"Painted stories about OUR SEA"
a blue deep journey
Being born in a marine paradise without being overwhelmed by it I think is impossible. I had this great fortune and I could not miss the opportunity to draw a story from it.
I grew up on the Island of La Maddalena; Mother island of 7, forming the Archipelago of La Maddalena, a jewel in the North of Sardinia.
There is salt in my veins. I could never live without the SEA, without breathing the scented breeze of helichrysum, without hearing the Mistral’s screams, the waves breaking on the rocks, the seagulls chatting, and without observing all those colors and life that animates its seabed, just like a huge natural metropolis.
I learned about the Sea in all of its moods, in every season. I learned to speak to it, to listen to it.
This series is, first of all, a tribute to my island, to my sea, and to the beauty that fortunately it still preserves today. I started from this closest reality to then tell about the sea of the whole planet, and all those global dynamics that go far beyond the geographical maps.
I saw the sea changing slowly through the time, I feel the transformations that are taking place, I perceive the direction we are taking, the dangers deriving from our work.
I need to externalize what I feel, to tell what I see. I can only use my ART.
So, I thought it was time to dive in, searching for the most imminent reality and create something that allows us to look at our seas with a nostalgic and melancholy awareness.
I am frightened by the idea that this cosmic and perfect balance, may one day collapse and disappear, leaving to our eyes only pale memories...
We are faced with a landscape in which we are simultaneously actors and spectators. We swim together with fishes and we observe them at the same time, resting our hands, helpless, on the glass of this large aquarium.
These paintings tell stories, pieces of underwater life. My intent is not to give a judgment, but rather to unleash the viewer’s senses, ironically and symbolically.
A frontal impact that switches on his imagination.
Our marine wildlife is inevitably adapting to the new reality, driven by the impenetrable force of evolution.
A project that has taken shape over the course of a whole year, in which I have observed and explored the most hidden corners of La Maddalena, to really feel and understand the essence of the sea. That sea that I have always looked at for years, without actually really seeing it.
In the magic that hides in the "Blue", it is worth diving and enjoying all the imagination and patience of Mother Nature, who has played for millennia with all those colors and shapes that we continue to take for granted today.
Looking at these little stories can help us to go deeper into what we have and appreciate the beauty of our planet... with the hope that some rays of light can still filter and reach slowly the bottom of the sea.
Ever since I can remember, I've always had at hand a pencil and a notebook to scribble.
Moved by curiosity, I've always explored the reality and the world around me trying to find and represent something that other people don't see or just take for granted.
I was born in La Maddalena, a small archipelago in the north of Sardinia, Italy, a place where the environment is still pure and preserved and this played an important role in my growth and personal education allowing me to build a strong relationship with Nature, a relationship that still today remains very important in my artistic vision.
I grew up aware that art would be part of my life in one way or another.
After graduating from the University of Architecture in Rome, I majored in CGI, Graphics, and Multimedia Design and this offered me the opportunity to explore different areas and artistic disciplines.
Now I live in London, it's been 10 years already!
Here is where I built my personal artistic career and worked as a Visual Artist for different studios and productions. During these years I covered many creative roles, and this allowed me to make a dynamic path; Matte Painter and Concept Artist for Film, TV Series and Advertising, Retoucher and Look Developer for Fashion and Architectural Visualization.
MY ARTISTIC VISION
My art is characterized by a strong impressionistic and realistic style, but it never stops at the pure representation or reproduction of something.
But instead, my paintings, be them portraits, landscapes, or a mise-en-scène, are always enriched with symbolism and elements that aim to attract the viewer’s attention, pushing him to explore and find a deeper lecture.
My scenes will always look spontaneously for a cinematic nature, strongly influenced by my experience in the VFX Industry.
I like to build up the composition, nothing is left to chance.
In my modus operandi, I usually start taking photos, which are, so to speak, the starting point of my work; but they are also subsequent to research and preventive planning, made with pencil sketches, notes, and recorded monologues, often in the middle of the night!
My projects take shape like this, piece by piece, intuition after intuition, note after note.
I like working in series, telling stories in multiple images, led by the same style and color palette.
Behind each painting, there is a direction, a subject, and a screenplay, just as it happens for every single scene of a movie.
All images are Copyright © by Fabio Santoro