Portraying human emotion without the use of facial expression is the main theme of my work. Having had no formal training in art practice gives me the freedom to explore structures and techniques without having to concern myself with what is aesthetically or technically ‘correct’.
After being away from the easel for quite a few years, circumstances in 2020 have encouraged me to return to art and put my work out into the public for the first time.
There is no pre-planning or sketching that goes on before I start a painting, however, the concept of starting with a real and definable image and then removing, confusing and distorting its reality is a theme I am guided by.
Hi, Davide! Tell us a few words about yourself. When did you begin doing art and how did you get started?
Davide: I have had a love/hate relationship with my art my whole life. I have been a piano tuner/technician and then a bicycle mechanic/restorer. Up until this year, art was something I did when I had time and inspiration. It’s time to start taking it seriously and put myself out there for the first time.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.
Davide: My artwork isn’t ‘neat’. My subject matter isn’t ‘neat’. I generally use acrylic paint on canvas. I need the style and technique I use to reflect the mood I am trying to capture in the painting, therefore it can change from piece to piece. I haven’t had any training so whether it is ‘correct’ or not doesn’t concern me at all. I do like to challenge what is right and wrong.
What is a day of working like in your studio? Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?
Davide: I work from home. My partner and I are lucky to live in a beautiful place in the country where I can clear my head whilst taking our little dog out for a walk. After a good dose of Italian caffeine in the morning, I’m generally ready to start.
You say your main theme is portraying human emotion without the use of the facial expression. How did you get inspiration to do that? Is there a story behind it?
Davide: I feel that we as humans are influenced by both what’s happening in our immediate background as well as our foreground and not necessarily showing that physically. People carry a lot of baggage. When we encounter someone there is usually a lot of things that are influencing how they behave/relate/interact, and most people are good at using their face to hide these issues. Like most artists I suppose, I like to watch.
Your art is very unique. What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Davide: The blank canvas is the most challenging part because I don’t plan or sketch out my images. My paintings tend to be ‘finished’ about 5 times before they are really finished. Emotionally my art practice is a very windy road but I need to see it to the end. Sometimes I start with a real and definite image and then start to remove all its reality and definition. In the end it needs to be new.
How do you see the inspiration for your work growing and changing?
Davide: I see myself gradually incorporating the myriad of influences I have into my work and having the technical confidence to produce more self-reflective work. Music has always been a big part of my life and I am interested in combining it with the visual.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Davide: I only put myself into the public domain 1 month ago via Instagram @davidedicensoart and the responses have been very encouraging. I’m on a couple of online galleries too.
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about (or canceled due to the Covid-19 situation)?
Davide: No, not yet.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Davide: That’s a hard question to answer… What is arts purpose anyway? I guess for me If someone sees one of my paintings and it makes them stop for a second then I’m happy. If someone’s reaction to a piece of mine is “that’s nice”, then it’s like a slap in the face. “Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed”.
What’s next on the horizon for Davide?
Davide: Let’s see who or what comes a’knockin.