To Dream, to Collect

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Looking into our contemporary artistic panorama, we may find a saturation of conceptualism and anti-traditional approaches to the expressive matter, but we may as well discover a variety of young and talented minds who have decided to step-back and have dived into the adventure that comes side to side with the study of ancient customs and traditions. Italian painter Daniele Milvio has been researching in depth a world made of metaphors and immortal truths, working restlessly to find a way to translate past beauty, for our contemporary eyes to see and understand. 

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Born in Genova in 1988, Daniele Milvio has been pushing every pre existing boundary in figurative painting, using his profound knowledge to explore the past in search of alternatives for the future being. Raised within the beauty of classical music, driven by his passion for the instrument of the violin, Milvio spent his early years studying the delicacy that lies within symphonies and melodies, before entering the world of painting and never turning back. 

 

Daniele Milvio, Scuola dell’Obbligo, 2017. Courtesy Galleria Federico Vavassori. Oil pastel and watercolour on canvas.

 

Daniele Milvio can be described as overbearing, rubicund, luxurious, orgiastic, yet extremely elegant, cultured and visionary. His artistic process serves itself of the liveliness that goes hand in hand with youth, to enact a rebirth of ancient and lost stories, which are paraphrased and translated using a more contemporary and forward-looking gestural vocabulary. Milvio’s sarcasm towards contemporary society, pours out on the canvas space creating an eclectic and contradictory setting, in which the clever usage of ancient compositional solutions, produces an imagery made of mature references and ironical reflexions. Fables, myths and archetypical compositions find their way to speak to the viewer through a simplified linguistic scheme, initiating a moment in which the observer is allowed to meditate on the irony and absurdity of our contemporary times.

 

 Daniele Milvio, Quindi il calzari sa scrivere? Curioso assai ma buono a sapersi, 2018. Oil pastel and watercolour on canvas.

 

Milvio’s profound knowledge enables him to freely manipulate past iconographies, while remaining respectful towards past greatness, and can be seen as a key element in the understanding that the painter has of the subtlety and abstractness of metaphors and symbols. The beauty that can be found in ancient stories often finds a meeting point with the mind of the artist, who feels a sense of closeness with many of the fine minds from the past, like the ones of Alberto Savinio and Strindberg, and feels the urge to enhance these connections and dialogues through his canvases and his exquisite painterly storytelling. As Daniele Milvio himself explains when referring to his tendency towards tireless researching: “They help me to give depth and structure to thoughts that I share with them, but which are sometimes too wild in my head alone. Thoughts that need help to become productive. Reading and contemplating the work of others helps me to find vital momentum in tensions that are otherwise too dark and lonely. […] Regulating is necessary, and studying acts as an arbiter, keeps the debate between the two factions active, it contains the damage of the struggle”.

 

Daniele Milvio, Addio Sedentari! (Un incidente grave tra Sutri e Vetralla), 2018. Oil pastel and watercolour on canvas.

 

In a contemporary society that is more and more conscious about the short-circuited and counter-intuitive setting it has created, and is characterised by a general change of route towards a more true, less artificial, deeper and more natural meaning of life; the past is often used to escape and find a stage for meditation, and has become a safe place for the minds of talented artists. Daniele Milvio is one of those artistic personas, who give us a clear example of how it is still possible to find and create authentic beauty in our excessively positive and artificial ecosystem. 

 

Daniele Milvio, Teresa, senti quanto pesa!, 2017. Oil pastel and watercolour on canvas.

 

Cover images: Daniele Milvio, Sire, il Cicalaro, 2017. Oil pastel and watercolour on canvas.

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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