Gianni Petrioli was born in 1977, Belgium of Italian parents. For the past few years, he has been living between the French and the Belgian countrysides. Self-taught, he paints to uncover his unknown, diving without a net, without a plan, magnetized by textures, colours and a particular passion for abstraction.
At the age of 30, the young father was learning how to paint with natural coatings and found himself driven by a long-buried desire to create, to uncover the depths of a vast landscape of intimate emotions that he could never reach before. Through abstract painting, he had found a way to do just that.
This is an adventure of trial and error, constantly looking to say and see what refuses to be seen and can only emerge through the surrendering of any kind of expectation or intent. Gianni Petrioli seeks to achieve a contact of fusion with his painting, to unveil the path towards an « osmosis » of which he yearns just as much as he baulks, for such is the core of his artistic trial.
Each of his paintings is the product of a foray into that which always tries to elude him. Gianni Petrioli paints by layers, attempting always to catch up to his own flight, his doubts and difficulty to make contact with his own self, giving his work the textured thickness that he feels in his way on the course of this quest towards himself.
It is a journey of connecting through the pictorial act, of reaching a fluidity of circulation without avoidance, a relaxing through acceptance. Gianni can hence return to a canvas many times over an indeterminate amount of time, as long as it hasn’t been the object of a traversing, a piercing of his walls, a liberating getaway. Layers upon layers of matter thus form his paintings, added either with a palette knife or a brush.
At the age of 40, Gianni Petrioli meets Lucia Diris, a painter whose work he immediately recognizes as intensely profound, and Aurélien Réal, a filmmaker and photograph who for many years has been experimenting on abstraction, on the losing of figurative representation to let the shapes emerge. The two artists have a decisive role in helping Gianni refine his art, his movements as a painter.
With this encounter he found the support he needed to fully dedicate himself to his practice. From then on the calling to sound himself out became stronger and, inspired by this companionship and mutual assistance, Gianni was able in the past three years to free from his depths a series of twenty or so paintings.
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