La Macina di San Cresci



“Artists are interesting creatures. We can be obsessive, dedicated, spirited and single minded in our pursuit for that perfect realisation of our art. We tend to be outsiders and are often that square peg in the round hole, so when you find an oasis like San Cresci you hold on tight -- for it’s that sense of belonging which welcomes you.”
Rebecca Rath , Australia

Discipline: Painting
Country: Canada
At La Macina: 2010

While seeking a way forward in my painting by looking to the past through a discovery of the Florentine Renaissance painter Alessandro Botticelli, I attended an artist residency at La Macina di San Cresci May 2010.  I hoped I would be able to renegotiate my experience with western art history, at the place of its rebirth during the Florentine Renaissance by embarking on an exploration with the working title Botticelli remix.

 At San Cresci, I explored fragmenting and reproducing Botticell’s images of youth in a similar style and colour palette. I developed these portraits further by introducing new landscapes inspired from my residency in Italy and the journey there. Fragmenting Botticelli’s images as small paintings then reconfiguring them with my own images scrambles hence confuses original meaning as well as what the eye expects to see. A new narrative for Botticellit’s youth relocated in a contemporary landscape evolved from these experiments with paint, narrative and historicity.

 A nostalgia for the work of Botticelli as familiar and as historically meaningful is the inspiration for this exploration. Renewing the present by re-conceptualizing the past as an intuitive experiment is the process I used. Remix in music, quoting in art history or cutup in literature refers to making something new by adding, subtracting or rearranging elements of a pre-existing piece. It is an apt metaphor for the experimental techniques employed in my work at San Cresci.

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