Some people are born with a talent and they shape their future professional life around it. Some others have multiple talents and they kind of struggle throughout their lives to understand which one is the right one to invest in. Some others have instead many talents, but they simply do what mum and dad and family and society at large expect them to do even before they are born, sacrificing their gift and developing other skills.
I am not sure to which category Nico Bonomolo belongs to, but what is sure is that his talent is an artistic one. So it did not come as a surprise when he dropped his black gown and a successful career as lawyer in his home town in South Italy to grab a brush and dedicate himself to painting. After years of studying law something did not feel right. Now… it takes more than just guts to abandon a steady and well paid job for something so uncertain yet so fascinating. Well boy, respect! So did he, and he hasn’t stopped ever since, achieving remarkable results.
Common people and simple objects populate Nico Bonomolo’s artistic realm. A businessman, a hipster girl, a sensual woman. Anyone can relate to the faces and situations immortalised in his works. The primitive and ferine colors of his paintings vaguely and distinctively recall those of Fauvism: there is something primordial yet poetic in those lines, something colourful yet melancholic, childish yet humanly inexplicable. Each brushstroke seems to whip the canvas and at the same time seems to retain some emotions. Like in Egon Schiele’s painful and excruciating paintings. Thanks to this technique Nico’s faces, captured in snapshots of everyday life, seem to tell some untold stories and to emanate a unique aura of deep disconcerting feelings.
Similarly, familiar and common objects and places become nostalgic glimpses of gone times: a typewriter or an old telephone are objects of attention and desire in Nico’s world. They communicate silent messages and lose the purpose of their being. They are obsolete, gone and forgotten, but still part of our memories and lives.
In such a short time, this artist from Bagheria has earned is “place in the sun” and some of his works have sold to foundations, VIPs and have also been selected as part of permanent collections in museums and galleries around Sicily. Since few years, he has also started experimenting with animated cinema, once more achieving a large public success. His two animated short movies Lorenzo Vaccirca (2008) and Fur Hat (2012) have been received with great enthusiasm by the Italian and international crowd, winning several awards.
So Nico Bonomolo is a remarkable, eclectic and genuine talent, one to keep an eye on before his quotations will skyrocket in the next few years.
Q1. Summary – a little background about yourself (study, experiences, awards)
A1. After my bachelor degree in Law, I devoted myself full time to painting and creative design. I showcased my first paintings during solo exhibitions around Sicily. After that, my painting technique has been subject to continuous developments and then I decided that I would have never taken part to an exhibition again, in order for me to focus more on stylistic research. In the meanwhile, me works of art have been selected and bought by private and public collections, amongst which the Permanent Collection of the Museum Guttuso in Bagheria (Sicily – Italy), which is the biggest Modern and Contemporary Art gallery in Southern Italy. Finally, in 2008 I have enhanced my artistic portfolio with animation cinema, which I have also learned on my own. I have produced two short movies, which have been awarded with several prizes and which have been selected both at national and international level. At the moment, I am working on a third short movie, that embraces painting too.
Q2. How would you describe your work and your style?
A2. I think I am the least appropriate person to talk about my work. I can only say that both painting and animation cinema are the two things I love to do the most. I do not care about being original (can one still be original, honestly?). I do only care about communicating an idea, an emotion, a story. That’s it.
Q3. What messages are you trying to convey with your works of art?
A3. I like the contradictions of life, of the mankind. The paradoxes. In this era of smart phones, iPads and so forth, I love painting objects from the past century: typewriters, telephones with ferrules and so on. The silence of these objects imprinted on the canvas always strikes me.
Q4. What means being an artist in this era?
A4. Besides the never-ending and physiologic economic crisis (at least for the majority of the people), I believe it means having the ability of shaping, both at micro and macroscopic level, the society we live in. How can a good book, or painting or movie somehow change one, ten, millions of lives? Precisely in that moment, the author is an artist.
Q5. What would you say to people that think “I could have done that, too!” when looking at contemporary art work?
A5. Often I think they are right.
All pictures: courtesy of the artist (@NicoBonomolo)
For more info and works visit Nico Bonomolo’s website: