. The force expressed in his figures, the deep and profound colours have always provoked insightful emotions. I have always admired Caravaggio’s compositions; the manner he staged drama by directing our attention on specific areas: a hand, a foot or a portion of a body. He mastered the “chiaroscuro” (clair-obscur), which keeps the viewer in suspense. Caravaggio inspired me a lot; you can find the same force and contrast in my paintings.

    Many artists have assisted you, how have you helped the next generation of artists?
    I had the great chance to work with established artists when I started. I know that when you have the chance to be successful, it’s really normal to share and give back to the community. Moreover, I contributed to inspire the next generation, as I was also an Art and Design lecturer. I engaged my students to know the techniques first, then visualised art through their own filter. Once equipped, I pushed them to test new hypothesis to finally discover their true self.

    You capture the life of local fishermen discuss.
    I grew up in Sicily. This island offers pure and un-sophisticated beauty, its light, its warmth, its vivid colours surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. When you are a keen observer of the nature and its inhabitants, you can only fall in love with it.
    Fishermen, Oil on Canvas, 70 x 120 cm
    I paint Sicily with two distinctive sides of it. The landscape, which offers infinite beauty and peace, contrasts a lot the hard life of the people living there. Being a fisherman is a very hard job. They are fighting the natural elements and their works involve a lot of repetitive workmanship, which induces resignation and fatigue. The fisherman are physically strong and emotionally weak at the same time.

    Your work has a biblical feel, even your modern day paintings discuss?
    You are right, being a Christian; the study of the Bible had a lot of influences on my art.
    I reconnect religious images from the past that interact with a more synthesized representation of my own faith.
    I think that the past has had significant impact on whom we are today. I like to leave some food for thoughts and to everyone’s appreciation of the world we live in. And therefore, the figure, even in group, remains in silence and in solitude almost being afraid to face the reality.

    You also do work of local women at work and children at play, discuss both?
    My wife was a teacher in a kindergarten and I used to often visit her. I noticed the air of joy and the genuine happiness on all these children’s faces. This candid joy contrasts with the daily life of a Sicilian women usually filled by shores such as the preparation of the tomatoes, the olive and the grape harvest. All those snapshots relate to my memories of Sicily, its rhythm and seasons; its life.
    The Laundresses, Oil-on-canvas, 100 x 120cm

    You bring the outside in through murals expand using ‘The Relatives”
    I have always liked the large surface of a wall; it is big enough to portray some happiest moments of my childhood with my relatives. It is like having a family picture but larger.
    The relatives, varnish acrylic on wall, 40 x 400 cm

    The commission?
    This mural is located in my villa in Sicily. As I paint from my personal experience, I wanted a personal mural in my home because it represents dear memories with my family. Every time, I recall I see it, I cherish that period of my life.

    The placement of each person and the composition within the work?
    In the mural, the women are predominant. It’s a typical portrait of the matriarchal Sicilian family style.
    It’s a typical afternoon when we used to play cards in the garden. The family members are dressed well, that indicates that it was a Sunday after masses.
    In the foreground with her arms on her hips, there is my cousin Giuseppina , my aunt Anna and aunt Nina. The side facing the viewer find my aunt Maria. In the middle, my mother, Felicia, and her husband with the white hat, cousin Salvatore, the old woman standing on the right is my “Tindara” grandmother and the man with beret is my uncle Nino.

    We think of murals in churches especially Italian Churches as work from the past. Can you expand on the two murals you have done in Churches also about the commission?
    The Crucifixion, Varnish acrylic on wall 450 x 1040 cm
    In Sicily, there is still a huge appreciation of the tradition and therefore, I was commissioned to create various murals. I presented a few sketches and the priests were confident in my abilities to paint the passion of the Christ. The murals are from two different churches but the second murals emphasise the turmoil of the Christ during the agony, and the Virgin Mary at the base of the cross.
    S.Andrea's Church -varnish-acrylic on wall 500X700

    Many of your large works are done on scaffolds, explain?
    Working on a large scale
    Working in difficult spaces
    Those artworks are very challenging but I like painting huge artworks. The surface to be painted is around 100 square meters with huge ceilings.
    In order to reach those heights, a scaffolding structure is a must. The rigid structure is usually not facilitating the viewing of the space, so you need a scaffold that can be easily moved with different levels to see the entire ceiling.

    Some of the disadvantages of this type of work?
    To work on scaffolds require some agility, basic H&S security and physical strength. I used to paint for 10-12 hrs per day and my flexibility in restraint space was put to the test. One day, I tripped over and my wife, who was there, ran to cushion the fall. She was in hospital for three months and the priest waited her recovery to open the church.
    On an artistic point of view, the challenge working on non-plane surface is the distortion. You have to keep the proportion of each figure by creating a geometric grid.

    Expand on the importance of “Place” in your work?
    The importance of “Place” is my island that I paint from personal memories. I love my country and all my paintings tell a story about Sicily. The antagonist side of Sicily comes from my childhood. When I was five years old, my dad left. And at the same time, all Europe was recovering after WWII.
    Life was hard, people worked hard, people were poor but there was no other choice than surviving in this picturesque serene solitary landscape.

    Deborah Blakeley

  • Modern Art – Anthology of Art 2016

    "The personal closeness to eminent masters of the twentieth century as Migneco, Guttuso, Sassu etc .. make the painter Chinnici Lorenzo a pioneer in the expressive aesthetic canons of Mediterranean Art. The subjects created by Lorenzo Chinnici put the meticulous graphic revelation of physicality with the chromatic essentials in the classical art expression of our nation. The paintings become an instrument of knowledge that goes beyond the horizons of the mannerism, figurative reality of forms and themes. It takes the form of warm colours and stricken fishermen, washerwomen who work for the common good and family spaces, suitable to transmit the values of work and honesty to future generations "

    Flavio De Gregorio