Oscar Piovosi, artist from San Polo d’Enza in Reggio Emilia, started painting and exhibiting during the first half of the 70s. After a break in his artistic career, he has retaken his brushes to produce this last decade works.
Due to his label as a “painter of the clowns” , I have to admit that I am guilty of neglecting his work in the past. I must explain. I have always been strongly biased against the artists who use clowns to communicate art. I thought it was an easy shortcut in order to express feelings through a series of codified stereotypes.
Then I got to study and understand Piovosi’s pictures. In his clowns, the heavy load of make up in the scene does not cancel the real expression of the person, highlighting two personalities, the real and the strained one, the actual feelings and those feelings made into parody. There are also masks, which I consider to be a smart justification for the insertion of a happy touch of contemplation in his paintings. When he paints human figures, Oscar Piovosi intends to underline freedom of posture without forcing its nature, so that these figures show their ability to move if required. There is also the portrait. This is a real trap for artists who do not go beyond the research of a physical similarity. Oscar follows two directions: he either travels inside the person through the eyes, or else he paints a recognisable usual attitude of the person.
Landscapes and still life. Descriptions are always rigorous and meticulous, easy to observe, even though Oscar does not give up on painting beyond a simple representation of reality, and finds solutions in the great heritage of impressionists and expressionists.
The part of Piovosi’s work most interesting to me is his current research to overstep safe standards of traditional painting, using photography framing, unnatural perspectives, determined foreground cuts to emphasize backgrounds, to strengthen a composition in which volume distribution can become hard and anti-academic, while remaining harmonious and stimulating. That kind of painting is defined as neo-figuration for our convenience, but it is mainly the art of ‘great painting’.
August 2010 “Il viaggio”, Townhall Gallery L’Ottagono, Bibbiano, Reggio Emilia