Where my creativity comes from

0 comments | Posted by Martino Pietropoli

Artistic creation is the result of a dialogue between the mind and its deepest components, be they emotions, ideas or memories. When I paint (even if I do it digitally, the medium changes and the tools are simulated but the gesture and attitude do not change) I try to clear my mind as much as possible. However, it's not about having it empty but rather about creating the space to allow ideas to surface. It's not the contingent ideas but the deeper ones that decant for weeks or years. Sometimes they are not even formed ideas nor can they be expressed in words. they are ramifications that have been there for years, like presences. Here: they are presences rather than ideas. They are not ideologies, I don't even know them well enough to present and illustrate them, except by drawing. I only know that they surface if you make room for them and if you listen to them.

I realized that they were deep ideas (in the sense of hidden in remote places of my mind, not even visible to me) when I realized that some drawings I had made were very similar to a frieze of a public building in my city. The unusual thing was that I had never noticed that frieze, or not consciously at least. One day I noticed it as I walked by it. I found that frieze incredibly familiar, and then I realized why. The drawing - which is a largely unconscious activity - had conjured it up from a room of my memory.

So I can say that drawing is also memory, though not conscious. By drawing I don't explicitly recall a memory but only later I realize that it is similar to something I had seen years ago. Sometimes people who look at my paintings tell me that they remember the work of this painter or that painter. Needless to say, while I was creating them I wasn't thinking about it at all, yet I recognize common elements in them.

For me, painting is a form of research without an aim: I don't know what I'm looking for but I know that, when I find something, it was already inside me. I just haven't seen it yet.

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