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Gianni Testa

Gianni Testa

I was born in Rome on the 23rd of October 1936, and I still live and work there, in the old town centre, in a house in the vicinity of the famous and celebrated Trevi Fountain. As soon as I finished high school, I enrolled in the courses of architecture at the Università La Sapienza in Rome and, although I passed my first biennium with flying colours, I decided to leave the university to devote myself completely to the passionate flame of painting, which was burning in me from strength to strength. After attending the restoration courses at the Galleria Borghese, under the guide of Professoressa Della Pergola, I have studied and broadened my knowledge of the techniques used by different artists in different art periods, to represent through the depiction of reality those feelings and emotions that fascinated me more than a little, so much that I dedicated myself almost totally to restoration for ten more years, experience from which I emerged deeply motivated for my new expressive needs. I was already mature when I finished studying also this technique to devote myself to the study of sculpture under the auspices of Maestro Bartolini. In those days I met and spend time with artists with whom I became friends, as Quaglia, Levi, Guttuso, Calabria and later on Pericle Fazzini. And it was Levi who saw an authentic talent in my first works, thanks to which you could tell the artist from the painter, and who urged me in 1962 to take part in a collective exhibition with Quaglia, Guttuso, Mazzacurati and Domenico Purificato. The interest with which the national critics welcomed my first paintings, as well as my sculptures, encouraged me to continue with stubborn tenacity along this path, which over the years would turn out to be full of sacrifices and hardships but also of achievements and targets exceeded. Many are indeed the awards I was given so far, the collective exhibitions I have taken part in, starting from the Biennale Romana (since 1968), to the Triennale di Milano and the Quadriennale di Roma (since 1975), to name a few, and just as many are the national competitions I won. Starting from the first prize at the "Brandy Italiano" as far back as 1970, up to the more recent Premio alla Carriera (carreer achievement award) which I received from the art critic Professor Vittorio Sgarbi. There have been many exhibitions in the recent years, in Italy and abroad in Germany, Basel, New York, Philadelphia. My last effort has been my anthologic exhibition at the Vittoriano in Rome in sept-oct. 2014. About my art, it is said that the painting of Gianni Testa is universally known for its “horses”. If one thinks about Gianni Testa one immediately thinks about “the painter of horses”. But his art goes way beyond this stereotype and is characterized by a very bright chromatism and by ethereal and swirling figures, which refer to pictorial genres ranging from Realism to Impressionism. It is particularly important to be noted his ability to abstract the forms from the formless mass of the brush strokes, almost bringing out the material from the primordial chaos.