Although Milan, Italy based artist Paolo Pibi paints from the natural world, he describes his surrealist landscapes as images of the inside of his mind. Like Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dali, and other Surrealists before him, Pibi’s acrylic paintings break free from the straight representational landscapes that are familiar and take us into other worldly territory.
Pibi combines the terrene with the impossible, featuring geographical elements like gravity defying land bridges, misty waterfalls lit by unnatural light sources, and hills and vistas often framed by openings as if the viewer were emerging into this world from a cave. It’s a uniquely wondrous place devoid of life except for an occasional lone spotted dog that has no apparent significance. Recent images have drawn inspiration from the golden age of Ancient Greece and Rome, parts of which are “covered” by floating portals into another dimension. This is an ideal that was shared by artist Rene Magritte who once said, “There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us.”
“Each painting is a way to explore my subconscious and to do this I need not think about what I paint,” Pibi wrote in an email to Hi-Fructose. “I try a absently condition so as to have no filter from my brain to my hand… I believe in the sincerity of my work and with respect to the viewer.” Regarding his process, he shared, “I love the mistake. The first time that I step in front of the canvas are made from the chaos. For example, do instinctively a black brushstroke in the sky without knowing why it is always a good sign to guide me in the right direction.” Pibi’s images confound expectations, as if to propose that his interior world is as complex and ripe for exploration as our real world. His dramatic perceptions of nature shown here reflect the uncanny, sometimes elusive imagery of dreams, myth, and fantasy.