About

Luca Raimondi (1977) is a young Italian artist based in Palermo, Sicily.

Following a classical atelier-like approach he spent years of drawing, color and light study and getting deep knowledge of materials. He was trained with Marc Dalessio and Nathan Sowa, and through the study of Old Masters.

Luca works from life, painting ordinary objects in his studio, and travelling and painting the nature “en plein air”.
He started exibiting in 2012, and have had already two successful solo shows. His works are in private collections in Italy.
Luca lives in Palermo with his wife and three sons.

Solo shows

  • 2014, “Painting en plein air”, Galleria Bobez Arte, Palermo,  curated by Floriana Spanò
  • 2012 “For lights, for fruits”, Galleria Elle Arte , Palermo, catalogue essay by Aldo Gerbino

Selected group shows

Press

Teaching


 

Landscape “en plein air”

by Floriana Spanò, essay from Bobez Gallery solo show, 2014

Nature and observer interact, the landscape arises.
This interaction make the landscape, without it there would be only a view.
The painter shows us what he sees with his eyes, through his sensitivity and a live experience, searching for a deeper meaning through his own feelings, his own way of perceiving reality, the sense of his own psychological and emotional investigation.
He becomes a kind of pioneer who explores the nature and then show it the way he perceive it.
Trying to Leave out the excess, he paints on canvas a synthesis of ‘”impression” that nature has provoked in him.
Drawing leaves space for not calculated brushstrokes , and here comes touches, small dots, spots; contour of lines seldom appears.
The painter doesn’t paint anymore in the studio but outdoors, “en plein air”, abandoning the old academic method , so concentrating on real landscapes, bathed in lights, searching for combinations of pure and complementary colors.

Luca’s painting recalls the technique of impressionist, aims to communicate the immediacy of the image, his works are extremely recognizable, making them attractive for his way to represent, rather than the object of the representation.
The same landscape can be represented by a painter in a different way according to his sensitivity, experience, technique used and by the way to represent space.
One example is the dual version of the famous painting made along the Seine “The Grenouillère” by Monet and Renoir, who in 1869, while placing their easels side by side, in few hours realized their personal Grenouillère choosing a personal way to express their own work; the first through a series of fat and structured strokes, the second with light and soft marks.

Luca Raimondi, born in 1977, has observed and studied for long time nature with the purpose of give us a personal image, trying to express feelings that the landscape suggests him through colors and scents, but also driven by the curiosity to be able to “stop” even for a moment the movement of the waves always moving.

His works express peace, bliss, silence, solitude and remoteness.

Luca “immerge himself” in nature as a way to focus on it, taking a break, enjoying what surrounds him, find ways and solutions to show it us in a more concise, clear, direct way.
For this reason Luca paints “alla prima”. Through the direct contact with the nature, he performs quick strokes to get a direct impression of it.
Robert Henri said that “Strokes carry a message whether you want it or not. The stroke is just like the artist at the time he makes it. All the certainties, all the uncertainties, all the bigness and the littleness of his spirit are in it”.
The impression, the primary imprinting, this make us recognize an object as such.
The idea assimilated by the mind, rolls on the hands and on the brush, giving free room to creativity.
The artist uses the technique that the French, for the first time, called “en plein air” and indicates the habit of painting outdoor, finish a painting directly on the site, without subsequent corrections in studio. This way to paint was born a few years before Impressionism , by the Barbizon painters, but later was adopted regularly by Monet and Renoir, and then by Sisley and Pissarro, though, in reality, what these painters make outdoor was, in general, an initial scketch, later completed in studio.
In the outdoors sessions, the Impressionists are able to grasp the more subtle transitions of light and tone, perceive the color value of the shadows and refine their technique based on touches of pure color, so that the reconstructed image on the canvas cannot lose intensity and richness of color.
This choice is dictated by the desire to immediately catch all the light effects given by direct appearance. A subsequent continuation of the painting in the studio could modify the immediate feeling of a vision.

Luca says about his painting: “when you paint it out you’re in deep contact with nature. Sounds and colors are endless information that couldn’t be otherwise accessed. This experience force you to be quick, to take risks: I have not too much time to reflect and I can access my instinct, giving spontaneity to my paintings.
You need to remember what you’ve seen because every minute everything changes.
It’s another way to paint: out of the comfort of a warm studio you are in front of the fragility of yourself, exposed to the elements: you are in the game.
Then you realize that what is in front of you is so immense and elusive: you have to be simple and concise; be fast and quick. The colors you use can’t replicate exactly what you observe; you can only give the illusion, and you must use them in order to find strategies and means of expression, trying to get closer to nature, to capture its essence. ”

Directness is the base of the expressive language of Luca, and his paintings are embedded with feelings and perceptions of what have surrounded him in that place, at that particular time.

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“Per luci, per frutti”
by Aldo Gerbino, essay from Elle Arte Gallery solo show, 2012

Suspended between a delicate and vibrant motion, and a kind of uneasy stillness, the light in these paintings evokes that atmosphere known as “the hour of the spirits.” In these debut works, the light follows a pictorial path dedicated to an intimacy of understanding, to contemplation.

The pebbled beaches, between Furnari and Oliveri, appear now enveloped in the first light of noon; or now seem to disintegrate under the fading glow of the sunset, while the curve of the cliffs is shadowed by an ethereal bluish veil.

Luca Raimondi’s figurative aspirations are channeled into a sort of funnel, where he codifies a necessary spiritual balance which swings between incontrovertible reality and its distillation and is presented in a continuous expressive remodeling seen through the impact with his eye and his soul.
Moreover, he employs a pictorial perspective in which the casually placed objects of his still life compositions, the darkness of the shadows, the sudden shifts of contrast, seem to alternate in a continuous perceptive progression approached with a certain trepidation by this young painter from Palermo (born 1977) as a way maintaining control, allowing a personal investigation subjected to his own observational skills.

If, for Luca, painting is understood as an analytic code concerned primarily with mark-making and confirmed by his acquaintance with teachers such as Sowa and Dalessio and by an awareness of the neorenaissance verismo of americans such as Cecil and Graves in Florence, then it is with the material of paint, through its density and physicality, that he attempts to create “flesh”, to provide visual and sensory stimuli.
So the mark, the brushstroke, that quality of drawing which holds everything together, dissolves and turns into a joyful and melancholic substance, a kind of camouflage, which suggests, at times, a tendency towards metaphysical painting.

Luca’s path is part of a post-romantic approach to nature, and is evident in an endless search for a vision of reality. Stefano Susinno, art critic, in “View and landscape”, points out that for many, both artist and spectator, landscape might be considered either “an escape from the incidental, a call to universal themes in the presence of restless Nature or alternatively a thing of comfort; the home of myth or the sublime theatre of human passions”.
Herein are contained all the often misleading difficulties relating to the aesthetic canons of “genre” and how to separate aesthetics from mere theoretical indications.
This is even more evident in the current contemporary scene in which a fierce iconoclasm against the figurative in art, contrasts with the desire for a “return to painting” in a postmodern revision, supported by the need for inner contemplative reading, historically ranging from hyper-realism, to transavantgardism and anachronism.

Far from such contemporary conflicts Luca Raimondi holds firm to a figurative approach, maintaining the highest regard for the lessons of the Old Masters and adding a taste for classicism in line with his own satisfying visual ideas.

This is a stand point totally in opposition to the every day scenario of insistent technological erosion and criminal ecological degradation which surrounds us and offends our human sensibilities.

So, from his emotional approach in the landscapes to his still life paintings, which in their timelessness make a nod to the poignant “chiaroscuro” canvases of the magisterial Jean-Baptiste Chardin (see the two oils on board of 2012: Wine, pears and an unfinished painting and Three oranges and a jar), everything seems to want to draw from nature, in the search for a precise tension between stability, the tempered quality of the pigments, between reflections and sounds.

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