Art Free from Constraints

I happen to have seen works by Fulvio Gonella on Instagram; I always wondered why prices of childlike drawings by professional artists tended to be so high? What’s the secret? It would seem that each of us can draw like this, but in actual fact, not everything is so simple. I wrote five questions to Fulvio and he kindly answered them – I’d like to share his answers with you, dear readers. If you want to get back to the world of childhood, we invite you to visit the artist’s page, because all grown-ups were once children: @fulviogonella

What do your artworks bring to this world?
Brightness. My art deals with the human condition observed through the filters of a kid’s eyes, filling each scene with the light of hope and optimism.
My characters are human beings or very human animals with an inner noble dignity: they are kids, they are adults, heroes or gods of legends, they can be a vain tinder dragon or a fashionable unicorn walking around the Eiffel Tower, but their mission is to dignify humanity with their sweet innocence.
I often describe my creative process as a long one: I start writing long notes and making drafts. I take care that every single detail is not just a mark or a brush stroke on a canvas, but a vibe that resonates with an observer.
My main goal is to keep that vibration buzzing and returning a different perspective each time an artwork is seen.

How was art brut born? Why do you create in this style?
The concept of art brut, or outsider art, originated from the extreme passion of French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet for art free from constraints.
Dubuffet collected thousands of artworks from people with a mental illness and patients of mental hospitals because he felt those works of art were free of social norms and limitations that were imposed on artists.
When I first saw a work by Dubuffet, I was fascinated by the immense combination of perspectives in art.
I became somehow obsessed with perspectives and how different people or different moods can change the way an artwork is interpreted.
I started a wonderful artistic journey that led me to work with special kids and learn how to expand the boundaries of my small art world.
Working with a boy with autism has taught me how to decode the poetry of subjectivity, studying with a girl with Tourette’s syndrome is teaching me the immense beauty of irrationality. Art brut is the platform that allows me to explore the power of art created outside the boundaries.

Who are the owners of your paintings? Name their five main character traits.
Is there any similarity between them?
The owners of my paintings and drawings are art collectors, usually with a solid experience in the art world.
They are usually dynamic people with a curious and versatile mind and a great passion for the emotional side of an artwork.
I am currently being collected from many parts of the world, from Europe, Asia, the United States, Latin America, Canada, and Australia.
Since you have asked me to list five common traits of my collectors, I want to think of it as a sort of an intellectual game.
As people who tend to look behind the brush strokes, my collectors are people with a strong commitment to the art world, they have an extreme passion for art and for artistic expression, they have strong family and friendship values, together with great dynamism and happiness. And more, they are very sincere people.
Thank you for stimulating this personal reflection on the people who believe in my work.

Who is your idol in art, namely in naïve art and pop art?
When I was a small kid, I literally fell in love with abstract paintings by American artist Joan Mitchell, and I believe she is one of the biggest reasons why I started to create art.
Dutch painter Karel Appel, Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miró, and Dubuffet are my most important intellectual references, the ones who changed my vision of artistic creation.
Coming to our days, I would say
Indiana-born, Brooklyn-based artist
Robert Nava, German painter André Butzer, German painter, sculptor and graphic artist Georg Baselitz, Danish artist Tal Rosenzweig, known as Tal R,
Berlin-based artist Andi Fischer, Italian artist Emanuele Tozzoli, Indonesian artist Roby Dwi Antono, and Spanish multidisciplinary artist Marria Pratts are my idols and best inspiration.

Could you please tell us about your success story? How did it all begin?
It is a long story, but the dream actually started when an art collector saw my
Instagram feed and we started a long conversation about my creative process and art in general. We had an instant artistic and human connection.
Few hours later, that collector happened to talk about me to a gallerist who had been watching my artworks for a while and she offered me my first important collaboration.
Few days later, an important Spanish collector bought one of my paintings for his collection.
That was the lucky start of this wonderful journey.

Author: Oleksii Didihurov

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