Ricardo Cinalli: Interview for La Tundra magazine: London’s magazine in Spanish


Ricardo Cinalli: Interview for La Tundra magazine: London’s magazine in Spanish

Ricardo Cinalli: Interview for La Tundra magazine: London’s magazine in Spanish

By Sandra Conte (Argentina)
Contemporary Art Historian
Lives and works in London

The full interview, translated into English, can be read below:

Ricardo Cinalli
A world full of coincidences

After finishing his solo show ‘A Ravishing Muse: An Irreverent Homage to Picasso’ at jaggedart, the eclectic Marylebone-based gallery, Ricardo Cinalli reveals both his personal motives and the diverse crossroads that gave birth to this unusual project.

It is a gloomy Sunday morning in October and, along many drowsy-looking tourists and market-hungry visitors, the streets of London’s Spitafields open the path to Ricardo Cinalli’s studio-flat.

With a big autumn smile and a phone in his hand, Ricardo Cinalli welcomes us to his house that dates back to the 1600’s. The artist moved to London in 1973 and since then has built a long career in the art world - not only with many exhibitions across France, Brazil, Argentina and Italy, but also working on different artistic media including murals, set designs and of course, paintings.

The importance of this get-together lies not only in our wish to interview this exceptionally talented artist, but also in our desire to explore the reasons for this show, which we failed to decipher.

Cinalli focuses on the main features of ‘A Ravishing Muse: An Irreverent Homage to Picasso’, revealing the why’s of this original piece of work.

“To my own knowledge, I have never heard of a show that has reproduced Picasso’s works before. Perhaps this fact is linked to the challenge of possessing enough technical skills to face a monster such as this Spanish Master.”
After reaching Picasso’s core, “I have recreated other elements such as the frames. These are all bespoke designs made for each individual painting, which matches both the colours and the final installation.”, the artist indicates.

Cinalli confirms that “this is the main source of interest. It’s not a show of Picassos; this is not what interests me. It is not a copy of his paintings.”

It might be worth noting that the ‘copies’ have different dimensions than the originals. “This is based on the pure joy of doing something out of my normal practice. I usually create and exhibit my own work. But on this occasion, various spontaneous incidents gave form to this installation.”

With the same intensity that his works transmit, Cinalli describes enthusiastically the journey to this tribute to Picasso. The common denominator was the intervention of friends - including Andrea Harari, the gallerist.

“Andrea visited me at my studio, and when she saw one of Picasso’s paintings, which I did long time ago, she asked ‘Why don’t we do a show of Picasso? ‘”

Around that time, Cinalli was travelling to Venice with a friend, who was promoting a book he just recently published.
“Whilst my friend was negotiating in an old Venetian library, I started to look around the library. This was when I ended up with an old catalogue of Picasso’s ‘Women Busts’ in my hands. I opened the book and I realised that I never saw one of the paintings before. It was the portrait of an Algerian woman, which I found fascinating and I also ended up painting for this show.”
The catalogue was priced 40 Euros, and with the help of his friend, they manged to negotiate it down and eventually purchase it.

At another occasion, a friend offered Cinalli her old frames she was about to throw out.

Ultimately, Cinalli agreed that these were too many coincidences to ignore. He started to develop the concept of his installation.

“This show was the sum of various situations. It could never have happened otherwise. However, magic and this world full of coincidences didn’t just stop there…”, he reflects.
Still in astonishment, he recalls when a friend told him just a week and a half before the gallery show about National Portrait’s Gallery’s current big show on Picasso’s Portraits.

“Everything had its own reasons.”, he reconfirms.

Finally, there is one more fact that is equally anecdotal. Cinalli takes us twenty years back in time:
“In 1987, I participated at the show ‘ViVa Picasso’, with the work ‘Woman dressing her hair’. This was an important painting that, as many other works by Picasso, alludes to the Nazi regime and had been confiscated. As for my own work, it ended up in my storage in Kent. Twenty years later, I recovered it for this show.”

Cinalli raises again in surprise, when we tell him that the original work by Picasso was recovered this very same year in January 2016 in Turkey after it had been stolen from a New York collection. Nobody doubts its authenticity, though.

Before telling us about his next career steps, Cinalli continues: “Whether someone likes my works or even wants to acquire them, the main idea is to offer a fresh reinterpretation, which is far more than being just a bare copy of the original.”

Picasso’s homage doesn’t conclude with the end of the show, though. Cinalli plans to develop a small catalogue with the displayed works, the whole installation and the never-ending anecdotes.

Cinalli also tells us that he also has another project with Andrea Harari and other galleries, involving some acrylic houses and other commissions.
“What excites me most is the opportunity to do a show in La Habana, Cuba, with some pastel works on tissue paper”, he concludes.

Let’s just agree that enthusiasm and amusement seem to be key.