Malta based Artist G Luigi Rossi travels to Chernihiv to introduce his paintings and recognizes the potential of Ukrainians.
GUEST. On the last day of January in Galagan Art Museum there was the unveiling of theart exhibition called Chromosthesia. Its author G Luigi Rossi came to Chernihiv to represent his artworks and on the 1st of February conducted an artistic workshop. During the event, participants instructed by the artist created a huge canvas called “Robota”. While having a break from the creative process, we got a chance to talk to the master of contemporary art about creativity, life and the phenomenon of Ukrainians.
On life and oeuvre
I am half Italian, half German. I was born in a small fisherman village in the northern part of Italy, not far from Genova and quite close to the French border. Being very young, I started going to Germany in winter seasons and after some years stayed there to live. This country gave more opportunities for studying and career, though I’ve never lost contact with Italy. About thirty years later I decided to move to Malta and stop working in its traditional meaning. I began transforming my favorite activity into a profession. So, I’ve been painting on a regular basis for about seven years. Since early childhood I’ve always had a passion for making something with my hands like “arts and crafts”. At this stage I deal not only with paintings, but also with sculpture and design. My grandmother was an incredibly intelligent woman and I must admit that she was my influencer growing up.
I learnt German by ear. Almost the same with French and Spanish. I am fluent in English because of the need to communicate with people from different countries. It wasn’t too hard for me, as I grew up in a multilingual family, but it took me some effort. I just love languages and my priority has always been understanding other people.
About the grandmother
Only few people can remember all their life how it is like to be a child. My grandma never forgot how to deal with a child. If I wanted to draw, I was allowed to draw; If I wanted to build something, I could do it; And If I wanted to ruin something, she let me do that, but I had to build it back. I could go to play whenever I wanted on the condition that I did my homework after a game. Now I realize, that she was even more clever than I could imagine. This woman wisely directed me to the things that helped to discover my talents.
As a child I did not show interest to academic education. When you’re a child, who feels imposition, one can’t conform to it so simply. Consequently, I felt excluded. That’s why I always made decisions the way I felt right – not the way I was told to. In general, I consider many life experiences as effective education.
On work and art
I started painting long ago, but I most worked on commission. In parallel with painting I worked as a creative manager in one of the German companies that generate new projects and develop certain products. This managerial experience was helpful in creating my own art project. Four years ago with my living partner Gabriella, we opened art-management platform called “ArtMalta”. Nowadays you cannot develop yourself in the artistic world on the international level without a team, that’s why we founded our own art association. It includes studios, galleries, exhibitions, events and a communicative platform in social networks. I liked my previous job, but it was time for me to be dedicated to art. One of my previous employers once told me: «Let your chaotic mind go and it will lead you to the place it wants to. But put a border for your mind and set a goal for yourself. Then one more goal and carry on.» It helped me to find myself and realize my real calling at the age of forty. I clearly distinguish two following notions: «work» and something that I like doing. If I dislike something, I won’t do it. Fortunately, I surely know what my two main values are: freedom and making decisions. Of course, I need to be responsible for the consequences.
Work of an artist isn’t easy. But if you do everything correctly, market will come to you itself. In a plan, where making money is the priority and art is put on the second place, nothing will work. Art is my cure and the closest to soul reality. The essence of art consists in the fact, that you immediately feel whether you like this artwork or not. And if you do, you cannot explain why. First of all, the artist should have their own style and it has to be recognized. After that you need to develop and perfect your style further.
About Malta and working schedule
Malta is the place of my permanent residence. There I have a house, a studio, a gallery and a team of professional people. The distance between my house and the studio is approximately four miles. Sometimes, I go there and back on foot with my dog. Every day I get up at 5 a.m. I have a coffee and a cigarette “to start the engine”. I go to the studio not later than at 6 o’clock and work for as long as I am capable of physically. Few people understand that the artist’s regular work is really exhausting. Sometimes I am absorbed by work to such an extent that may forget it is lunchtime.
About breaks for rest
To return balance, I enjoy cooking. I also love discovering new places, meeting new people – things I am doing now in Chernihiv.
My trip around Ukraine has so far included our way from the airport in Kyiv and my visit to Chernihiv. I can’t say that I know Ukraine, but my internal feelings usually tell me how things really are. To my mind, Ukraine has a huge potential, which is in the hands of a young generation. Young people should realize, that they have to work and fight a lot in order to make their country better. They are to remember: just by sitting and complaining nothing ever will be changed. Here in Ukraine I was reminded about a true meaning of word «dignity». When I went for a walk in Kyiv, I saw a woman in the street. She is in her mid-sixties, I suppose. It was late evening, but she was still selling her own canned vegetables. The manner in which people do something matters. The way the woman was standing by her products expressed dignity. That wasn’t pride, but precisely dignity: «I work, earn my living and fight for my better tomorrow, no matter what.» Here I saw the expression of this virtue in a real person, which touched me so deeply. Dignity is the most precious freedom any person could ever have. No matter, in what situation people find themselves, they can’t lose their dignity. Nowadays you won’t see it often, and that is the illness of the modern world. In Ukraine dignity isn’t lost, so your country will stand out for me even more than before.
Happiness for me was when simultaneously with planning this exhibition, I managed to create a small miniature «First snow». The day before the unveiling of this exposition, we went out of the museum and it started snowing. That was happiness. Why “the first”? Because I have never depicted snow on the canvas before. Little things make our happiness. Noticing them means to be alive. It’s important to sit quietly every day and think about yourself, your day in silence. Come home, switch off all the sounds, pour some tea and think what you’ve done today, what you’ve seen and heard – simple things. We have all forgotten about beauty of simplicity.