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Background & motivation.

"The micro and macro are linked, as is our obsession with rationality destroying ourselves, as well as the Amazon."

Giulio Baistrocchi


“It’s all so quiet, and so peaceful until…” 

To associate pop art with fine art might be interpreted as being very “Young British Artist” and my art is in reality miles away from being this, as it has no pretence to being cutting edge. Rather, it is emotional abstract expressionism painting in its purest sense, traditional even, and occasionally primitive. 

My reference to Bjork is because I felt her music and performances as an explosion of energy and imagination, though Bjork is also famously reserved and shy in her private life. In a similar vein my work is very emotional and almost violent with its bright colours, while I am rather introverted, even if I come from a diplomatic family. 

Because of this background in my time I have met Presidents and aristocrats over the years, though I actually feel closer to Scandinavian culture (I dived into this thanks largely to my best friend and fine artist Alexandra Unger and Anna Lewenhaupt, my spiritual twin sister), the Germanic sensibility (I owe a great deal to German Expressionists) and Anglo-Saxon vibe mentality, with my expression of emotions being subtle and hidden, and with dreams and fantasy combined with a pragmatic mentality. In my work there is no conflict, as in Mediterranean cultures, where rationality has such dominance. 

This approach led me to study Fine Arts at Middlesex University, in London, possibly in an attempt to understand my hybrid roots, having some English ancestry myself (I am actually related to the Chambers family, which has a naval heritage and there is even a painting in the Greenwich maritime museum by one of my ancestors). 

During my studies I wanted to have a direct connection with contemporary art, because I felt that Italy was orientated to the ‘Ancient Masters’, and my new British environment was very inspiring and necessary to me developing a consciousness art aesthetic, and my own abilities as an artist. I have found that artists have been moulded according to what is considered to be the contemporary and cutting edge, and I believe that this rejection has made me stronger as an artist. I still continue to be myself, but at the same time on occasion to broaden my horizons and to contextualise my work.  

What I do have in common with English contemporary art is a strong link to music, as my work is very much inspired by Brazilian popular music and culture, which is lively, energetic and even poetic. This need to contextualise is useful to my contemporary work, and I believe that art has to have its inner voice. I also believe that the environment is the only issue that really matters to us at the present time. If we can understand the environment as belonging to all of us there may be less space for conflicts between us as peoples and more awareness of our place in the world.  

This belief, and my associated deep love for Brazil, came about because as the son of a diplomat I lived in the country and my late dear grandmother, Lolita Baistrocchi, was also Brazilian.As such, I can never forget the colours and the extreme poverty of the country; beauty mixed with ugliness. 

Today I feel almost Brazilian, even though I was born in Rome, Italy. In fact I would describe myself as being more of a hybrid between Brazilian, Spanish and French cultures (I was actually educated in the French Lyçée Chateaubriand). Because of this mix of cultures I can only paint positioned somewhere between the abstract and the figurative. For some years I focussed on life drawing and undertook a private painting course, delivered by the artist Alberto Parres.  

Due to the fact that I had to change countries very often because of my parents involvement in the diplomatic service, I have always perceived life as transient and ephemeral, and this view has been enhanced by an interest in Asian philosophies, which has led me to study Chinese language and culture at the La Sapienza university in Rome.  

After many years, I have chosen to be a professional artist, against the wishes of my family who wanted me to follow a more traditional career (advising me to follow the path of my uncle, the ambassador Massimo Baistrocchi, who is also a fine art painter). My uncle actually inspired me very much, even if I stopped painting for four-years because I did not want to compete with him!  

My uncle’s view today is that my art should be undertaken full-time and I have followed his advice. I undertook my first show in the T Gallery in London as a Middlesex graduate in June 2004). Currently I live in Udine, Italy and travel regularly to Rome and London, and to other cities around the world, for my exhibitions.

Giulio Baistrocchi