In 2018, artist and architect Flavio Bisciotti embarked on an art inspired international trip for three months. The journey included Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria and Spain. With the help of his partner Claudia Leyerer (also an artist) Bisciotti organized several exhibitions in three galleries in Germany and Austria.
Flavio Bisciotti with friends at his art opening
His most recent body of work titled Invisible Cities was exhibited in the three galleries. The series features a collection of architectural buildings and landscapes of cities that he has visited.
Q: What were the highlights of your trip?A: Having the opportunity to see Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland. We also took a short break in Amsterdam for 4 days, visiting the Van Gogh Museum and a Banksy Exhibition! I loved the mountains and lakes of Austria, and of course this inspired me to create a landscape painting. Another favorite was the chapel of Le Corbusier, in Ronchamps (France). This was one of the destinations I have always dreamed of visiting.
Le Corbusier, in Ronchamps, France; Photo by Flavio Bisciotti; Courtesy of ETG
Q: What inspired your series Invisible Cities?
A: It was inspired by Italo Calvino’s book with the same name and was also influenced by Andrea Palladio’s “Forth books of architecture.”
Q: Do you think Europeans respond differently to your work than Americans do?
A: Difficult to say and I don’t want to generalize, but I think because of Europe’s cultural past, people there identify themselves with my architectural paintings which are very old European culture based.
Q: How does traveling inspire your painting?
A: My job is to retrace my journey, like Marco Polo in the Novel “Invisible cities” by Italo Calvino. Instead of telling the story, I paint my own vision of the buildings and places I visit.
Q: Do you have a favorite destination?
A: Every city is interesting and has some special buildings, along with culture and philosophy, including the music, the costumes, food flavors…and traditions. Every culture teaches something new
Opening art reception, Flavio Bisciotti; Photo by Flavio Bisciotti; Courtesy of ETG
Q: Do you paint while you are away? Or do you carry your inspiration home with you…back to your studio in LA?
A: I start my canvases while traveling. We set up different studios in Marbella & Gaucin (South of Spain), Punta del Este (Uruguay), Buenos Aires, and my main place in Los Angeles. When I get back to LA, I continue with the canvases I already started and include various objects from my travels. I finish my work when I have all the information in my studio and I can see the work in the last steps.
Q: How do you retain all of the inspiration that comes from traveling?
A: I generally collect a lot of photos, maps, catalogues, notes, even sounds of different places like sirens, birds, conversations in different languages and sometimes objects/pieces that I find on the street. When I travel to new places, I take hundreds of photos per day. I try to document the details…the buildings, people in the streets. I generally associate the place of my images with an object or person characteristic of the region. I use my sketch book and make sketches from the same pictures. I also carry an iPad that I use to sketch and color my drawings.
Favio Bisciotti in Hamburg, Germany
Q: What inspires your art the most?
A: My biggest inspiration comes when I am in cities, in front of buildings, modern or traditional, but with a strong architectural influences…churches, cathedrals, old and new buildings from famous architects around the world. Basically having the opportunity to step in front of these historical places is inspirational for me. I also love to discover lesser known historical structures.
Q: Did you meet people while you were traveling?
A: It was easy to make friends with locals in different cities, in different countries. I found it easy to connect with other artist by finding out about what they are doing.
Q: Do you also collaborate with other artists while you are overseas?
A: Yes, I meet a lot of artists on my travels. I have become good friends with many artists. In some cases, we collaborate and put together projects. It is important to be connected abroad. I would call the collaboration an art-exchange and learning about new perspectives.
Q: Why do you think travel is important for all types of people?
A: Because life out there is very interesting and one should not limit himself (or herself) to his (or her) comfort-zone!!
Find out more about Flavio Bisciotti on his website – https://www.flaviobisciotti.com