Observing Elemental Movements with Carl Melegari
Written by: Anthony Hagan All Images courtesy of Carl Melegari

Vastness, decay and the observation of the flow of the elements define Carl Melegari’s paintings.  His paintings are thick with layers of feelings, emotions and a natural order that demands no explanation.  Carl does not force things to happen.  Why should he?  He is very in tune with the forces of existence.  All he has to do is ‘be’ and let his paintings become what they will become.  Consequentially, his paintings become images of haunting exuberance that call out in a faint whisper to your soul.  Carl cannot imagine a life without painting because the thick chaos of his colors is what gives him life.  We continue to be immensely inspired by artists like Carl who chose their path wisely and set examples of freedom that is increasingly rare in a world full of rules and a lack of individuality.

“My preoccupation with the expressive qualities of paint, coupled with …”

Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?

I was born in North Wales of Italian parentage and spent my childhood on various farms, milking cows and collecting eggs with my siblings then later moved to suburbia where I spent my time kicking a ball around and now I’m based in Bristol, painting in my studio.

Where do you think you would be without art?

I can’t quite imagine what life would be like without art. I have always had ‘the creative urge’; I find I am always inspired to paint –‘it must be a curse’, but a pleasurable one.

How do you describe your form of art?

I view paint as a visual language. The layering of thick oil paint on canvas, until it verges towards abstraction, creates my form of work. My preoccupation with the expressive qualities of paint, coupled with its versatility and physicality, defines my particular style.

There is a sense of decay and anonymity in your work – is this done on purpose? How did you develop and create your personal art style?

Decay comes from the physical properties of the paint itself, as it dries IT can create imprint. My personal style developed from ‘plein air’ painting. The continuous movement of scraping back, accumulating and re-layering which marks my paintings goes back to painting directly from nature, from observing the continuous movement of the elements. Attempt to capture order from chaos, the movement of life itself, both of the subject and paint.

Is there a larger message you are trying to convey with your work?

An artist records the history for future generations;  art reaches out and touches people around the world, it can lift people when they are down or create controversy, art is a very important part of society.

What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?

Critique, well, someone once said my paintings lacked color?  And this is a quote from a collector “I briskly walked past an art gallery and something amazing caught the corner of my eye. I quickly walked back to the gallery window and ended up staring for the next fifteen minutes at a portrait which I later found out was by a local artist, Carl Melegari”

Which artist/s do you look up to the most?

I enjoy the sculptural elements that Manuel Neri uses and I have always admired the limited color palette of Morandi. The combination of this and the use of impasto helped in the development of my style.

Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?

For me, it’s got be my Merrells and denim jeans.

What is your personal life philosophy?

To pursue what makes you happy, without worrying too much what others may think.

Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?

I would take Future Islands with me. I never tire of listening to their music. Sam Herring’s raw, soulful voice would provide a brilliant accompaniment to a two-week road trip full of creative energy and paint.

How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?

You can check my website and you can also check the galleries that represent me: Thompson Gallery, Edgar Modern, Arusha Gallery and Kooywood Gallery.

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