"The artist, while working within the field of figurative painting, at the same time subjects it to a distancing, a corruption and puts it up for discussion."
Chicca Regalino was born in Milan but then soon moves with her parents and two brothers to Salerno, where she currently lives and works.
Pencil drawing was her first love and this passion continues throughout her artistic career. It is a journey that moves forward in stages, inspired at the outset by her uncle Gian Franco Arciero, photographer and important publisher in Rome in the 1970’s and 80’s and also by the distinguished French-Romanian photographer Irina Ionesco, who Chicca Regalino has met on a number of occasions. This was also the period in which she attended the European Institute of Design in Rome, and here, she had the opportunity to put her creativity to the test in different expressive fields. Illustration, graphic design, street art, comics and the writing of two short novels (Serena and La passeggiata di Gaja) are all part of the great wealth of experience with which she finally arrives at figurative painting.
For Chicca Regalino, portraiture has always been the instrument through which she chooses to study the world. Her extraordinary technical ability and the detail “engraved” onto the bodies are important features of her painting. Inspiration comes from the dramatic power of Caravaggio’s painting as well as the restless hyperrealism of Dino Valls.
She has exhibited in Rome, where she now collaborates with Alessandro Vitiello Home Gallery. Chicca has also worked in Naples, Massa Marittima and Milan. She has also realised action painting events.
In 1999, she won the “Gli Autori” literary contest with her novel Serena, published by L'Autore Libri Firenze.
For six years she taught in a mental health centre, where she helped the patients to express themselves through art, creating the working group called Arte Inquieta and organised exhibitions.
2011: “Il Mito” - Palazzo delle Arti - Naples.
2013: “Le Persone” - Galleria Art Tre - Salerno.
2015: “L’Ingiuria” - Palazzo delle Arti - Naples.
2015-2016: Two exhibitions - Palazzo Fruscione.
February 2017: “Orme e dettagli” - Palazzo delle Arti - Naples.
June 2017: "Orme e dettagli" - Palazzo Bezzi - Ravenna.
The artist, while working within the field of figurative painting, at the same time subjects it to a distancing, a corruption and puts it up for discussion. Thus, in the finished work, only details and prints remain of the figurative: one could say, that this is the nucleus around which a dramaturgy of lines, colour and their interlacing evolve and which, according to Pliny, are the origin of the painting practice.
Alternating between multiple different visual languages - illustration, animation and graphic communication - the artist could not overlook drawing and above all, painting. In the work exhibited, painting and drawing both converge and relate to each other; indeed over time, drawing has become an independent technique in the history of art. It is to be remembered too that in 2006, Chicca Regalino gained experience of the levity and incisiveness of drawing, in the show entitled Sguardi su Roma, exhibiting together with another artist.
Her art finds its home on large surfaces – with vertical paintings dominating - or focuses on a small square of canvas to give rhythm and articulation to the space. Paintings, I emphasis, are accompanied by drawings, which in their autonomy, present the figurative aspect but also call it into question. The exhibition layout, almost a reflection on itself, clearly shows both this internal movement of adhesion and suspension of subtle forms of reality. In particular, it is the face of the human figure that, for some naïve reason, with its quality of physical and psychological verisimilitude, we believe to be the most similar to that of the model. For this reason, the artist - almost as a challenge - wanted the itinerary of the exhibition to open, as has been mentioned, with small-size portraits.
Naturally, the focal point of the portraits is the head and face, which reveals both the soul of the portrayed person – always anonymous - and at the same time, how the artist sees the subject. The unidentified person is depicted dislocated in an off-central position and, in some works, the artist even places part of the figure beyond the frame, which delimits the space of the painting and gives unity to part of the head, the noble part of the human figure. In other words, we can say that the depiction undergoes a decentralization and a mutilation.
From this idea, the artist's role as painter begins, by putting in a sequence the bodies imprisoned by thick signs, so as to privilege these details and prints of the human figure. Without any hierarchy, details occupy the scene of the painting, they are the making and unmaking of the texture and colour of the lines. Hands, and more precisely fingers, lie in the closest foreground and the fingers of the hand, the foot and the big toe are the fil rouge around which the painting develops. The details, celebrated and emphasized almost like totems, lose their realistic quality and mark the corruption of nature and the distance from representation and figuration.
From the details to the prints is another step that the artist takes towards a more self-assured way of painting, more detached from the given conditions of figurative and representational art. It is not, however, a procedure which offers abstraction as a solution. With lucidity, the artist works within the figurative style, yet removes any pretext of arrangement or parameter in the artwork, by disseminating the painting with details and prints.
I have referred to prints as an indication, a sign and a symptom of reality: namely, the imprint of the hand or foot - more precisely, the finger and toe – stimulates observation and intelligence to grasp reality, shadow and complexity. As the artist is well aware, the print - understood as a sign, impression and symptom - startles and surprises us in front of reality and in front of painting as a whole.