Local artist profile: Davide Angelo

March 16, 2024 BY

Vivid outlook. Davide says he uses bold blocks of colour and outlines to anchor what he describes as simplistic/naive paintings often with the intention of being striking and distinctive. Photo: SUPPLIED

This week we chat with poet-turned-painter Davide Angelo, whose writer’s block at the outset of COVID saw him turn to visual arts as a method of “looking outward”.

What motivated you to become an artist?

I’ve always been creative in one way or another. For many years, I focused on writing and my poems have appeared in Australian and international publications and have been shortlisted for several national and international prizes.

In 2020, things took a drastic turn here and around the world, as we all know! I found I couldn’t write. So, I decided to paint. I find that with poetry, I look inward and with painting, I look outward. At the time, it felt right to look outward with all that was going on with the pandemic.

My fraternal twin, Riccardo Angelo, has been a painter for over 30 years and I’ve observed his progression with wonder and admiration. In many ways, I was daunted by picking up a brush because I couldn’t possibly imagine I could produce anything interesting. One thing he taught me was to be brave.

How would you describe your style?

I think my style could be described as simplistic or naive. My paintings are often expressed as simple and balanced compositions. I often use bold blocks of colour and outlines to anchor my designs that (I hope) are sometimes spiritual, fantastical, political, and in the tradition of modern and humanist art.

As I develop my paintings, I focus on an idea, an effect and a mood. My ideas and how I apply them to the canvases are seldom subtle and my intention is for the artworks to be striking and distinctive.

Which other artists inspire you?

I’m (currently) inspired by artists like Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky, Roy Lichtenstein, and Fernand Léger. I also love looking at the sculptures of Henry Moore. Their creations resonate with me and, in their own ways, they explore emotion and expression through colour and shape.

What are some highlights you have from your career so far?

The greatest highlight for me was when I sold my first painting. When I began to take my painting more seriously in 2020, I decided to exhibit on an online art gallery called Bluethumb.com.au

It was such a wonderful feeling to know someone thought something I created was good enough (to) buy and to hang on their wall. I never thought that would happen. Since then my paintings have been sold to people in Australia and overseas.

Another highlight has been to have one of my paintings chosen by Australian artists Ken Done and Bronwyn Bancroft as part of a curation.

What would you say to young regional aspiring artists who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

I would say, just have a go and be patient and kind to yourself. Be brave. A life in art is a life worth living. Paint what you like and paint how you like and try not to think about whether any one will approve of it. It’s a trap that stops you being creative.

In my pursuit of writing and painting, I’ve learned that it’s important to grow or progress. Be inspired by others but develop your own style and voice. Persevere and make art… any art. It’s good for the mind, good for the soul. I’ve painted so many monstrosities! The good thing is you can always paint over it and start again.