Roberto Boiardi was born in 1963 in Piacenza, Italy, where he currently lives and paints. Early on Boiardi dedicated himself to watercolour, which he mastered after enormous dedication to the medium. His inspiration was, among others, J.M.W. Turner’s work in Venice. He carefully studied the palette and application, which helped define the style he worked in for many years. He now paints primarily in oil – on both canvas and board. His paintings have the look of old crumpled photographs, which he creates by preparing the canvas with a layer of cementite and acrylic paste. He then paints in oil, which he frequently mixes with chalk to add even more texture. The result is a wonderfully matt, distressed look that is further complemented by his palette of smoky colors.
One of Roberto’s American influences is Edward Hopper – which becomes clear from the vantage point of his paintings. The viewer is watching people interact from a balcony, car window, doorway, or obscured place out of their view. Roberto seems to capture moments where the rest of the world is tuned out, and the subjects are engaged in casual conversation or play.
Roberto Boiardi chooses to primarily explore cityscapes and 20th century figures. He chooses “anonymous’ locations, perhaps outside of the city, rather than recognizable metropolitan areas with iconic buildings and landmarks. He wants us all to feel that we have been there. Most images reflect deep symbolism in which the human figure appears – perhaps in a moment from childhood. These works express the artist’s need to feel the time in which he lives, but also to tap into images of days gone by that inpire a piece of us to remain timeless and connected to the past. He favors the work of the late 19th Century Verism painters, where contemporary scenes of everyday life were depicted in a quiet palette with beautiful light. The work focused on commoners, and portrayed people as they were rather than idealistically. Nobility would never favor this style of painting, as all perceived flaws and imperfections were included in the sculptures and paintings.
In his words, [each of my paintings, whether they come from reality or fiction, is the related objective of a shared interior complex. The works offer many interpretations.]