Vito Campanellaâs figurative work, with its insuperable and refined technique, transports us mystically to mysterious worlds, setting our imagination free to interpret and feel them.
Having developed a profound knowledge of the Renaissance, being an admiror of its major exponents and a follower of Leonardo and Caravaggio, he tells us: âMy painting has always had a Renaissance touch, the Italian atmosphere has always been of utmost importance in my painting. Meeting art just around the corner ends up affecting us in an insensitive but indelible way.â
In addition, he also met De Chirico and DalÃ. From the first one, besides sharing his friendship, he learnt the concept of metaphysics, which is fundamental to the understanding of his work. From the second, whom he admired during his youth and who he worked with for almost a year, he claims to have been introduced into surrealism. This expression eventually lost prominence as he matured his own art, but his paintings have kept a surrealist âtouchâ. Renaissance is his passion; every time I visited him I noted he listened to classical music as he painted.
Metaphysics, or âwhat goes beyond physicsâ, takes us to a broader spectrum than mere visible reality. The concept of real in this artistâs work goes beyond what the eye can see and of the possibilities of a reality which we can neither understand nor grasp. He is thus fascinated by astrology, a science whose influence which can be perceived in his Metaphysical Mysteries (Misterios metafÃsicos) series. The pyramid, a sublime and mysterious figure which can reveal the destiny of those in his canvasses, can be frequently found here.
Campanellaâs spirit, which gives his works such a distinctive touch, is shaped to a great extent by metaphysics, astrology and the esoteric side of life. As a connaisseur, you can recognize one of his works at first sight. His personal combination between wood and the human body entails no differences in his metaphysical conception of them, since one is the continuation of the other. He told me once: âWood is part of us, it accompanies us from the moment we are born until the moment we die; it is life.â
He uses time as a bridge that allows him to go back and forth from one epoch to the other, joining them as if he could bend time and space, thus connecting himself to his beloved Rennaissance and modernizing it, as he does in his Atavisms (Atavismos) series or in his famous battles.
Surrealism, or âpure psychic automatismâ, is there because dreams are part of the reality we live in, and comprehension of them goes beyond us. Due to this, ghostly figures appear in his work, equilibrating his paintings. About this, he tells me: âIâve never known what those ghosts are, but they recurrently appear in my dreams. I have never been psychologically analised, and I am not going to start doing it now. They are part of my reality so donât try to explain them because to this day I have not been able to do it.â They always seem to be watching us from inside his paintings as accomplices of something that we are supposed to decipher. And as regards that timeless surrealism, I would like to say that Campanella also uses the mythical figure of the unicorn as an element that symbolises purity.
There is a constant mystery in his proposal, something hidden and, paraphrasing Borgesâ poem, what God behind God, which invites me to take a journey into his painting.
All this is why Vito Campanella is so moving.
All this is why this collection was made.
Walter Huber – Collector