After crossing the Sahara from North to South, walking for hours and spending days Jean-Marc Dallanegra had a sudden and intense sensation of the energy of the Earth. It was at this very moment that he wanted to resonate what appeared to be empty; a journey from one place to another –where the road, the ground and the sky draw the point of destination where everything conjoins at the horizon to become reality, as he says: “what pleases me most is the existence of infinity.” Dar Al Funoon hosted Dallanegra’s work for the first time in Kuwait, and we had this special one-on-one with the artist.
What do you have to share with our readers about your artistic journey?
I share what needs to be shared, I like to expose my works and myself to the public and then it’s up to others to choose what calls them and whichever paintings they like.
What is your painting technique?
It’s a classic oil technique in a rather figurative sense. Some of my canvases are totally white worked precisely with some reliefs, and darker canvases achieved in the same way, allowing me to hang light and create another painting within a painting.
We noticed your love for roads, as if you are reflecting what the driver sees behind the wheel. What do you have to tell us about it?
I work with themes related to immensity and infinity – the sky and the roads – when driving a car. You see a point of infinity that never gets closer since it is on a painting and it cannot move, but with the impression that this point of the infinite arrives. I create a hypnotic point to be able to clear our reflections of everything. I work this way because I love to drive and I said to myself it is a place I would like to paint. It is a place where I am not distracted and am able to continue to think. So I took care to paint these places which are normally empty, it is just a trip and nothing happens since for the driver it is the usually only about the idea of arriving at the place of destination. But for me what was between the starting point and the arrival was just as important. I show them through the reliefs, so it’s all these impressions of buildings and things that are on the side of the road that one sees from the corner of the eye.
Who were the artists of inspiration for you?
Caravaggio, an Italian painter from the Renaissance, because he had a sense of reality. I speak of the reality of moments, non-historical facts. This artist played an important role in filling historical moments with simple moments, I would say giving an allegory to simple things.
Do you refer your art to different artistic and cultural forms?
I am in the tradition of the perspective.
Do you have any color preferences?
No, I do not have a preference for particular colors because the colors are here to harmonize what is around. But I like white; it helps me work on the reliefs, and it gives the impression that the painting can be shut down when no one is looking at it, and exists only when one looks at it.
Which painting holds a special place for you?
I like my perspectives. I have several at home. It’s like an escape for me especially with the big skies with large movements.
What made you decide on the title of this Exhibition “The Existence of Infinity?”
The existence of infinity in relation to our longing to be transported elsewhere through our desires and hopes. It starts with wanting to grab something, but what is more exciting is the desire to catch it rather than actually doing it.