Alessandro Sicioldr The Burden
Alessandro Sicioldr Bianchi’s imagination defies reason and definition. A magnetism pulls us into the place of dreams where recognizable figures morph into horrific creatures, roots spawning from skulls, all the while maintaining the cool aristocratic gaze of a renaissance portrait.
As a child, Alessandro never felt rule-bound, time was spent in the Tuscan countryside, imagining an entirely new world along with friends. His father was also a painter and introduced the child to the work of the artistic masters.
Alessandro reveals that he has always felt a haunting, a presence, and an invasion of his dreams. Many of the pictures show one central figure and a ghost or hybrid creature, lurking behind under the veil of dark, in part a representation of one’s unconscious and the spiritual or supernatural world.
A dream can change one, after all waking or dreaming, there can be a moment when part of the mind is cracked open, a fearful harrowing experience, but nevertheless transformative. When I ask Alessandro if he might explain how this might inform his work, he remarks:
“I think that the mind is not a monolithic structure, rather it is a multitude. These presences in dreams are signs of something bigger, and I try to understand their message since my early childhood. They are scary, but as you said they bring transformation and evolution.”
Oil Study for Grande Sirena
There is a solemn strangeness to the portraits, particularly the way the artist combines elements of historic portraiture, and finishes with what one might call a refined surreal sensibility. And that frosty Parmigianino look to the achingly beautiful works such as The Metamorphosis.
Oculatus, version 2
The Three Sisters
Alessandro resists using classifications or keys to interpret his work, noting instead that one might regard his work as a discussion with dreams, spoken in the language of primeval images and that even he cannot know the meaning of the motifs.
RB: You work in a variety of mediums including oil on wood, canvas, linen as well as the various pencil studies. Can you tell me about your technical painting process?
ASB: “I use multiple layers, I begin by applying paint, removing, allowing the pigment to dry, use a knife to scrape, tenderly glaze the surface, like a caress, and dry again. Perhaps I put on more paint and repeat the entire process. It is when I feel the surface is alive that the painting is finished. The skin of the painting is complete. This can take months.”
Maternità presented a certain challenge, the artist spent time working and waiting for a lyricism to emerge, the end result imbued with the mystical power of an icon.
“I feel the image, I see it, and I struggled with the painting surface to achieve that feeling. When Maternità was completed, I felt the image glowing with a strange ambiguous symbolism.”
RB: Many of the pictures show one central figure and a ghost or hybrid creature, lurking behind under the veil of dark, in part a representation of one’s unconscious and the spiritual or supernatural world. Some of your portraits seem androgynous, why have you chose to depict your subjects like this? Is it to evoke mystery or a sense of otherness?
ASB: “Maybe it is because my imagination speaks of lands where no time exists, no precise features, no precise places.”
“Sometimes you will find eroticism, whereas other times the figures are nameless creatures. The faces of my figures are initially stains of colours, and inside these stains, I look for a shape, a feature. They are spontaneous and irrational manifestations.”