Claudio Coltorti, 'Study for a figure eating ramen', 2018. Courtesy of the artist and galerie Maïa Muller
OTP short-forms: Claudio Coltorti
Hazey and disturbed by a kind of beautiful static energy, Coltorti paints dissolving figures.
See below for an interview with the Athens-based artist via direct message.
We talk misery, Parisian arrondissements and S.S.C. Napoli.
OTP What’s important to you?
CC Painting is the most important thing to me. I love football and music as well.
OTP What does your typical day look like?
CC I go to the studio everyday really, I spend a lot of time in there.
OTP How did you become interested in visual art? Was there a definitive moment when you knew you wanted to be a painter?
CC I’ve been drawing as far back as I can remember. I had done a lot of little works but I started really painting in the fine arts school of Paris because I was surrounded by painters.
I had been there only for a few days when I saw for the first time some of Francis Bacon’s paintings and it was a real shock; I was so stunned I told myself that I definitely wanted to be a painter.
Claudio Coltorti, 'Sober love', 2018. Courtesy of the artist and galerie Maïa Muller
OTP I see that you were born in Napoli, how does it compare to Athens? How does your experience of the city relate to your work?
CC There are some points in common between the contemporary conditions of these two cities. I think about the savage growing of tourist industries that push people out of of the city, build money for some but also create a lot of misery on the other hand.
I don’t know if being in one place would influence all artists the same. I try to translate what excites me in the reality I am surrounded by, so the city I am in will always have impact somewhere in my work.
OTP You have exhibited in Paris multiple times right? What’s the connection there?
CC I lived in Paris for nine years. I lived in a lot of places and changed many times but mostly in the 11th arrondissement and in Montreuil.
I studied in the fine arts school of Paris (ENSBA) for five years, I got my final degree in plastic arts (with the honors of the jury) and since then I work with Maia Muller’s gallery. I will have my first solo show there next June.
Claudio Coltorti, 'Femme Nuage passe du jour à la nuit', 2018. Courtesy of the artist
OTP What attracts you to the figures you paint?
CC I am attracted by the beauty I see around me. The beauty of my girlfriend, of people in the street, the sensations that this brings in my brain. The consequences of an action, of a choice, the space that’s constantly occupied and let free by the volume of a person or an object.
That’s what I try to translate by painting.
This film (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dFx6jyOZc0o) is really inspiring to me, it’s the Decameron of Pasolini. It’s entirely filmed in Neapolitan by Pasolini’s choice. At the end you can hear his voice saying “what’s the meaning of realising an artwork when it’s so beautiful to just dream of it” (sorry for the poor translation)
OTP Do you ever use film stills as reference images when you paint?
CC I never paint using models or reference pictures. It makes no sense to me to paint a picture as it is, it is just a sad trend in today’s painting.
Of course I have a endless curiosity for all kind of images, and I have a little collection of pictures in the studio. I love just looking at it. I will send you some [see end of interview].
Claudio Coltorti, 'Peppe le poissonnier', 2018. Courtesy of the artist and galerie Maïa Muller
OTP Are there any particular contemporary artists you would recommend to the reader?
CC I truly admire Sanya Kantarovsky’s work.
I had the chance to see a show of Lenz Geerk in Napoli last year, his paintings are fantastic.
I’ve found on instagram the paintings of Aks Misyuta and I hope to see them in real life one day, they’re very beautiful and interesting to me.
I also admire Matthieu Haberard’s sculptures.
OTP What do you like to do when you’re not painting?
CC Playing music or chess and watching football (especially S.S.C. Napoli, I support them from my childhood, once you’ve chose it lasts your whole life).
OTP What do you think about when you’re alone?
CC Football tactics :)
Claudio Coltorti studio picture collection, 2019. Courtesy of the artist
Claudio Coltorti's solo show at Galerie Maïa Muller opens June 7th:
See more from Claudio Coltorti: