I knew Lucia Ghirardi nearly 30 years ago. We were attending the same school: the Academy of Music of our native city, Trieste. At that time she was already in love with art. Painting was her true life aim even if music was, apparently, her first purpose. Actually and although she was a young woman, she seemed to be, and really was, able to build her artistic visionary world as a result of the merge between an open-minded glance and a pure, true sensitivity belonging to her soul.
I clearly remember, even if it was more than 25 years ago, she invited me, one day, to see her oil paintings in her parent’s flat, where she was still living. She showed me her works in the attic of that house and I really astonished for the powerful choise of colours, for the matching types of them she used, for the authenticity of her themes. By the way, I wouldn’t be able to do that and, actually, I hadn’t ever seen a true painter and his or her works up to that meeting.
I reasonably thought (I already wrote about that) she was expressing her emotions and inner feelings, she was saying what her true, naked soul was willing to say. Her themes, image shapes, the essence of her painting was and is strictly linked to the expressionist art movement. That’s the base she comes from. These days I can add some remarks about her works. I recognize she crossed three different types, three series of expressiveness: one very close to the austro-hungarian expressionism; one concerning the body geometrization as a result of a body structure study; and one, the last one, is on drawing.
I have already noticed her body structure study by its geometrization is a sort of effort to avoid her shyness and presumed inadequacy (in Italian language). It’s quite common that people have doubts about themselves and their own ability to be accepted by the world or human society. But I think this statement is not enough to explain her many-sided personality. Therefore I want to go forward and analyze something else about her artistic world. You know there’s a theory in which the artcraft comes into you, tells you how to execute it and not vice versa. It is a Lacanian theory, very interesting and gripping, which enables you to understand why your final artcraft will be always different if compared to what you planned to make at the starting stage. If this theory is worth to explain every artist’s path is even worth for Lucia’s work; thus you can outline who she is solely if you chase her creative footprints. So, by them you can understand she is a painter who’s been deeply impressed by her family’s life events; by human body and the shame and embarassment it brings to you; by human negative emotions and feelings like pain, suffering, loneliness; last but least by her master Nino Perizi’s artstyle and, above all, lifestyle.
Lifestyle and artstyle are two faces of the same medal; two ways for going elsewhere. What is her opinion on art? She thinks art and life are on the same level, are definitively the same thing, they permeate one another; what you are will be put on a canvas or a paper sheet. If you are able to do it, and if you have really something to say it’ll be appearing on that brace. No way to escape from that, from your roots, from what you are in depth. Your cultural background will emerge on that paper sheet or canvas, naking your soul and thoughts which are merely two different names for the same thing: you. This is so important for her that we could put all these statements and assumptions into her CV and make her sign it.
CV; yes, it is basically important. Usually is the first or second thing you can learn about an artist (the first one could be, actually, seeing the artist’s work). So it is for Lucia Ghirardi. Just to know something more about her CV, which is online here, even if in Italian language, you have to know she attended, at Civico Museo Revoltella, from 1982 to 1990 a course on Human Figure under Perizi’s guidance. From 1990 to 1991 she worked for Studio Grafica Pini, a graphic design firm. During the same period, from 1988 to 1989, she also attended in Milan at the Disney School, a yearlong course under the guidance of Giovan Battista Carpi.
Now, I want to face the issue regarding a young adult female artist who’s following her senior and male art master. There are several matters that are interesting to discuss right here about that. First issue: when you are a young adult you need to explore the world just out of your parental family, looking for a model to emulate and follow. Second issue: the Freudian relationship between father and daughter and its replication in yours and/or people’s daily life. Third issue: the need of protection as a usual human necessity; it strictly relates the second point.
On the first point we could say it is normal to look for someone else to confront with, above all if he/she represents what you’d like to be, a sort of second body, mind, parallel life. Your parents, since your teenager stage, are no more enough to test the world or to understand life. You must call into question your environment in order to advance. On the second point a huge literature on that issue has been written and everything has been said as well as on the third point mentioned as strictly linked the second one. I can just add it’s human nature, everybody of us have the same feature and, more or less, the same expectations from life.
Here below a brief interview of the artist, translated into english, for my blog, spme months ago:
Hi Lucia, briefly retrace your carrier. Why painting?
Because as a child I loved to draw all that I wanted to stop in time for not vanish into thin air and, above all, because I had a good teacher of painting since I was born, my mother who, with her drawings (my mother also attended school in figure with Nino Perizi and then took courses in painting on cloth) I unconsciously start to what would have been the passion of my life, express myself through the art of painting.
What have been and still are your artistic references/background?
My first artistic reference has been my mother, who was still young when he attended the Marangoni in Milan (a school to become a fashion designer); my grandmother was an excellent dressmaker and with my mother, created the hand painted clothing that were sxposed in the shop windows of prestigious boutiques in Via Monte Napoleone in Milan.
Then, with the starting school, I fell in love with many artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Much, the Cobra Group, to mention those that have most influenced my art.
Also my father has had an important role in my career because he is an art lover: he bought several works of talented artists. All that helped me to approach painting.
Last, but not least, the Nino Perizi figure whose courses I have attended for a long time (10 years) at the Revoltella Museum of Trieste.
Perizi, even took courses in utdoor painting in the Roman quarries, quarries of Aurisina, at the mouth of the Timavo and Slivia.
Perizi, for me, was not just a painting teacher but also a life teacher!
How would you define your style?
I do not know, maybe expressionism (maybe the German current), but even something is coming from the figurative, abstract and informal art.
What is creativity for you?
Creativity for me is a fundamental requirement, a need to communicate my emotions, my feelings and my way of seeing life, moreover, creating, helps me feeling better and is a medicina for my spirit, my mind and my intellect.
How can you consider the art system in these days?
The art of these times is, unfortunately, a market system and, therefore, has little to do with what I consider to be Art with a capital A.
How do you think would be possible to foster, publicly or privately, the artistic evolution, basically of the painters?
Some years ago I attended an art meeting in Svece, Austria, with some artists pf Alpe Adria.
People welcomed us and respected us a lot. They organized a big party for us with musicians, as a starting point dor an art week in Svece.
We didn’t pay anything for eating or sleeping in Hotels and they gave us some money to buy colours for painting.
We were given huge spaces (I was in a large room sharing ot with a Trieste’s designer of the Teatro Verdi, it was in a primary school) and there we had to work daily.
At the end of that week there was an exhibition and many people came. They gave a great importance to art and to this interesting event, so we were able to sell our paintings with no charge like sales fees or commissions.
We had to donate, as a sign of gratitude a work of ours, the property of the Art Museum of Svece for a permanent exhibition.
This event take place every year with different artists. This was and still is, for me, a great initiative for the art promotion, for painters and artists.