Coming from an art family in which his father was a painter, Maurizio Bonfanti discovered and smelled colors and paints as a child and in such an unusual and evocative work environment he developed the desire to measure himself, like his father, with the world of art, unfathomable for a teenager, but full of dreams and promises.
He attended the artistic high school and subsequently the intaglio course at the Carrara Academy in Bergamo. In Milan he enrolled in the school of scenography, which he abandoned to continue his studies in the faculty of modern literature with an address in art history.
"The 70s were years of study and training", the artist says. In Milan, exhibits of Vespignani, Augusto Perez, Ferroni, Guerreschi, artists who gravitate to that area of neo-figuration that greatly influences the artist; it is figurative art, in its various declinations what Maurizio feels like him, a true and authentic extension of his inner self.
Milan is a very different city from nearby Bergamo, where the artist was born. It is a living metropolis, in great growth. With its modern and contemporary art galleries, Milan is the reference point for the entire visual culture in Italy.
Maurizio lets himself be carried away by the chaotic mobility of a city that is always on the move and documents with photography the spaces that feed his curiosity, in particular the subways that will become the first subjects of his urban landscapes. The experience in the photographic field has fueled the artist's development of a specific viewing angle that can be found in many of his paintings.
The images, the colors and in particular the technique used have changed over time, but a common thread runs through all of his works: adherence to human life. The theme that we can define as the artist's distinctive is the desire to describe and tell the problematic aspects of contemporary man.
In the various exhibitions that have followed one another since the end of the 1980s, two subjects are configured which are identified by their compositional and chromatic structure. The first concerns the human body and the second the urban landscape. The theme of the naked body is represented in large-format works made on canvas paper; they are isolated, solitary figures, the position of the body reflects the mood of the individual, the face is deliberately excluded. A part of the body comes out of the perimeter of the paper that contains it and the space seems to compress it, rather than welcome it. They are single figures that underline a condition of laterality or exclusion, it is the light that highlights, with the strong chiaroscuro contrasts, the flexed trend, almost always folded back on itself of the bodies, guests of a space that is not physically identified with contexts connotations, but backgrounds that narrate places of memory in an evocative form.
In urban landscapes the absorbed and silent figures find their adherence and their existential dimension in the relationship with places that tell of corroded walls, faded colors, writings evaporated by humidity, signs of a city that testifies to its powerlessness in weaving human relationships, unable to favor real and not ephemeral encounters.
Bonfanti inscribes his human figures in an urban landscape evoked by signs that characterize it, but do not describe it and the paper, the privileged support of these stories, is wrinkled, wet, scratched and then reassembled, restored and finally placed on the canvas. The characters seem out of place and out of time, lonely as naked bodies made in other contexts are lonely, and they walk along the walls, far from prying eyes, witnesses of a story that seems to exclude them, in a space that marks boundaries and traces perimeters.
And this story that repeats itself cyclically, it is impossible to describe, because it has already been written countless times, but the signs that Maurizio reports on the paper looking for the coordinates underline the desire, still unexpressed when he watched his father paint, to leave visible traces of a sincere testimony
For more information on Maurizio Bonfanti and his artwork available on Berista.com, you can visit his profile.