Giusto Pilan is an Italian artist, based in Venice, whose paintings, engravings and sculptures echo ancestral memories of mankind…
Giusto Pilan – Trionfo Della Morte
Mixed media on paper, 2017 (300 x 150cm)
It was a very beautiful and stimulating experience, which allowed me to deepen the conceptual themes of contemporary art and above all to be able to compare myself through painting with other young artists.
The Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, founded in 1750.
It is something recondite in me that I have always felt and perceived irrationally first, then more and more conceptually until I understood that it was the only possible way. The example I like to cite is the writing of the philosopher Walter Benjamin’s “Thesis on the philosophy of history” which comments on the painting ‘Angelus Novus‘ by Paul Klee: this is the angel of history with his eyes turned to the memory of the past and the its wings open which it cannot close, as if dragged by a stormy and unstoppable wind towards the future. This image sums up my idea of art.
Angelus Novus, 1920 monoprint by Paul Klee.
It is the primordial sign that interests me. The archetype of form. The sign stripped of decorative or formal tinsel.
Giusto Pilan – Angelo
2018, Mixed media on canvas (170 x 143cm).
Surely Jean Fautrier through informal painting, Jean Dubuffet and Art Brut, Antoni Tàpies with his graphic code and “walls” and Mario Sironi an Italian painter perhaps little known abroad who lived and worked under the Fascist regime for twenty years.
Jean Dubuffet in his studio, 1967. Photograph by Luc Joubert.
Even if I use a language that I consider contemporary, I am interested in creating a work that cannot be ascribed in a given historical period.
Giusto Pilan – Skull
Oil, monotype on paper, 2017 (193 x 198cm)
Oil painting no longer satisfied me, I needed materiality, Fautrier and Tapies opened the way for me as did the ancient Romans with their encaustic painting technique where they heated wax mixed with pigments onto the wall (see the Villa dei Misteri of Pompeii).
Villa of The Mysteries – Pompeii. Villa dei Misteri, ancient Roman villa on the outskirts of Pompeii. Photograph by Raffaele Pagani.
It stems from the desire to leave a trace, an imprint as rarefied as possible using the chalcographic press. Iron plates and industrial materials are shaped in ways that engrave and retain the ink, creating monotypes.
Giusto Pilan – Senzo Ditolo 3 & 4
Mixed media on paper and tar, 2012 & 2016 (140 x 36cm & 162 x 74cm)
St. John The Baptist by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Leonardo Da Vinci – St. John The Baptist
1513–1516, Oil on walnut wood, 69× 57 cm. In the Louvre, Paris.
Giusto Pilan – Corvi A Passeggio
Mixed media on paper, 2019 (250 x 200cm)
Giusto Pilan – Skull, Africa
Mixed media on paper, 2017 (240 x 200cm)
Giusto Pilan – Corpus
2019 installation. Sculpture with tar and pigment (196 x 51 x 11cm). Mixed media on paper (250 x 100cm)
Giusto Pilan – Mani
Mixed media and iron, 120 x 25cm (2012) and mixed media on paper, 140 x 50cm (2016).
Giusto Pilan – Devant Le Zinc
Mixed media on paper, 92 x 71cm (2017).
Giusto Pilan – Exhibition View
From the 2019 exhibition “Sagome e Impronte” (Silhouettes and Footprints).
Giusto Pilan – Animal
Wax and oil on canvas (90 x 62cm).
Giusto Pilan – Fawn
Mixed media on iron, 2016.
Grazie Giusto for generously answering my questions in English and giving us further insight into your work and practice.