Artist Statement

I consider my art to be at the intersection of global experience and the visual language of Italy’s grand artistic heritage.

My work as a professional conservator working on historic artwork and sites means I have been lucky enough to gain an intimate understanding of a host of artistic techniques that might have remained otherwise invisible. As such, I would say my artwork exists in a conceptual plane between concrete material technique and the world of imagination and experience. As well, there are a number of personal and visual experiences that have informed my practice, the first being exposure to the canons of art at one’s finger tips all over Italy. My time in Georgia was also deeply influential at two levels. First, this is a place where the cultures of both the west and east come together to form a deeply complex and symbiotic sensibility. To live in this culture, to study and make art meant that I had to become open to an understanding of space, time, form, and spirituality quite unlike empirical western society. I studied the ornate, complex, and beautiful iconography of Byzantine art, and came to be engaged in both the historic and contemporary Georgian visual culture. The other level was my first-hand experience of living in Tbilisi during the civil war where conflict became an everyday occurrence. My work is intrinsically connected to this moment in my life, and reflects not only my own experience, but also of those around me, and on a more global level, the issues surrounding war and conflict.

I began drawing at a young age and rely on not only the symbols of formal religion but also the imaginary world of my own mind. I am interested in presenting a stylized figuration that is not naturalistic per se, but rather reflects practices distilled from the creativity of many fields such as cartoon drawing, printmaking, and even filmmaking. In my work, you may see references modern movements such as Scuola di Metaphisica, Pop Art, and Nouveau Realism. I also have a profound interest in using decorative elements to bring weight and style to each picture. I mix my own paint, and create texture using wax, paper, toothpicks, and construct frames and support of wood, plastic, glass, and, of course, my canvases. During my process, I am fully immersed in the meticulous material creation of paintings, while remaining engaged in the subject matter, which I intend to be readable, but not entirely transparent. Overall, I wish to achieve a style or vocabulary that is atmospheric, rigorous, political, and spiritual.


BUDELLO AT WORKFebruary 2016