"Art is like a hot fire on a winter evening; when you get closer, you feel good, it helps you feel less alone and indeed in the company of the brilliant men who produced it and places created full of beauty and mystery. Through its hypnotic language, made of silence and motionless forms, it takes you to a non-time in which your point of view is expanded."
Andrea Esposito was born in 1981 in Rimini, Italy. At the age of three he moved to Como with his family to live there until the age of 20. Como is a city famous all over the world for the enchanting beauty of its lake and its mountains. These beautiful landscapes will be constantly under his eyes for years and years.
At the age of 8, a piano appeared at home, but his twin brother was the first to take an interest in it and follow his studies of classical piano at the conservatory. Andrea has felt a great attraction throughout his life for classical music, like a nostalgia for a past life dedicated to classical composition. Instead, drawing became his first true expressive form of art.
As a child he was always a great observer of reality; everything enchanted him like a motionless spectacle: people, objects, landscapes ... Since the age of 10 he has been drawing small objects on an album that attracted his attention.
At 13 he began to copy Renaissance figures and realized he had a very strong passion for the human figure. From there, the pleasure of studying the copy of great masters followed him over the years, until today. The artistic activity however was not at the center of his interests until the age of 17 when oil painting arrived. It was an art professor that motivated him to try painting, not included in the school program. He gave him a wooden table of an old turner telling him to try to paint a figure. He decided to do a self-portrait. It was the very first of a series of countless self-portraits that the artist made over the years, always on his birthday, to spend a moment of connection with himself. After a few weeks of work, he brought the painting to the professor who, surprised by the success of the painting, told him: "You almost made me take a hit!"
A few years later he went through a period of artistic experimentation, trying a more expressionist pictorial style, up to abstract art. But not satisfied with the results, so easy and devoid of a profound sense, he decided to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna to learn more about painting techniques. The transfer to Bologna marked important encounters for the artist in the fields of art, music and literature, the three great passions that followed him throughout his life. In the academy he learned above all, the artistic anatomy, and for the rest, it was the continuous visits to the art gallery in Bologna that taught him the technique of the great Baroque masters, such as Guido Reni, Guercino, Cagnacci.
In 2006 the academic period ended and he continued his pictorial activity remaining in Bologna. It was a period of intense studies, exhibitions, important knowledge, travel and readings. After a period spent in Como and then in Spain and France, he moved to his hometown of Rimini, where he currently still lives and paints in his new art studio.
After an intense study of the masters of the past, in particular, the Italian Baroque, the nineteenth-century symbolist and surrealism, he developed his original style called "Magic Realism." A fusion between the beauty of reality, told with the tools of classical painting combined with the magical element of surrealism. The real seems to be a stage of often invisible mysterious forces. The technique of realism is used to be able to express in the simplest and clearest language possible the deepest reality that loves to hide. Surrealism helps us to access this unknown place, to reveal the magical beauty of reality.
Andrea Esposito's art gives us a mix of transcendental moments where dreams and reality are lost. Where the subliminal impact is far deeper than one can perceive with the naked eye as it is only understood by the heart. Andrea gives us a beautiful innocence in each of his paintings that detonates our senses and we understand that everything is a now. A moment. He shows us a nakedness not only of human bodies, but also of souls, delving into what is most sacred within us. Andrea, through his paintings gives us wings to fly, even if just temporarily.
Q. What role does the Artist / Painter have in society?
A. The role of the artist is to create bridges towards new pleasant, beautiful, full of sense and warmth realities.
Art is like a hot fire on a winter evening; when you get closer, you feel good, it helps you feel less alone and indeed in the company of the brilliant men who produced it and places created full of beauty and mystery. Through its hypnotic language, made of silence and motionless forms, it takes you to a non-time in which your point of view is expanded.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. There is a memory of my adolescence that I never understood if it was true or if it was a dream that has always influenced me very much. When my grandparents spent summer periods in Rimini, I often went around his house. He was the custodian of the cathedral of Rimini, therefore he had access to all the most secret doors of the cathedral and of the rooms around and under the ground. There was an unexplored and fantastic world for a child's eyes. Often, I was afraid to walk alone and at the same time, I liked those spaces whose sacredness I only vaguely felt. The precise memory is this: a huge canvas, very high, attached to a wall above a staircase. I had probably gone to this place following my grandfather. I often played to follow him without realizing it. He pretended not to see me. That large painting represented beautiful, dazzling, intense, light and luminous figures, like 19th-century painting but with a more baroque structure. There were many blue and pink clouds and figures. The memory is not very clear but my impression has always been to have seen the largest picture ever painted by a man. There was everything, every human secret: sweetness, elegance, lightness, the beauty of bodies, the nobility of gestures, a magical and harmonious atmosphere. I never went back to that place for fear of unraveling the truth, or of having totally dreamed of it.
Q. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A. I never thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up... I was just thinking about doing what I liked and so on today. I wake up in the morning and wonder: do I want to still be a painter today? For the moment the answer has always been yes.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. I remember my first drawing incredibly well. I was thirteen, they had given me a book with printed Renaissance drawings. It is one of those books that you give because you don't know what to do with it. And I had found it beautiful. I had bought an album, some fusaggine and an eraser, then one afternoon I started to draw the face of a female figure. After the drawing, my heart was beating very fast. I was amazed at myself and couldn't wait to show it to someone. From there I continued making many others and then I never stopped.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. My interest in art began with that first drawing. Even if I didn't realize it, that new emotion, so strong, had completely seduced me. It was a mixture of the simplicity I had felt in doing it and a fatal attraction force for writing with a pencil, not words but only signs. To invade a white space, to build geometries with the black that looked like a nose, an eye; here is the magical act I was going to do!
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. At the beginning I never thought about what I wanted to express with my art, I just did it. I was attracted to a certain beauty of form. A face, a body, a sea landscape. The attraction for gestures, for filling the void that was transformed into full. For beauty, I created and showed it to everyone. It was often a technical challenge to be able to faithfully recreate reality. I felt like a hero. Now, however, things have changed and, with the pleasure of representing reality, there is a need to tell stories. But not only those, but there are also many nuances. Perceptions; like the harmony of reality, the magic of silence, the beauty of light, the balance of forms. And then discovering what's under the sheet of reality ... playing with signs, colors, shapes, and seeing what happens. Improvising with the elements of reality, following everything as a predestination of the work. Each time it's a leap into the void: I love not knowing what will happen from a blank canvas. I prepare the frame, assemble the canvas and then let myself be completely seduced by the first signs that emerge from the canvas. Each gesture will be followed by another and then, gradually, until I build my empire on the canvas.
Q. What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
A. A difficult trait of my character has always been idealism. That is to believe in one great ART: healer, inspired, in connection with the divine. This has taken me away from all the compromises that exist in the art world, which are called: galleries, art fairs, competitions, public relations and even the academy that I eventually abandoned. For me, when we talk about art, we mean the most sacred activity of man and this requires seriousness and a natural innate devotion. But now I am ready for a great reconciliation with the commercial world of art.
Great artists have a responsibility and it is the task of spreading their art to fill this world with beauty. So, new collaborations, exhibitions and useful knowledge to spread my art are welcome.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. For art, I sacrificed economic wealth in the first part of my life. I was too close to my beautiful, wonderful studies to deal with it. Anyway, I think I have had all the greatest luxuries of life: free time, good friends, beautiful literature, music, theater and the sun, always present.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. I have had infinite influences in my art and continue to have them. I always feel like a student, in constant admiration of nature and the great masters of the past.
The nineteenth-century painter such as Waterhouse, Bouguereau, Millais, Alma Tadema, Hayez, is the classic example of a great artist who, together with a refined technical taste, tells his fascinating vision of the world. A perfect combination that will be lost starting from surrealism in which the flavor of painting is diluted by the cumbersome presence of the unconscious. After Magritte and Dalì it will be even more difficult to see something great in art.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. The painter's life is very lonely and feeds on this silent space which he must strictly occupy on his own. It is a meditation that requires a slowing down of time. To balance this, there is a very active relationship life with constant exchanges between friends and ever new encounters.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. I love reading, always, every day, I read several books at the same time and I have them everywhere.
Music… I'm always looking for it; beautiful, harmonious sounds that relax the environment and in unison play peacefully within you. In general, I love any artistic expression: theater, dance, cinema.
I am a great wellness enthusiast, or the art of feeling good. It is often thought that the artist is an endless well of vices, alcohol and smoke above all.
For me, there is nothing better than experiencing intense stages of lucidity and physical strength; from them the greatest intuitions are born. Last and not least, I love nature in its landscape or animal meanings and in all its infinite other forms. I obsessively observe the sky like a big cinema screen. My next house will have a studio on the ground floor and will be surrounded by a beautiful lush garden. Of flowers, fruits and peacocks.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. For me, art must be magical. Not provocative, nor revolutionary; it must be a magical portal where you can slip in and see a new beautiful reality. For me, "beauty" is above all. Like a positive energy that passes through us.
Art must evoke feelings of harmony, not of fear, nor of decadence. To communicate intensely, art must use a clear language, made of colors, shapes, light shades, a good composition and expressiveness.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Success is living every day with pleasure.
Enjoy a sunset and feel at peace.
Go to sleep and feel the sheets clean and fall asleep blissfully.
Success is being present when life flows in front of you, with your eyes open, your ears wide open and so with all your other senses.
Being in front of a person and really listening to him for the mere fact of being in front of you.
Success is to be able to be silent internally when desired.
As for the artistic sphere, in this second part of my life, I will leave my private study life to exhibit in large galleries. I want to find collectors who truly love art and hang a picture in their home for the sheer pleasure of contemplating it every day and who recognize its magical power to transform that environment into something more sacred. The success will therefore be to be able to share my paintings as much as possible and obtain a great wealth to be able to live in total freedom and always invest in quality and not in quantity. I would also like to help the very young who no longer find any spiritual or economic support in the academies; being a kind of patron artist who helps true artists to dedicate themselves entirely to their passion.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. The greatest things I have learned are ... to be silent with my mind, feel the air, the space between thoughts and enjoy this absolute sweetness of tranquility.
I learned to create, or to find a language to tell what I feel. And I learned that the artist is like a tree full of fruits that if he does not give, he is not well.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. I am reminded of a piece of advice from a friend who gave me many years ago while I was looking for technical perfection. He said to me: “It is not important to be better than someone else; why are you so interested in this? The important thing is to have fun while you do it! "
And so I think too ... it doesn't matter, as everyone wants us to believe, to be the best in the world; it is not important to have a perfect technique like photocopiers; the important thing is to spend a really full and happy moment while you are creating. Then yes, that all the energy of the world is at your service.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. My advice for future generations is to take a pencil and a sheet of paper in your hand and sit in front of a landscape or a person and try to draw ... It doesn't matter what the final result will be.
What will happen is a magical act: time will stop!
Because observing carefully means creating a silent and new space within you.
As Federico Fellini said: "If we were all a little more silent, perhaps we would understand something more."