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On my way home from town, I looked up and noticed the fresh snow on Bogorno.  Something down my feet caught my eye eventually.  I quickly came off the spell of the mountain’s beauty,  There, about to be squashed by my own foot, a brown leaf covered by newly formed water drops was my source of inspiration today!  I quickly grabbed my watercolors to catch on paper, something so simple yet fascinating.

“Don’t just look up!” I thought to myself…Image 

Locarno film festival has arrived once again!!

It is hard not to get lost in the enthusiam of the Locarno Film Festival when one sees the making of the tents in “La rotonda,” the village at the round about of Locarno.  One can hear shouts, laughs, the sound of hard work despite the heat and the baking sun.  I love it; the town is once again, alive!

Things aren’t just happening at the big round-about.  The Locarno film festival also transforms our already beautiful town’s square, the “piazza grande,” into a massive movie theather!!  We see movies under the stars…what more magic can there be?

Well, there is plenty of magic to around, you’d be surprised:  this year’s guide is full of activities prepared by local galleries, museums, and the like.  We, culture enthuthiasts, prepare our own spaces to wow the masses!

I won’t lag behind.  This year, at my studio, I exhibit the work-in-progress of 12 talented Asconese students; hours of manual work dedicated to make a puppet show where the viewer can understand the importance of Ticino in the life of a well known artist in 1900’s:  Marianne Werefkin.

The exhibition consists of 15 puppets, behind the scenes photographs of our fun memories, a short cartoon film, and the opportunity to play with the puppets themselves!

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Me with the puppets!!!

It is a fun activity for the big, and small in you!  You can find me at my studio in Contrada Maggiore 6, Ascona, from the 8th to the 12th of August, 09:00 – 11:30.  Can’t wait to meet YOU!!!

 

 

 

DUBAI’S INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART AWARD FOR VISUAL ARTISTS

Just a quick and exciting entrance:  I’ve been shortlisted for the 4th International Emerging artists award!!!!

My entrance:  “Between the green leaves.”  A painting depicting the beautiful forests of Val Bavona, Ticino, Switzerland.  However, the painting is not only a representation of the the tall birch trees, but of the summer sunlight and the cool breeze under the big giants.  “Between the green leaves,” is a painting that provokes feelings of comfort and tranquility.  I am so glad it is part of the shortlisted work in this phenomenal competition!

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Between the green leaves.

 

Another Jozef Blok (my own Mr. Blok)

November 30th – the end of the month and the end of many hours of work, sittings, and polishing my little Italian!

This year I chose not to make a case study of a person I know but of one I have only seen in town:  a friendly local chef working a door down the gallery.  His name is not Mr. Blok, neither his first name is Jozef.  Yet, you must wonder why I’ve called this piece “Another Mr. Blok,” and the answer to this question is the story behind this painting.

It was about 4 years ago when I became obsessed with the works of Van Gogh, one of my favorite painters.  I remembered I used to know only his later work:  the starry night, wheat fields, and sunflowers (dead and alive), and his self portraits – the famous Van Gogh’s ear.

Though Van Gogh’s work wasn’t always colorful.  In fact, his early work was gloomy, earthy toned, and on the dark side.  The first transitional – from dark to color- work, is a portrait not many of us know, yet of great significant:  Mr. Blok.  It is a portrait of a black bearded street book seller Van Gogh knew in The Hague.

Jozef Blok *drawing  *5-11-1882  *38.4 x 26.2 cm

Jozef Blok *drawing *5-11-1882 *38.4 x 26.2 cm

It was 3 years ago when I discovered my own Mr. Blok here in Ascona:  a bearded local chef who used to pass by my window on his way to work.  I always wanted to ask him to sit for me but never really had the “nerve”to ask a stranger for such a strange request.  This year I finally did.  I was lucky he didn’t find it unusual to have an artist beg to paint a portrait of his.  He agreed.

“Another Mr. Blok” isn’t a study  of my subject or sitter, but of Van Gogh’s philosophy.  In his eyes, everyone – the postman, the bookseller, the doctor, the prostitute – were of equal value and importance.  With this study, I too stand by this belief.  Not matter where one comes from, what title one holds, what one does…there is always a special story behind a face.

The evolution:

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The beginning.

 

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Taking shape.

 

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The beard.

 

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Background.

 

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The happy ending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My new work:

A further view.

A little girl happily floating on lake Maggiore.

Literally, fresh from the oven, my new work which combines little sculptures with oil painted backgrounds, are pieces many say: “haven’t seen before.”  A friend elegantly puts it:  “the scenery is not extraordinary, but the emotions these pieces steer, are very complex and meaningful.”

A young boy writing on sand.

A young boy writing on sand.

A closer look.

A closer look.

Close up

Close up

My new works are representations of scenarios I have seen in my very own town, Ascona, Switzerland.  They are of kids enjoying themselves on the shores of lake Maggiore; some are playing on the sand, some are writing on the sand, some contemplate life purely by floating on the lake, and looking at the small waves of the water.

Three kids playing on sand and digging a hole in it.

Three kids playing on sand and digging a hole in it.

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A boy sitting on a small port overlooking his reflection.

A boy sitting on a small port overlooking his reflection.

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Top view

Top view

The details.

The details.

Top view

Top view

Joy is where you least expect it…in my work, joy comes from the most simplest scenarios.

Visiting my paintings at “La Rocca,” and Ronco sopra Ascona

The entrance of La Rocca.

Hotel La Rocca, Ronco sopra Ascona.

If you are not from Ticino, or nearby area, you would brush off the fact that I have my artwork in one of the most beautiful hotels in Ronco sopra Ascona, “La Rocca.”  If you are from here, however, you would understand why I feel so proud to say I am part of the few selected artists in the owners’ art collection.

“La Rocca,” a family run boutique hotel, is situated on the hills of Ronco sopra Ascona.  Like Ronco, “La Rocca,” has phenomenal views of lake Maggiore and surrounding mountains.  As well as that, the city and the hotel have a lot more things in common, too many to mention.  Yet to explain my point in simpler terms, I can tell you that the town and the hotel itself, offer, in their own kind of way, special corners where one can see the residents’ and in the case of the hotel, the owners’ dedication to sharing a bit of culture and history of Ronco, and the Ticino area.  Those corners that make the place unique.  Those corners full of artifacts you can’t find anywhere else!

One of the many beautiful views hotel La Roca, offers.

One of the many beautiful views hotel La Roca, offers.

One of the many special corners, in hotel La Rocca.

One of the many special corners, in hotel La Rocca.

The view of the lake from Ronco sopra Ascona.

The view of the lake from Ronco sopra Ascona.

The small town of Ronco.

The small town of Ronco.

The churches of Ronco sopra AScona.

The churches of Ronco sopra AScona.

Ronco sopra Ascona

Ronco sopra Ascona

The little streets of Ronco.

The little streets of Ronco.

Other hikes from Ronco...iIf the views from Ronco aren't sufficient!

Other hikes from Ronco…iIf the views from Ronco aren’t sufficient!

It is indeed a great honor to see my new work hanging on the walls of such pristine location.  My favorite installation of my work are the prints on glass of my “Morning coffee” series, the ones which depict the promenade of Ascona.  This is so because they are elegantly positioned in the corridor leading to the hotel’s restaurant.  Yet, this isn’t an ordinary restaurant:  your meal comes with the best views of the islands of Brissago and lake Maggiore!  Hence, to me, “Morning coffee” in the corridor is like the introductory piece to a symphony’s ending, the grand finale of a visual explosion!

Morning coffee series leading to the restaurant.

Morning coffee series leading to the restaurant.

On the wall: the morning coffee series.

On the wall: the morning coffee series.

My work and me.

My work and I…am distracted by the view of lake Maggiore from the restaurant!

Among “Morning coffee,” the hotel owners have other local images, such as “Morcote,”  “Marianne Werefkin,” “Ponte dei Salti,” and the famous “San Pietro,” which has been seen on TV twice:  for the  Ascona Jazz Festival TV interview, and for the Art Zurich International report in RTV Suisse!  In town, you can find my “San Pietro” behind the glass fountain of Passaggio San Pietro.

To say that my last visit to “La Rocca” moved me is an understatement!  I realized, as I took pictures of my work on the wall, how grateful I am to the owners, for allowing me to be part of those special corners that make their hotel a special spot in Ronco sopra Ascona.  What is more, I thank them for supporting local talent, and art that is born in the towns and valleys of this beautiful canton, Ticino.