between a coffee and an anecdote of his Parisian years, we spent hours talking about painting. These are my references, men who made art their reason for living".

The most beautiful and the most difficult thing of painting ?
"When you stand in front of a white canvas, in your mind it already exists that painting that only has to come out. But sometimes the hand takes other directions and what slowly comes to life before your eyes is different. Than I follow that moment, I go along with it and see what comes out. Sometimes the result is superior than the initial idea, and there lies the pure joy, the most intimate joy, the one so difficult to describe, the most satisfying. The difficult thing perhaps, as the old painters said, is understanding when to stop".

Come nasce il rapporto con Nicola Luisotti?
"Nicola is a friend as wells as a great artist. We only met a few years ago in Paris, in that occasion he was leading the 'Tosca' at the Opera, and since then we are tied by affection and esteem. I listen to his anecdotes related to his world, music. He does the same with me when we visit museums or art exhibitions, like last year in New York when in occasion of his leading of 'La Fanciulla del West' by Puccini, I spent with my partner Pinuccia, ten spectacular days with him and Rita, his wife. Exhibitions, concerts, museums... I believe it is called elective affinity! Then, he is a terrible partner at playing cards, but this is another story".

Art and music. The bound is to some extent spontaneous; how does this new experience of yours work?
It was this very 'musical' acquaintance to push me to realising my last works on scores almost exclusively of Puccini. They are very special mixed media, realised on manuscript scores of the Twenties by musicians that were playing operas by the Maestro from Lucca. They can be seen in Montecatini at Terme del Tettuccio, in a space managed by Galleria Turelli, or in my studio at Forte in Via Mazzini, naturally.



Art, music for the eyes
The painting by Domenico Monteforte meets Puccini

by Umberto Guidi

Listening to a colour, seeing music. This is the magic of synesthesia, a process in the centre of the most recent artistic production of Domenico Monteforte, painter of Forte dei Marmi by the unmistakable signs and chromatics. Domenico takes old scores of Puccini's music of the early Twentieth century, he pastes them on cardboards to then free his creative fantasy. The results are singular pictorial-musical fusions of remarkable fascination. The idea came - he explaines - after the encounter with the Versilian Nicola Luisotti, Music Director of the San Francisco Opera that the New York Times defined "an Italian prodigy". A friendship was born, the will to approach Puccini's music.
Suspended between an original figurative framework and the informal, Monteforte's painting makes use of an extremely personal palette and it is crossed by a fullness and a radiance that - it has been observed - recall the Tuscan landscape. Sunflowers, plants, but also the expanse of the sea, sometimes big for the storm, sometimes caressed by a light breeze. Domenico Monteforte has made his own the lesson of the past, but he is not afraid of experimenting with new and different techniques. Like his "musical paintings" demonstrate.

Why do you paint? How did you start ?
"They often ask me this question, now I paint, earlier I drew, before then I scribbled papers on papers, all along. For my mother it was easy to keep me calm, some coloured pencils, some papers and you could forget about me... In high school I 'discovered' drawing, thanks to Ernesto Altamura, a great artist who mainly uses coloured pencils and strokes of eraser, but who has a pictorial strength, despite not using almost at all the paintbrush, that others dream. He taught me a lot regarding drawing. Then came the years of the Accademia, the years of the dreams, of the projects, of the thousand fears of getting nowhere with that... But life takes form before our eyes, day by day without us even noticing. Thus, the first collective shows, the first solo show in Florence and it all started".

Quali sono le tue fonti di ispirazione, i tuoi riferimenti artistici?
"Saying that I am inspired by nature is banal, but in the end it is true. Emotion moves my life, it always has and when I work it does too. Sometimes it is a limit, I recognise it, but this is my nature, and I cannot do anything about it. In front of a field of sunflowers or wheat I always remain speechless. I could spend hours in silence listening to the wind blowing through the branches of an olive tree, ravished by the greens of the leaves that change at every blast. My artistic references have been Carlo Mattioli, Ennio Morlotti and the painting by Renato Birolli,since the years of the Accademia, and then the Italian painting of the Fifties, the ferment that through our whole peninsula, has seen tens of painters, of artists emerge: new styles, themes, first class art movements! They left a lot to whom, like me, has come after them. Today we can only dream of that ferment, today it is just business. Just look around, in the art fairs, they take a young artist, the younger the better, and in a few months they make catalogues, shows, articles. After a year or two he does not exist anymore, you pass on to another one after having milked him well. And every time the critic or the art dealer of the day 'sell' him to you like the new Basquiat! And the following year it will be another one's turn, and so on. I had a friend who passed away a few months ago, Arturo Puliti, he used to come to my studio every day and between a




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