ITALIAN-BORN artist Valerio Arduino Gentile, who has travelled and lived across the world, now resides in sunny Malaga where he, with two other artists, exhibits his imaginative work in a small gallery on Calle Granada in the historic city centre.
Working in a style which he calls “Animalist”, Gentile says he draws straight from his imagination, affirming; “I draw what comes automatically to my head and it may not be so pleasant for some, but for me it represents human connections that have the potential to change the future”.
Gentile claims that his yearning to become an artist began at the tender age of just six. It was his first day of school and the teacher asked the class if they wished to paint or to write. Every child with the exception of Gentile said they wished to paint. He had wanted to write, playing devils advocate even at a young age. Gentile found on that first day of school that he was bad at writing, and with taunts from the other children, Gentile decided from that day on to work with art rather than with words.
Nevertheless, as his work has progressed, Gentile says that he has discovered the connection between words and paint; “Any word can be a picture”, says Gentile, asserting that we have learnt from history that words began as pictures, making reference to the Egyptian hieroglyphics, a vital element of a civilization that has influenced him in element of his work. While in Egypt, Gentile worked with limestone, the material of the pyramids, working on two sculptures in the red sea. Taking a considerable amount of influenced from the past, Gentile explains that he views life as a continuous spiral, declaring: “Life moves on, but like a progressing spiral, there is always a connection with what has been”.
Travel has also influenced the work of this eccentric Italian artist. In addition to living in Italy and Egypt, Gentile has also worked in Britain. It was while living in London that Gentile says he noticed a vast majority of tourists who enjoyed his work hailed from Spain. In search of sun, sea and Andalucian tradition, Gentile eventually found himself settled in the birth town of Pablo Picasso.
Entranced by a love of beauty and toying with various influences from Picasso and Dali to ancient egypt, London and the depths of central Africa, Gentile has worked for many years on discovering a style that expresses his feelings of humanity and conveying a sense of what the human eye finds alluring. “I wish to give people inspiration and the pleasure of vision, says Gentile, “The idea of beauty can save the world. There is no contamination with beauty”.
Gentile says that an artists at his limits and an artist willing to push his limits is an artist who is risking madness. But, Gentile declares that if the artist does not go mad, he will discover his “true art” and from this the artist will discover what many of us are looking for; “a true self”.
- Valerio Gentile’s art can be found at Art Gallery 64, Calle Granada 64, Malaga. Entry to the gallery is free