One of the most important Art galleries in town: finally the appointment with the gallerist.
“I’m very proud to be here and have the opportunity to show you my work!”
White walls, politeness.
“OK let me see your catalogue!”
Quick glances at my old masters copies.
Suddenly he stops: the man is captured by my copy of a self portrait by Rembrandt, at age twenty-one.
“WOW! This is wonderful! But… please, let me know, explain to me: how do you make these works?”
A little embarrassed: “Well… They are all oil paintings… you know, you have to do some preparatory studies, then understand and build on your foundation; after this you trace the drawing and complete it with the oil colors.”
“Ohhh… Really? Are you talking seriously?!”
A little flattered by his amazement: “Yes! I do it all by hand, and with the help of my eyes, obviously!”
“You’re saying don’t you make them using a plotter or printer?”
“A printer?! Absolutely not! I thought you knew that I’m a painter…as I told you!”
“Oh”, a certain awkwardness in his speaking, a sort of delusion in his eyes, “Well…. In this case I’m sorry: these are not the kind of works we exhibit in our gallery.”
Speechless I left the gallery: I thought that my works could be not good enough to be shown in such a famous gallery. I did not imagine they would have been refused because I spend my life trying to get the best I can out of my brushes instead of using a printer!
The result is obvious: if printed they would have been worthy to be hung on the walls, but since they are the result of my craftsmanship they are not.
“Something doesn’t work here… there’s something strange here! This is beyond a refusal of content; this is the refusal of the love I put in my work, of my craftsmanship, and skill! Did this man ever read a book of painting by Leonardo da Vinci? Did he ever hear anything about Cennino Cennini? He made his living selling art, but did he ever read the “Lives” of Vasari? All of these great minds spent their lives trying to sharpen their knowledge about nature, about the traditional methods of painting, about how to compose a masterpiece and to express something timeless!”
In the darkness, a slender flame: it is the thread that can reconcile you to the ancient masters. I followed it and I found myself in Norway with Odd: then came the answer to all those questions… It was so simple! Cennini, Vasari and Leonardo: they were not talking about art, they never did! They were talking about the deepness of the heart of mankind, about the eternal archetypes which inhabit it, and the way to express them through refined craftsmanship.
They were talking about all which is nowadays alien to the so-called art world.
They were talking about love. They were talking about Kitsch.