8 – The beauty of the subject

Originality can also be found in the choice of subject matter, thanks to lines, masses of chiaroscuro, the surrounding colour. If then a good subject is well painted it will be a more complete and powerful piece. Some subjects are interesting only thanks to how they have been interpreted. In fact, some say that any subject is interesting if it is well executed. To see the substance of a painting, we must imagine it produced with the simplest and poorest technique. It is like putting a poem into prose: if there is an inspired concept, it will come through. Originality in finding the subject. Originality in executing it. (…) Certain backlit subjects, where everything looks hazy, lend themselves especially to this free system; certain others, dominated by solid structure, call for the use of filaments. Even when painting directly from real life there must be decomposition,  including veiling when a part is too bright or too cold. (…) In art it is only the ordinary, the beauty of colour, the grit of workmanship, the beauty of the subject that matter, everything else is just small-talk, literature.

Carlo Fornara, Taccuini 1915 – 1945 (Notebooks 1915 – 1945) from Bello di colore, Scheiwiller 1969

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