EK Interview: Federico Lombardo

Federico Lombardo’s watercolors have so much feeling and emotion to them.  Though stark they are raw and visceral, I’d love to see one in person.  He is one of another artist with the 5 pieces Gallery whom we are proud to interview and feature, so check out what he has to paint and say.

Where are you from?  When did you decide that you wanted to be an artist?  How did you come to that conclusion?

I’m from Ancient Stabiae. I was born in Castellammare di Stabia(Naples), a town with Pompeii and Herculaneum preserves, important examples of well-known tragic eruption of 79.

I’ve loved to draw since I was a child, I felt in competition with the masters of the Renaissance when I was only 10 years old. I wanted to be able to draw like them. I soon realized that becoming a painter would be a long process of research, dedication and healthy debate.



There is a richness, a vibrance to your watercolor, where do you seek inspiration?  What headspace are you in when you paint?  Do you listen to music?  Do you need silence?  Do you light candles?  What is your ritual?

Watercolor painting is an extension of my body, of my nervous system . These paintings are instinctive, often the image is created with the utmost independence, I direct only a first drawing, then the gradient, the color that expands on the wet paper is created from the water on its own, I have no control, for this reason my paintings appear vibrant .

My inspiration is often found in old photographs, on the internet today, but I was also inspired by my daughters or girlfriends.

I listen to a lot of music, from rock to Monteverdi, I need to isolate the mind.



Your work is reminiscent of the old masters, who would you list as your top three influences?  How have they changed you personally?  What of their influence can you see in your work?  What advice could you give starting artist who are searching for inspiration and for influence?  

I was definitely inspired by Schiele , Giacometti , watercolors by Tiepolo, but also the video artist Bill Viola.  Their influence is visible especially for the  their ability to transmit a sign of vibrant and immediacy, not tied to realism, a strong sense of humanity.  The advice I can give to artists is to read your paintings with a critical sense, to feel part of a collective creation, to contribute, and to seek to express a vision that will be the result of a deep understanding of history, past and contemporary .



Why do you like the media of watercolor?  What does it mean to you and how does it reflect your personality?  How are you different than the medium of watercolor?  What other media have you experimented with?  How did you settle on watercolor?

I started painting with watercolor with a deep sense of surprise in 2001, I was fascinated by the images that seemed to come from other dimensions. Over time it has become the ideal way to express the human condition and existential subjects.



How would you describe your subject matter?  There is nudity, there is nature, there are many of the same themes as the renaissance painters, but you have taken a distinctly different take, where they sought often to describe in full and luxuriant color, you have treated with black and white, no less emotional, but spartan nonetheless.  Would you say that is a fair description of your work?  How have you heard your work described or critiqued before?  What about a particular description stuck with you?

I am currently doing a series of faces in digital painting “SLproject”, printed in Lambda. A natural consequence of this technique is further impoverishment of the painting, a painting extreme, it’s disturbing.

Watercolor is frozen, floating in a virtual dimension, where the color , the brush is not traceable. Refined modern man, however, is made ​​of flesh and bits.  I are always focused obsessively on the face and body, the composition of the various bodies, I love the compositions of Michelangelo and Baroque periods.



What’s next for you?  What are you working on now?

Watercolors in black and white that I tried to capture a classic labor movement, are under study, but also a way of interpreting the emergence of a contemporary vision of works that belong to the myth of the history of art. I am working on ongoing projects with the Neapolitan Gallery Andrea Ingenito, the future is a surprise in progress.



If you could have any drink right now, what would it be?

Definitely would drink a good cup of coffee ..

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