In conversation with Simone Miccichè, winner of th...

In conversation with Simone Miccichè, winner of the 2023We Art Open award

Simone Miccichè (Bologna, 1989) is the winner of the sixth edition of the contemporary arts competition We Art Open 2023, organized by No Title Gallery and Crea Cantieri del Contemporaneo Venezia. Miccichè, with his work “BLA BLA BLA” (2020), and the other nineteen finalists were exhibited in a group show at Crea Cantieri del Contemporaneo, in Venice, which ended on February 5, 2023. We had the pleasure of having a chat with the winner.

Simone Miccichè with his work “BLA BLA BLA”, 2020, winner of the sixth edition of the contemporary arts competition We Art Open 2023

Anita Fonsati: First of all I’d like to ask you why you decided to denounce the emptiness of words that are used in the art world with a work that plays with the written text, instead of using a totally different language, which almost conflicted with the word itself.
Simone Miccichè: It’s a long speech… I’ll try not to be wordy. Let’s start from the fact that I have a very high idea of the concept of Art. When I am presented as an “artist” I am almost ashamed, it annoys me, and I reply: «Eh, I’ll try…». When I go to exhibitions, it happens to see works that I like and works that I like less; so far so normal. The real problem comes when I read the the critical texts, in that moment I feel a great disappointment coming from that same Art that I love so much. Words, words and words that try to raise to divine works that have very little (or nothing) of transcendence. Words written no longer by critics or curators, but directly by gallery owners. It is obvious that, if they have to sell, certainly won’t write that they exhibit low quality artworks. But, going back to my work, I really chose to play with the text as words, in art, are always there (sometimes unfortunately too) and the onomatopoeia “bla bla bla” is immediate, as well as international in scope, therefore it comes to everyone. Moreover, since the work is a total white three-dimensional surface, according to how it is illuminated, the observer can see, or not, the textual part. In fact, when the work is illuminated from the front, the shadows disappear, and with them the text, becoming an almost meaningless white surface.

Simone Miccichè, “BLA BLA BLA”, 2020, (60 pcs.) 20 x 20 cm, plaster and wood – (4 pcs.) 24 x 24 cm, acrylics on plaster and wood, courtesy of the artist and NO TITLE Gallery

You are an artist trained in painting, however in recent years you have also dedicated time and work to the creation of sculptures in plaster and wood, such as “BLA BLA BLA” or “Lorem Ipsum”, or “Libero Arbitrio”, which is a totally different process from all your previous production. Do you always consider yourself a painter, who perhaps uses different surfaces, or are you increasingly approaching the world of sculpture?
Painting has always been my greatest passion, however sometimes I don’t consider it the most suitable means to express my thoughts. For this reason, I often like to experiment with different techniques, materials and styles. In my production it is difficult to find long series of works with the same technique, or style, also going against the logic of the art system according to which «the important is to be recognizable». Furthermore, even if I walk away from it, I never worry about losing it because I work in the awareness that, however it goes, I will always return to my happy island which is painting. As for the work entitled “Libero Arbitrio”, it is totally different from my previous projects, and if you noticed it, I am doubly happy. Each of my works comes from a fairly elaborate design and construction process, which exhausts me more mentally than physically. This applies to all my works, except this one. In addition to making the pigment of the proper density, I do nothing else for its realization. The wavy pattern created above is the result of the passage of time – each work takes from two to eight months to be ready – and is totally random and out of my control. For me, it is a kind of “mental wind down”.

Simone Miccichè, “LIBERO ARBITRIO”, paint and thinners on wood, 2022, courtesy of the artist

I know you teach in an art school in Bologna, does this profession take away a lot of time from your practice?
Yes, I am a teacher of pictorial disciplines at the Liceo Artistico F. Arcangeli in Bologna, the same school where I graduated in 2008. I would be lying if I answered your question no. Sure it takes a lot of time off my research, but it doesn’t bother me. Teaching is something magical. Furthermore, I have set myself the personal goal of bringing young people closer to contemporary art, a field in which high school students often do not surpass the avant-gardes from the twentieth century. I organize meetings with artists who illustrate their journey, their research and their inspiration sources to the students.

Simone Miccichè, “LOREM IPSUM”, 2020, acrylics on plaster and wood, courtesy of the artist

After the We Art Open 2023 award, do you have other projects in mind or exhibitions in the pipeline?
In addition to continuing the research on the ” Libero Arbitrio” project, I have some ideas to develop and some shows in the planning stage, but nothing official yet.

Anita Fonsati



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