Vito Campanella at his Studio in Buenos Aires
Topic: Vito Campanella
Vito Campanella at home in his study in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
As part of our research work in the local Art scene we were able to contact Vito Campanella directly. The renamed artist whose paintings are world wide appreciated is an approachable and nice man. After a couple of phone calls we finally arranged a meeting at his atelier. We had a wonderful time chatting with him, enjoying his works and his life experiences.
Here are some insightful photos of our visit. Enjoy!
Please contact us directly upon any question or commentary on this article, the photos or his works.
Vito Campanella is one of the best surrealist artists of the twentieth century. His master of technique and concept is outstanding while the power of his works is stunning as they impact on many levels on the spectator, a true feast to the senses.
He was born in the portside township of Monopoli, Bari-Italy, in 1932. Son of a great musician, Vito was in touch with his artistic side from the cradle; soon after he was born his father decided it was time to quit touring around and he settled down opening a magnificent bookstore. The Arts, indeed, were part of his life from the very beginning. However his early years were unquestionably bitter sweet for he and his family lived nearby a military port, so during the years of the Second World War his life was quite hectic. Soon his father would pass away, and his brother Leonardo would set the trace for the future of the family; Leo was the first one to leave Italy towards Argentina. Vito who was in his early twenties at the moment decided to stick around Italy for a while, living a bohemian life, exploring the Arts and the beauty of the boot-shaped country.
Firenze –Florence- was to become home; soon he would move to the beautiful city of Milan and study at the Brera Academy. Later on young Vito began to take all sorts of courses and began to forge his way into the world of ateliers, canvases, brushes and oil painting. It was then when he went through a life changing experience by working with Giorgio De Chirico in his workshop. It was then when Campanella would meet one of his other masters Salvador Dali who at the time was living momentarily in Milan.
Campanella refers to his relationship with Dali “At first I had a good relationship with him, but then when I went to visit him to Port Lligat –in Figueres- I commented on one of his paintings, he was not pleased with my words and kicked me out of his house… You know Dali behaved like this…”
Not much time would go by until he crossed the Atlantic to Argentina. It was 1955, Vito Campanella was only 22 years old when Buenos Aires became his home by choice.
His artistic work in the southern Pampas’ land began slowly. For many years his main activity was art-publicity especially in Argentina, but also in Brazil and Peru. Simultaneously he would continue working on his art, developing his technique and his very particular aesthetic.
Just a bit more than a decade after his arrival to Buenos Aires, in 1968 he held his first important Art show at the famous Witcomb Gallery on Florida St. Such was the success –he sold each and every one of the exhibited works- that it was a turning point in his life, from then on he would fully surrender to his gift and passion: Art.
Though Campanella exhibits a unique surrealist style, many critics and art specialists have tended to define him as an Italian Dali or De Chirco-influenced. Nothing better than Mr. Vito’s own words to define his style “I would say that my paintings are Campanella styled works, I recognize a variety of influences –as every human being- but I believe I have achieved a personal style… I think critics sometimes tend to label things to fast in a somewhat arbitrary manner.”
Campanella’s surrealism is indeed dream inspired; combined with a Renaissance aesthetic inspiration especially regarding the palette, working specially on the chiaroscuro.
I must agree with Vito Campanella’s remark, he has developed a true and unique sense of style and aesthetic, debtor of many and of none, for he incorporated the influence into a whole new and own system.
His works are currently being exhibited at the famous Galleria Degli Uffizi. Private Galleries from the US, France, Belgium, Spain and Japan feature his works too.
This is a brief list of prizes and awards Campanella achieved.
2? PRIZE Intl. Contest of Contemp. Art (Lyon, France, ?73)
GRAND PRIX "HOMMAGE" (Punta del Este, Uruguay, ?75)
ITALIAN REPUB. BORSA AWARD (Rome,?78)
GRAND PRIX "PALMA DE ORO", (Montecarlo, ?78)
“DELOYE" AWARD, Internl. Biennale Fine Arts (Paris, ?82)
He was distinguished with different honorable tittles as "ORDER AL MERIT", Knight degree, Italy
"HONOR ACCADEMIA FELLOW",
"Gold Medal", Ligures Studies Academy (Geneva, Italy)
"SAINT GEORGE ORDER", Commendadore degree, (Internl. Parliament of Safety and Peace / (U.S.A.).
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Bob Frassinetti. Copyright 2005. Roberto Dario Frassinetti. Argentina.
Posted by bob frassinetti
at 2:16 PM
Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006 2:31 PM