From Millais’ haunting depiction of Hamlet’s Ophelia, singing whilst floating in a river before she drowns, to Waterhouse’s delicate yet doomed Lady of Shalott, art and poetry have a long history. It should be of no surprise then that there’s a basement in Milan where poetry comes to life. Sunflowers bloom in the blackest of nights, foxes are flanked by flamingos and reality is the stuff of fiction. At least, that’s how it seems at the hand of young Italian artist, TermineG. Painting away in his studio, the 28 year old artist tackles aesthetics, introspection and the tension between the mundane and the ethereal with a dream like resonance. Though his recent work is clearly visual – all black boards and canvases adorned with seemingly disjointed scenes and colours from nature: animals, plants, fruit – one gets the impression that these quotidian objects just can’t be taken at face value on his canvas. It’s the evocation of the innocuous rabbit warren that lead Alice to a far away land, the questioning of the trust we place in the supposedly unremarkable and that creeping feeling that not everything is as it first appeared, that makes TermineG’s work such a head trip to behold.
Vulture Hound talks childhood memories, inanimate objects and ancient ruins with the man himself
1) What is the earliest point that you remember holding a paint brush and realising it felt right for you?
When we are children we love to draw in general. I drew a lot, especially dinosaurs. Then I started to draw maps of places that do not exist…I never left my art, it changes my body, makes me feel good.
At first, I remember that I painted on objects in my house like clocks, stools, t-shirts…after that, the wall outside my home.
Perhaps there is no precise moment when I realised. Or maybe it’s those instance that blend with those memories that emerge once in your life and you say : “Oh it’s true! How I did forget!”
2) Are you more inspired by people, objects or places?
I take my inspiration from life experiences. It can be from a particular trip, to people that I know in life, or in the nature that surrounds me. Often i will find interest in ancient Greek and Roman ruins. The shapes and colors of them. When I was a child I used to go to a place on holidays where there is a half-submersible city which was first a Phoenician settlement, then a Roman one. It’s fascinating to see the white marble blend with the blue sea. It’s unique, the marble resumes it’s life surrounded by the Mediterranean nature, and seems part of the same symphonic orchestra.
3) Who is your favourite artist?
I don’t have one favorite artist. there are many. I like paintings in particular but i am fascinated by everything that I believe has a ‘vibration’. Caravaggio’s paintings, a photograph of Francesca Woodman, an installation by Alfredo Jaar, I love the Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite painters etc… I like art when it connects to my soul.
4) What do you do when you’re not painting?
I like to go see exhibitions, I cook, take long bicycle trips, look for unlikely curious things in vintage shops and have good conversations with friends. I really like gardening, simply planting seeds in the soil. Also reading books: some of aesthetics, some poetry. In the morning I write something, a diary or a poem or a text about art. Then most of the time I dedicate to painting. Everything comes in a natural way. There is never a time equal to another.