World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces - 13, Stephen Catalini
The works of Stephen Catalini have a stable quality, “male” structure and demonstrate a good eye for detail, with the matter sublimated into archetypes that easily beset us. Beautiful markings show sustainable incisions and skill, typical of a person born in the Marche.
“The central theme in my work, is a view of nature, as they say“, says Stephen Catalini. “I paint landscapes and details in nature. I go back to the source. I focus on some processes of nature and transform them. You could also say the nature including the contaminated nature. Some of the works are titled Nature and Artifice.“
The compartment and the incidental
“For example, when I paint a wall, the wall is what we call un’artifizio ... The wall is not the wall that was originally the wall. It shows signs of use: the painter who painted many years ago, dirt and debris that got on it, the torn posters, boys and girls who engraved messages of love, the horizon that you see above, in many ways all this is part of the wall.
The past has a double meaning. Ánd ‘history ánd our personal vision of the world, in this case the wall”. Claudio Nalli wrote in a brochure on the work of Catalini: “He has an eye for what is missing, the space and the cross-appeal; giving them back a life and a home. Anything that helps us to penetrate the invisible accompanies us, with humility, before the shadow of a man better, more sensitive, more balanced, more in harmony with the world of the living”.
The pizza Burned
Catalini: “In my paintings you see the Colors of my land, colors, or ’breath’ of my country. I am deeply inspired by it. I focus on identifying the colors of the Marches”. He worked for ten years in this style. The “informal painters”, Alberto Burri, Antoni Tàpies and Emilio Vedova have inspired him.
‘Once I photographed, while driving on the road, a container which was on the back of a truck in front of me. This was the action, the painting I made was based on this photograph, at that moment in time that was unique. ‘It took some minutes, but it was that important, what we call art history icon”. Nalli: “So for Catalini, a burnt pizza, a used cardboard or the impression of an empty bottle are the traces of a way that could lead us to where we mysteriously always wanted to be, after a lifetime of waiting.”
Le Marche and the Netherlands
Aside from his paintings Catalini also produces etchings Intaglio. He makes use of heterogeneous materials, everything from timber, iron sand. In particular, he likes to work with sediment from riverbeds for example, because it contains many different and interesting materials.
Catalini identifies many connections between Italy and “The Netherlands” (Nederland). “Especially in the XV and XVI century painters traveled to other countries and studied other artists. They influenced each other greatly. Rubens visited Marche; Rembrandt was influenced by the findings of Caravaggio’s use of light. Jacopo and Giovanni Bellini had a considerable influence on the painters of the Netherlands. For example, the Italian Renaissance inspired Jan van Eyck.”
It is not easy being an artist in Italy today: He says: “The situation is bad, there is almost no space for the average artist. The art is elitist. Production of art is higher than ever, but consumers can not buy. It is more about consumerism, lifestyle and fashion, Art Strips Society, fashion clothes it.”
Stephen was born in Catalini Mogliano, Marche - Italy. In 1961 he began to draw and paint when he was 10. On the advice of a master of the local school in Catalini 1976 he entered in 1976 the ISIA (Isttituti Higher Institute for Industrial Artistische or higher for Industrial Arts in Macerata, Italy). After this he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata, where he completed his studies in 1983.
In 1978 he organized his first solo exhibition in an old printing house. The following year he became passionate for photography in black and white. He built a darkroom in an old farmhouse, which is where he also painted for years. In 1980, with three companions in painting at the Academy, he founded the Group GEF.
In the early eighties, he became interested in and passionate about screen printing and lithography. In 2009 he started to work on his Intaglio etchings.