Residues. In an artist's career there is a thunder, which, when it roars, destroys everything that went before it and fertilises the mind and the battlefields. It sets off landslides, brings to the surface unthought-of things and forms a new landscape of possibilities. Thunder causes damage, and from the ruins pokes a bud which, if you treat it carefully, can develop into a new form of life. For Gianni Politi, the thunder was Gaetano Gandolfi's 1770 painting, Study for Man with Beard. A balding man with a calm expression raising a hand to his beard. A vision which immediately triggered another thought: that of painting his father, so similar to the calm man in the picture, so ready for any gesture he is about to make. So after a 2013 show at the CO2 gallery in Rome, Gianni Politi took up the bud of his private landslide. Coming from the study of philosophy and inspired by Homer and the Greek classics, painting becomes not a gesture but a search, an act which, rather than bring it to actual creation, can help you understand why you paint.
Since that exhibition, his work has been dedicated to abstraction, inspired by the oil marks which emerge from his studio. Residues, waste, mangling, fragments, leftovers; the final creation comes from this, from the entire process in which it consists, and, therefore, remains eternally unfinished. Like kaleidoscopes, his paintings are images which the viewers must reassemble. At 28 he has already shown in numerous Italian and international galleries, including exhibitions in Paris and one in New York. For him, Rome is a forge whence - like the Greek heroes – to resist, promote and fortify, and where each work can bring about a strengthening of the entire community.
His studio is in San Lorenzo; tiny and full of coloured oil stains. Sticky and greasy, the raw flesh of his paintings. That is his artwork - incomplete and disorganised. A place that forces him to ask himself each day: What shall I invent today?
The story has been written by Rossella Milone
Gianni Politi is a Roman painter who was born in 1986. He has shown at Nomas, at New York and in group show at the Venice Biennale.