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In a contemporary art world that constantly pretends inedited solutions, rules and dogmas have ultimately been overtaken. It is clear and visible how contaminations between styles and influences are becoming more and more important in the unveiling of new aesthetical pathways for artists to follow. On this stage, courageous souls, like the one embodied by Beatrice Bonafini, give voice to the beauty of their minds and let go to the flow of unexpected possibilities, diving into a world of adventurous experimentation made of pure forms of inedited expressive potential.

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Italian artist Beatrice Bonafini, is one of those young and talented minds who have put aside fear and discouragement to dive into the land of experimentation, creating close contacts between the world of painting, sculpting and tapestries, enabling painterly freedom to combine both with shape manipulation and the rules that reside in textile decorations.  

 

 Beatrice Bonafini, detail from Il Trionfo, 2018. Pastel on mixed carpet inlay.

 

If we look into Bonafini’s process, we will find her initial approach to be strongly related to painting; a meticulous procedure that gravitates around the concepts of colour and composition, which gives birth to an aesthetic that resembles some of the highest examples of the 1900s avant-gardes. What is diverging, and in some way dialectic, is the disruption that follows this first moment of preparation. The elements that initially had a painterly purpose, are in fact placed by the artist on the flooring, ready to be cut and pasted following a different sequence: enabling themselves to be combined into something inedited and unexpected. As can be easily understood, this particular method has a strong connection with a more sculptural process, in which the artist uses the pieces of painted fabric in the means of sculpting, opening an experimental path of inedited possibilities. The unusual and interesting dialogue between the aforementioned media is enhanced even further by the artists love for fashion and tapestries; a crucial element in Bonafini’s choice to use textile materials as surfaces for the enaction of her compositive, painterly and sculptural procedure. Beatrice Bonafini, as she states herself, creates “unpainted paintings that do not require categorization and that do not need to be crucified on a frame”. 

 

Beatrice Bonafini, Shape Shifting, 2018. Pastel on wool and nylon carpet inlay. Site specific commission for Post_institute, drawings by Aisha Christison.

 

Another courageous and mature decision embraced by the artist, is the choice to often install her tapestries on gallery floorings. A gesture that acts like a statement, denobilitizing painting and bringing the viewer closer to a more domestic conception of aesthetics. Breaking free from the dogmatic distance between the observer and the sacred exhibition wall; forcing painting to survive on the floor, where things are trampled and consumed. 

 

Beatrice Bonafini, up-close view of Shape Shifting, 2018. 

 

Throughout the centuries, we have seen different media and styles influencing and contaminating each other, creating unusual aesthetical combinations, giving birth to unthought solutions, while widening the range of possibilities regarding what an artwork is or can be defined as. It may be that our contemporary times, in which the world of expressive experimentation has no rules nor limits, act as a perfect stage for young artists like Beatrice Bonafini, to experience unprecedented freedom and to engage an adventure in the world of unexpected dialogues and combinations.

 
Beatrice Bonafini, The Battle of Dovetail, 2017. Wool, polyamide and propylane carpets. Installation view with Throne I and II, 2017, varnished wood. 

 

Cover image: Beatrice Bonafini, Il Trionfo, 2018. Pastel on mixed carpet inlay.

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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