A nameless painting and a story of new beginnings
Antonio Pedrazzi was a family man, a husband, a father of four. After studying at Bologna University to become an agronomist, he worked as an insurance executive. Life, as you know, has a way of taking you places you never planned to go. After his wife died, he decided to become an artist. Antonio was serious about it, he wanted to be formally trained and learn how to paint. So he turned up at the local Accademia and convinced the professors to allow him to attend their classes. He was 82.
The curved lines of this mysterious woman in black are framed by geometrical shapes that create an intriguing perspective. It's a picture of visual contrasts that emanates a definite tension and evokes both calmness and anxiety. The red stain could be blood, but also a different take on the woman's shadow. I'm thinking Antonio was definitely inspired by the Italian Magic Realists. The uncanniness of everyday life, the unusual perspective, the distortion of space, the sense of alienation. It's all there.
When Antonio died at the age of 96, he left behind countless sketches, drawings and paintings. Apparently, he tried really hard to have his work shown at an art gallery but, except for a small group exhibition with other students of the Accademia in 2006, no one gave him a chance. So here you go, Antonio, I hope my small international audience likes your painting as much as I do. And I hope that your story inspires someone to get out there and learn something new, something that challenges them and gives them joy.
Antonio Pedrazzi (1922 - 2019)
Untitled, year unknown
Private collection, Bologna