Artist Interviews 2022

Giuseppe Barbale  
By Rebecca Adele

Giuseppe Barbale is an abstract painter from Novara, Italy. He started experimenting with art when he was young due to his father being an artist. Trying different mediums for many years, and attracted to street art, he soon found his style that allows him to express himself best.

Your works are abstract, curated from you channeling your emotions then transferring them to the canvas. Do you find that certain emotions or state of mind allow for better creations?

Most of the works are born in the tranquility of my studio. Art is my peaceful haven so I try to put aside negative emotions and frustrations. Usually when I paint I am happy and at peace with myself. I have noticed that this is the best way to get the energy flowing within the canvas.

You've said on your website that your process involves going into an artistic trance. Can you explain what an "artistic trance" is like?

An "artistic trance" is a condition of total concentration, I love to call it a self hypnosis. It is like isolating yourself from the world and letting energy and emotions flow within matter. The work is born instinctively under your eyes, as if it had a life of its own. The artist's mastery is all in stopping at the right moment, perceiving that strange feeling of awakening.

You use very bright colors that give the viewer "abstract paintings full of strength, reflecting the positive energy". How did you develop this style and message to your viewers?

I have been inspired by many artists, first of all Pollock but I have always looked for an identity within the works that was able to make me recognizable. My first works were not so full of colors, on the contrary they were a bit dark and painful. They represented my inner turmoil and my own personal struggles. A work turned into a challenge against myself, against my insecurities and my limitations. The turning point was first of all within me, with the achievement of inner harmony and the transposition within my works. Now the colors are my corner of tranquility and even on sad days they can give me positive vibes.

Your skyline collection is beautiful and so mesmerizing. I feel relaxed and at peace when I view them. Are they inspired by any skylines in particular?

The skyline is an image that has deep roots in my childhood, a snapshot of my memories. I grew up with the myth of America and its big cities, I have always perceived the great metropolis as a point of arrival, a goal. New York and Miami are the cities that most inspired me but the essentiality and malleability of my skylines allows me to see all the metropolises on earth. They are the only works in which I follow a slight logical scheme of realization.

How has your upbringing influenced you as an artist?

I grew up in a very simple and very habitual family but I have always been a bit of a rebel and a great dreamer. My father made wrought iron sculptures as a hobby and I inherited an insatiable creative need from him. I believe that the harmony and tranquility that I have always breathed at home have allowed me to believe in myself and realize some little dreams.

It says on your website that you were attracted to street art and began to paint. Anyone in particular that you were amazed by?

The years of my adolescence saw hip-hop culture explode in Italy. I have always been fascinated by the creative necessity of metropolitan writers and their colorful battle against the system. For years they have been labeled as vandals, now some of them are considered to be among the greatest living artists. Surely art is art when it transmits something to you and it is impossible to remain indifferent to the works of Bansky or Shepard Fairey. But my absolute favorite remains Keith Haring.

Did the pandemic affect your artwork or flow, since you said your process involves letting your emotions out?

The first pandemic was certainly a turning point, art at that time was a necessity and the colors helped me to exercise fears. Having more time to dedicate to art has helped me to know myself better, to control the energy to be poured into the works, to better manage the chaos.

Do you believe there are any rules or ideas someone needs to be an abstract painter?

Abstract painting is my dimension of absolute freedom. The only rule I can give is to be yourself, to work hard to find an identity. You must not be in a hurry but you must have constancy and inventiveness without setting limits. If you really love being an artist, art will never be a burden.

You've done exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Do you have any upcoming ones? What are your plans for the future?

I have exhibited both in Italy and abroad. I exhibited in Paris at the Carrousel du Louvre, in Beijing at the Calm Belt Gallery, in Cologne, Athens at the Copelouzos museum. I had a solo show in Hangzhou in China at the Yudian Gallery. I have exhibited in Italy in Mantua and Novara. In April I am planning my personal exhibition in Rome. In recent years I have developed a sense of uncertainty that no longer makes me plan long-term events but I certainly want to exhibit my works as much as possible, I really miss the contact with people and the opportunity to tell myself. A secret dream would be an exhibition in New York, exhibiting my skylines in the city that inspired them.

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