Stefano Bosis’ gorgeous paintings skirt the line between pure abstraction and representation, recently influenced by mythology and dreams, using color and gorgeous paint texture to explore an otherworldly landscape. Find more at the links below!
Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I am a painter based in Berlin. I started painting at an early age. I graduated in computing in the University degli Studi in Milan, where I combined computer graphic animation with my passion for the theatre, and I became an expert in 3D facial animation.
Instead of starting with the classical medium of art, I did the opposite. I jumped off the “technical” wagon to focus on the classical analogical painting medium.
One fun fact is that once at that at the age of 13 years old I painted a full-wall graffiti mural in my room with spray. Nobody could stay anymore in the house. My parents got mad.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
It has always been so natural, I drew for fun everywhere. When I was a boy, I was too much lively. One day my father came home and gave me a trestle, a canvas, and colors. In this way he hoped I would have calmed down, and I would have been more at home.
I have decided to work by myself as a full-time artist after the experience in an office job. Working in the office, I understood I was in a system where people sell the time for money, but then in the free time, usually the weekend, people want to buy their time back, but this is impossible, so they buy a plasma TV, justifying in this way the time sold. I did not want to buy a plasma TV, so I decided to start my artist life. I wanted to live all my time, faraway from the fear that this society try to inject us.
What do you like most about working where you do?
In Berlin I really love the sun and the wonderful white beaches. Actually, this is always what I tell myself walking down the street through the cold winter wind of the city, looking at the tangle of cranes that stand endlessly against the grey sky. I come from Italy and of course I miss the color of the Italian sky, but Berlin is the city of art and this is why I am here. Here, where the bells of cyclists whiz through the wind, art and inspiration is everywhere. The streets are full of studios and the artistic scene is really present. It is more or less like London was in the 70s, and I love it.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
Consumerism, capitalism, post-capitalism, love and fear, memory, xenophobia, are the thematics and ideas I am exploring in my practise. My paintings have a social function and aim to show the world ironically in its contradictions, in its swings between pleasure and pain, where seventy percent of the population is starving and the other thirty percent is on a diet.
In this time I am working on the concept of Mutation. My practice has changed with the years. It has become more forceful. Now swirls of firework impasto and waves of colour lap out of the picture plane with joy 🙂 I don’t explain all anymore, like before. Now I just suggest it.
What is your process like?
I am working on the idea of Mutation now, for this reason I am reading The Metamorphoses by Ovid, which has helped me a lot to understand the concept and rediscover it through the myth.
One piece of mine can take like 10 days, 1 month or 1 year. There is no logic in my satisfactions.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
Yes, I have been interested by the subject of Morpheus. This interest started because of the ludic dreams I had for long time, and I wanted to start a series about dreams. Of course I started with the myth of Morpheus, the god of the dreams.
The subject is really interesting: he shaped and formed the dreams, through which he could appear to mortals in any form. His father, Hypnos, was the personification of Sleep, seen both as god and devil. His mother Pasithea, was the deity of Hallucinations, his grandmother Nyx, the deity of Night, and his uncle was the fearsome Thanatos, bringing death to people… Never mess with him and his family.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do for art?
I put my hand in the holy water and pretended to be burned. It was for an art-movie, but nobody in the church knew it.
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
Fortunately I am living just with my paintings. The work is a lot. After the paintings are produced, I have to promote myself and build relationships with galleries, because unfortunately paintings don’t sell by themselves.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
Titian, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Leonardo, Michelangelo Tintoretto, Rubens, Modigliani, Brancusi, Vangogh, Soutine… they are my heroes and my mentors. I’m in constant dialogue with them 🙂
Is there any piece of advice you would offer to others?
Well, once on a trip in India, a guy told me that the mind travels faster then the body, and we have to wait for it before we leave a place. I would say the same for painting.
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
The community is important to know people that can change your point of view on things. Just with a community of artists collectors, art lovers and ideas art can change thing faster than politics.
What is your studio like?
More or less it looks like the studio of Francis Bacon. Respect.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
I start at 2 pm and before anything at all, I light a candle then I do some meditation. It helps me to concentrate, to be focused, to find ideas, and to find that psychological space in which to land so I can begin to work with colors. After that I enter in the color dimension, and generally I stop at 10 pm.
How significant has attending art school been on your practice?
I am an anti-academic. I entered in a studio of a painter when I was 12 years old, and then I learned you can watch and not see.
This is to me the most important thing that academia should teach, especially nowadays where we should be free from any kind of Mannerism.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
Well I am a positive person 🙂 I found that frustration is always the most daunting one, because it is connected with ego.
How would you define “success” in art?
I see success in art as a picture where determination and consistency dance together on a table of the colors. 🙂 Success to me, must be proportional to the quality of the work.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far, related to your work?
Three years ago I won a residency in Colombia, in Medellin, and before going I forgot to take the yellow fever vaccine. So because of the vaccine obligation, I had to stop in Bogota for a week. After that I decided to not go to the residency, but to hang around Colombia by hitchhike. After two months I returned to Europe, without the residency experience, but with a book full of drawings and paintings. It had been literally behind my back for two months. You can not understand anything by reading it; it is full of drawings, phrases and thoughts, but when a friend on mine saw that book he got crazy and decided to publish it. Today there are 100 copies of the book in the homes of 100 collectors, and after that lot of good things arrived.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on the theme of “games.” The game as the most authentic expression of human culture, it is always a “child of time” and adapts itself to the social context in which it takes place. For this reason, especially nowadays where technology devices have taken a predominant importance in all areas, I am focusing on the games of yesterday, touching different cultures and different areas.
Anything else you would like to add?