Michelangelo Bastiani


About

Florentine artist Michelangelo Bastiani graduated first from Florence's Art Institute and later from the Academy of Fine Arts, where he majored in painting and photography under Maestro Gustavo Giulietti. Bastiani lived in California and New York before returning to Tuscany, and has held critically-acclaimed exhibitions in the Italian cities of Florence, Venice, Rome, Milan, Capri, and Pietrasanta, and internationally in Paris, London, Munich, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Kiev, and Oslo.

Michelangelo Bastiani uses technology in his representations of water to illustrate its dynamic nature and facilitate a direct connection and tangible interaction with the viewer. In his current exhibition, “title”, Bastiani showcases his hologram installations and interactive video projections on LED screens exploring the theme of liquidness, with water representing the constantly changing intrinsic nature of art.
Of his work, Bastiani says: Based on Bohm's oleographic theory that "our universe is a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram", in my works I reproduce a microcosm in a bottle, where videos, two-dimensional by nature, become solid and dynamic realities. It is a visual perception that can be explained through the Gestalt laws. “Water, and liquidness in general, is my preferred field of investigation. My favorite subjects are natural phenomena of different magnitude, from the most tumultuous storms to soft clouds, relaxing water lilies, cold icebergs, waterfalls, fountains, galaxies, travels to the center of the earth... For instance, an artificial lake might take shape in a room and, thanks to digital techniques, the spectator becomes an integral part of the work by simply passing in front of it, thus becoming a part of the kinetic process. Analog and digital blend in these holograms which are enclosed in transparent bottles and jars, and direct interaction from the viewer results in infinite variables. The relationship between work and observer become stronger transforming what we imagine as the traditional ‘passive’ visit into an ‘active’ experience.”

The comparison between artifice and nature is a central theme in art history: painters, sculptors and architects over the centuries have recreated the world through the lens of their works, Michelangelo Bastiani accepts this challenge by regenerating the natural world into the latest digital mechanisms, A futuristic process of art, combining multimedia and real objects, where the artwork becomes a place of interactive cultural animation, defining a stronger interpersonal relationship between the viewer and contemporary art production. Michelangelo Bastiani's works are video installations on large screens, interactive video projections and holograms, focusing in particular on elements of nature and the state of matter. Based on Bohm's oleographic theory that "our universe is a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram", Bastiani works reproduce a microcosm in a bottle, where videos, two-dimensional by nature, become solid and dynamic realities.

Bastiani is able to deal with this difficulty by tangible interaction technology, which communicates directly with the spectator: his digital waterfall will never keep a steady flow, but will change depending on the viewer' movement, as part of the kinetic process of the work. Nature blends with artifice: the strength of the elements is performed as a sort of paradox where nature is trapped by the hand of man, but in the meantime exalted by his clever use of technology. The artist gives to natural phenomena or graceful feminine figures a new home, shaped as a glassy bottle: a microcosm perpetually communicating with the audience in the vision of a realistic and coherent scene. The interactive video is a perennial happening where the work lives and changes, resulting in infinite variables. Thus, the relationship between work and observer become stronger transforming what we imagine as the traditional "passive" visit into "active". Between real and virtual, Bastiani gives life to a third dimension in which nature and artifice coexist, following an artistic research where the only constants seem to be transformation, and the evolution of his works over time.