• Faiq Imran

Silvana Chiozza – Light Defines and Is Defined

Would wind exist if there was nothing to oppose it?


Circo Massimo, 2017 - Mixed Technique on Canvas, 100 x 110 cm © Silvana Chiozza


It would even if there is no articulation of the phenomenon for us to readily perceive its presence. One might ponder if light could exist should it have nothing to fall upon. The answer may appear relatively simpler even though the premise is very much the same. And, the major concern is quite similar as well. Light without having anything to fall upon, like the wind without any opposition, would be formless. Noise is merely noise until it is given a form; a design that transforms the contraction and expansion of air into a feverous spirit called music. Language is very much the same. Man often perceives reality as he chooses to articulate it. After all, does a thought exist if it isn’t articulated?


Santa Maddalena, 2018 - Mixed Technique on Canvas, 110 x 75 cm © Silvana Chiozza


The dynamic of content and form has been an age-old discourse relegated to the theoreticians and academics of art. Some engender the argument that one precedes the other, if only in subjective taste. One cannot precede the other in existence simply because existence is formulated by their interaction. By that postulation, both of them are precursors to as well as elemental aspects of reality.


When Silvana Chiozza moved from Argentina to Italy in 1988, she noticed how the light in Italy was different from that in Argentina, “When I was a child, I came to Italy every year during the holidays with my family. I became a landscape painter because of the influence of Italian beauty. I am fascinated by the particular Italian light; it is very different from Argentinian light. It took me a lot of years to catch that atmosphere and incorporate it in my paintings.”


Flowers, 2015 - Mixed Technique on Hardboard, 70 x 70 cm © Silvana Chiozza


Light itself had not changed, yet by its formulation through the Italian landscape, it had taken on a different persona. Whatever opposes the wind is also what defines it. Whatever opposes light, creates it.


Brought up in Buenos Aires, Silvana had a predilection for art and architecture from early childhood. Her grandfather, a painter, instilled the love of painting in her. She recalls going to museums at a very young age and falling in love with the works of Rembrandt and Mondrian. On the wish of her father, she studied to become a medical doctor. After her grandfather died, she reverted to her original muse. She came to Italy in 1988 and some years later, abandoned her medical practice altogether to focus on art. She had her first exhibition in Rome in 1998. She has had numerous exhibitions since, significant recent ones being at Palazzo Borromini, Roma in 2017, Banco Ciudad, Buenos Aires in 2018, Italian Embassy, Tokyo in 2019, and Art Fair Tokyo Satellites, Tokyo in 2020.


Untitled, 2019 - Mixed Technique on Canvas, 65 x 75 cm © Silvana Chiozza


After having created figurative paintings for the longest time, she eventually delved into abstraction, “But if you see my recent paintings, it comes back again to that same atmosphere. All my paintings are mainly about light and its abstractions.” Bridging the dimensions of figuration and abstraction, she is the epitome of the famous Picasso quote:


“Neither is there figurative or non-figurative art. All things appear to us in the shape of forms. Even in metaphysics ideas are expressed by forms. Well then, think how absurd it would be to think of painting without the imagery of forms. A figure, an object, a circle, are forms; they affect us more or less intensely.”

– Pablo Picasso


Storm, 2020 - Mixed Technique on Canvas, 50 x 40 cm © Silvana Chiozza


Her technique has witnessed quite a few changes over the years. In the beginning, she worked exclusively with oil. But, as she started tackling work of a more abstract nature, she started to experiment with mixed media, using different substances like pigments, acrylics, coffee, and sand. She has recently started using a spatula instead of a brush. Talking about her influences, she mentions Giorgio Morandi, Camille Corot, Miguel Diomed, Felice Casorati, and Manolo Valdes. As for abstract artists, she is a fan of Mark Rothko, Alberto Burri, and Mark Tobey.


Outside of paintings, she has a keen interest in graphic design and has even designed book covers and magazine layouts. She has also made silk scarfs which she reproduced in some of her paintings, has recently worked with lamps and furniture, and is currently working on her first sculpture.


You can visit her website http://www.silvanachiozza.com for more information.