Friday, October 5, 2012

Visitor creates art with local influences

International artist makes foray into local art

Dubai: An artist who has never visited the UAE until this week or known much about its architecture and culture has created 30 large-scale canvases delineating the country, using 24-carat gold leaf, minerals, precious stones and natural pigments, among others, for an exhibition that opened at the Funoon Rotating Gallery, Dubai Ladies Club on October 1, 2012.

Titled Arabian Nights, Eastern Lights, the exhibition is a result of an invitation extended to the Swiss-Irish painter Claudio Viscardi, who lives and works on the Beara Peninsula in Ireland, by a client in the UAE. He told Gulf News that though he hadn’t seen the country for himself, he has been fascinated with the Middle East and its influences. As a young boy, he conjured images of the region’s many facets while reading Arabian fables from One Thousand and One Nights.
He said, “Many visitors were surprised how my works reflect the architecture and culture of this place… Some of the visitors couldn’t understand how I have been able to capture even the ambience without being here. While these paintings do not reflect reality, they are my artistic interpretation,” he said.
He described his style as one that uses the old masters’ techniques and elements of the Renaissance period that have been developed in a contemporary context. He experiments with landscape, architecture and geometry, juxtaposing light and shade in his 3D canvases.

The uniqueness of his works he said was in the way the beauty of the natural pigments - Lapis Lazuli, Carrara marble, Malachite, Pompei Red, Chinese Vermillion, etc - are showcased, without gloss finish.
Muna Bin Kalli, executive director of the Dubai Ladies Club said, “We are delighted to host this solo exhibition for Claudio Viscardi, which also marks his introduction to the local art community. The exhibition reflects our mission for the Gallery as a tool to forge a dynamic exchange of art and ideals through linkages with artists and art institutions, locally and abroad.”

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