ARTIST: Richard Giglio

What I love about seeing and reading about people's interiors is that they're usually accompanied by beautiful works of art.  As such, scouring through Elle Decor, Canadian House & Home, House & Gardens and my favourite Australian Vogue Living, as well as many others, is not surprisingly a regular past time in my life and one of the reasons this post came into existence. The first time I discovered the wonderful paintings of Richard Giglio was in a New York Times article that featured the home of Carmine and Lydia Caponigro.  It was a gargantuan piece of canvas painted white and featured the poem of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.  The words are rendered in Giglio's handwriting.  And I just loved it. 

I looked at it and shook my head wondering why I had never heard of nor seen this artist's work before.  I was annoyed because had I seen it while I was still in highschool I think I would have made a different career choice.  I didn't know art could be created this way.  When I was growing up I was told that "traditional" art was the only legitimate one and that whatever ideas I had about making notes and scribbles on paintings, or creating collages or doodling away and creating mixed media works was just not something you did.

Eventually, I saw the paintings of Cy Twombly and Elliotte Puckette, as well as other artists, and I finally saw the light.  Now that all of these images and information are accessible online we take it for granted, but before, unless you had a subscription to Elle Decor or a teacher who was familiar with contemporary art these artists existed exclusively for those specifically involved in the art world.  Now, everyone can see it. 

After I discovered the above-mentioned piece I went about searching diligently to find out more information about Richard Giglio and soon found out that there's nothing outside of his own website.  I suspect that that is perfectly intentional and Giglio I'm sure wants to keep his artwork carefully contained.  But I couldn't help myself and so with the help of Snagit (an essential software tool that allows you to capture basically anything on the web even flash websites) I picked out a few of my favourites.

I love the colours in this one and the way Giglio strikes a balances between the painted words and scribbled lines.  I can't make out the text and I'm not certain whether this piece also contains snippets of Neruda's poems, or whether they are just random words, perhaps in Spanish.  But on his website, Giglio mentions Billie Holiday, Matisse and Maria Callas as clear influences that inspired his work. 

Next is a piece wholly composed with letters and numbers that reminds me of a 12 times-table. The use of red makes me think of one of those sudoku puzzles being solved but clearly that is not the intention here.  Nevertheless, the painting is rather playful in that it invites guesswork and symbolic investigation.  The red and black use of colour is particularly appealing as it carefully explores the juxtaposition of a graphical and mathematical layout.

Number three is a similarly rendered work that ostensibly features a clearly obfuscated set of figures, shapes and forms.  I enjoyed searching for any possible and coherent sense of meaning in this visual study but I couldn't come up with anything; well, except that I like it.  Anyway, there is also an element of Asian lettering and arrangement here that makes these little squares of black figures so enjoyable to "read".

The next piece uses letters and scribbled lines that seem suspended in mid-air.  I love the pattern and use of colour here.  I could spend hours looking at it.

This one appears to be another work containing Neruda's poems.  The use of the cross is intriguing and I wish I could understand the words that are written inside it.  The almost neon use of green on the blue and orange background makes the text really stand out.

Giglio's use of Neruda's Canto General is on full display in this next painting as are his gifts as a collage artist.  I am including the full text of the poem first followed by Giglio's painting.

America, I do not invoke your name in vain.
        When I hold the sword to my heart,
        when I endure the leaks in my soul,
        when your new day
        penetrates me through the windows,
        I'm of and I'm in the light that produces me,
        I live in the shade that determines me
        I sleep and rise in your essential dawn,
        sweet as grapes and terrible,
        conductor of sugar and punishment,
        soaked in the sperm of your species,
        nursed on the blood of your legacy.
              from "America, I Do Not Invoke Your Name in Vain"

The last piece I'm including is to give you just an example of the different styles of painting evidenced in Richard Giglio's career.  I love the black and white abstract composition here and I think it woud look great in anyone's home. 

You can find out more about Richard Giglio's work from his website where there is a large display of his varied works and techniques: www.richardgiglio.com.  While there, you can also read his biography as well as his career as an illustrator before becoming a painter.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this post and being introduced to Richard Giglio. His work is wonderful. I have a passion for the incorporation of the letters -- especially actual words -- in paintings.