Andrea Stella, 1950 -
The first living artist to show at the Uffizi.
Andrea Stella was born in Italy in 1950. He was the only child of Greek immigrants, and has remained deeply devoted to Greek Culture throughout his life. He began his career as a craftsman, studying antique conservation techniques at the famous Florence Studio of Artistic Woodworking. Some of his work from this period are found in several medieval churches in the Tuscan area.
Stella draws inspiration from his immediate surroundings, the breathtaking Tuscan countryside, the renowned Casentino’s forest, and a bit further away, the beautiful city of Florence. Though he cites it as an influence, he has chosen to live far from the city to avoid the distracting and chaotic rhythms of life there.
Living a somewhat secluded life he is seemingly unburdened by the gratingly benign definitions of art and meaning. He opts for a complete reconstruction of painting without the constraints of traditional images and linguistic definitions. He chooses to depict mythical images and the original condition of creativity. Stella’s work refers only to itself, without recalling anything but its materiality and revelation. They are works that could never be a metaphor.
His latest works are created through a painstakingly intricate process of fusing twenty-four carat gold and copper to one another onto canvas. He then applies multiple solutions to oxidize and color the leafing. Glitters of gold and flashes of orange, red, copper, and green are all arranged in a masterful succession of oxidation. His luminous figures make their way through faint illusions of oceans and dark skies. He combines light and shadows, as painters have always done, but he does so in the service of an ideal that transcends both, and can only be felt and not thought.
Stella’s work can be found permanently installed in The Palazzo Pitti Museum in Florence, The Vatican Museum in Rome, and in many notable private and corporate collections.