Known for his minimalist and joyous one-line artworks, the Italian artist and designer Calugi unveils a series of new works which continues his ongoing exploration of the emotive power of essential simplicity.
Calugi’s work is characterised by carefully balanced compositions in which fluid lines are punctuated by bold and colourful shapes, evoking influences of Picasso’s single fluid lines and Matisse’s bold cut-outs and embraced with a strong contemporary feel. Taking inspiration from the Dithyramb, the hypnotic ancient Greek choral celebration of the god of wine and fertility Dionysus, Calugi invites the viewer to join the dance and praise life.
The relationship between the ever-growing complexity of reality and the primal need to discover universal values is a recurrent theme in Calugi’s poetic. “I remember when I was a kid I used to draw everything as big dots: a simple big blue dot could be the sea, a big and yellow dot was the sun. Then these dots multiplied, and we became grown-ups, occupied with the intricacies of everyday life and the schizophrenic frenzy of social media, making simplicity the most difficult art of all.”
Calugi was born in Pistoia, Italy in 1982, and grew up in his parent’s stationary shop, drawing on anything he could get his little hands on; his creative attitude was also heavily influenced by his grandfather, who designed carnival parade waggons in New Orleans, USA.
His instinctual approach to art is visible not solely in his analogue installations but also into his digital art, which retains the urgency and naturally intuitive precision of trait. Jonathan’s world encompasses anything from advertising to t-shirts, live paintings to animations, from sculptures to prints and never fails to send out a positive, encouraging message.
12-colour pigment giclée print on 190 gsm Soft Textured Art Paper, 520 x 700mm, supplied in a strong black Magma poster tube.