He is one of the Italian internationally recognized artist of his generation, known for using different kind of materials and media like animation, drawing, video, sculpture and installation. Paolo Canevari presents highly recognizable or even commonplace symbols in order to comment on such concept as religion, the urban myths of happiness or the major principles behind creation and destruction.
Starting as a sculptor the artist treats the rest of his work also as a drive to turn the passive state of mind into an energetic, creative act. His adoption of the medium of video is associated also with his desire to make images which are ephemeral yet visually striking. His recent video works can be seen as a form of ephemeral sculpture which rejects the rhetoric about eternal monuments.
From 2011 Paolo Canevari begins the “Monuments of the Memory” series; a research based upon the traditional mediums of painting, sculpture and drawing. Working on the declination of techniques and languages the artist examines the concept of absence, personal aspects, intime and interior in relationship to the work of art and its universal meaning. Even if investigating in a recognizable artistic and cultural patrimony of forms and dimensions, the artist brings the attention on the absence, on the power of individual imagination, on the concept of identity, disconnected from the rampant need of a social recognition and lastly upon the necessity to construct a one’s own iconography, not conditioned by the continuous visual incitements of the consumerism.
As he underlines in one of his statement: “I believe that the most important inspiration for an artist’s work is people’s way of thinking. Spirituality, as part of the human condition, brings with it a presence, a meaning, a symbol, a soul. I utilize icons in my work as a way of connecting with this fundamental truth. A tire, a skull or a bomb are recognizable images and part of our universal knowledge, just as much as a sacred image, or a image of a dog. What I do is use these icons in a new context, or structure, that places their meaning in jeopardy”.