Guido de' Costanzo
My work is based on the contrast between the painstaking preparation of the canvas and the ''random'' act which comes later on - a preparation which uses the time-honoured, traditional methods and the ‘‘drop’’ of other materials to the canvas once it has been prepared which results in uncontrolled effects on the canvas.
I begin by stretching the canvas by hand; next I apply twenty layers of gesso, then work over it with sand paper and water until the surface becomes velvety in nature. Only now begins the task of applying various types of metallic leaf or powdered coloured pigment mixed with a transparent resin. This is applied to the canvas and when dry becomes, transparent - giving a sensation of depth as though looking through water. The surface is now covered with 23 3/4 carat gold leaf which completely covers the coloured preparation beneath. This whole process can take four to five months.
At this stage only occurs the ‘‘random’’ part, the unpredictable, which I compare to the chaotic nature of life itself. The material of the ''drop'' is sometimes composed of silver and solder liquified to 230 degrees and tipped onto the canvas. This liquefied metallic material, instantly burns away the surface of the gold leaf to reveal the rich colours beneath. Through this ‘destruction’ of the gold by molten metal something even more beautiful and precious is created.
To see more examples of Guido de' Costanzo's work, click on one of the numbers below. If you'd like to contact us, click here