I am Beddru, I practice the virtue of imagination by creating contemporary self-taught artwork having both beauty and content of social impact. I am a proud Italian who escaped his country to live abroad ideally far from a macho environment. I currently paint and live in my messy studio in Brussels.
What are your views on self-love and belief?
Love, for what I do and who I am, brings superior results and a well being feeling that impacts my self-esteem and motivation. It’s a magical chain. I believe in the value my Art brings in terms of broadening the perception on what we see around us. I believe in change, improvement and simplicity. I believe in fairness and in the challenge to achieve equality. I believe in my ability to imagine, create and share my work but also in the ability of people to embrace its message. I believe in risk as an opportunity to grow and in freedom of thinking artists, we still enjoy. Priceless!
How can an individual strengthen their relationship with themselves?
Well, understanding whom we really are and what we are really aimed to helps us get a better understanding of ourselves. Not an easy task but it's surely possible!
Art has helped me clarify how I function as a human being. It has allowed me to reconnect the dots with past experiences that forged me and understand the benefits I enjoy in my present time. We use references when we operate, make decisions and build the next steps in life. Those references must be carefully monitored as they might divert our focus away from what we really want. I love my family but if I had to follow their wish, I would be a surgeon today. I never looked for Art. She kidnapped me when I was still a tiny child . I put her aside for so many years until I understood she was mine and I was hers. When this became clear I stopped my former career to fully embrace the change. Today I could not imagine my life without my inks and my brushes. I have learnt to better listen to myself.
Describe your experience when you paint, do you feel in color?
Painting is a sort of bubble, my bubble. I isolate and make myself purposely unreachable. It’s a ritual I enjoy alone, a space I allow nobody to penetrate. It’s private. It’s just an affair with my inks and my Plexiglas panels.
My studio’s windows are high and double-glassed to let the light in and avoid urban noise. Music follows my mood of the day. I like electro-pop but it depends entirely on my mood so it can be classical as well. I first mentally visualize what I will paint before the figure itself gets sketched. It can happen anytime.
There was this one time I saw my painting in its final stage while looking outside the window on a flight from Sicily to Brussels.. and I hadn’t even sketched it yet. Inspiration’s effects are like a drug. They are temporary so I know I have to enjoy them all when it happens. I stop everything to create. It sometimes enlightens me at night.
By now my partner has learned not to worry about me sneaking out of our bed in the middle of the night. He knows why. I feel the colors, my yellows, purples, oranges and browns. I am an ink-addict. I don’t use any protection while painting. I like inks to penetrate my skin. It’s part of the ritual. If I could I would drink them all. I love observing how they blend. It’s magic and uncontrollable so I need to act fast when I paint. I start coloring my sketches only if I have already visualized the palette I would use. A painting, acquired by a collector in London, got sketched immediately after a trip to the US. It stayed blank for more than a year. I could not decide on the colors. One day while shopping in a supermarket everything became suddenly clear. So I got back home and finished it in a week time.
What can a person learn from the unknown?
Nothing and everything. It depends on us if we perceive the unknown as a threat or as a source of knowledge. In the first case the result may be xenophobia, homophobia, eventual maximization of ignorance. In the second case an opportunity of self-empowerment in terms of flexibility, tolerance and respect. I personally embrace "the new”, “the different”. I give it a chance to enlarge the range of my knowledge, experience and interest, opposite to a certain distorted familiar security. If we stopped just at what we know, there would be no change, no improvement, and no evolution. I can’t think of such a boring option. Moreover, the unknown is what we do not expect. Let’s say I die tomorrow. What about all the beautiful projects I still want to complete? Well, embracing the unknown means to me optimizing my present time, creating as much art I can, dedicating my attention to people I love, avoiding to postpone activities I am interested in such as traveling and visiting new countries or attending exhibitions of artists I value. This is basically my strength. I am constantly on the move. I love traveling, also because I don’t know whom I will meet. The other day I just sat on my flight from Dubai to Brussels and I noticed paint-spots on the trousers of the person standing in front of me. I asked him: “Are you a painter?” and I got connected to a super nice artist operating in Los Angeles, Gregory Siff.
How can art empower someone?
Art makes us travel time, history and space. It makes us penetrate the thoughts and hidden emotional corners of humankind. It’s a filter between the artist’s eyes and the reality he/she has around. This reality takes new shapes, new colors, and new definitions up to the point it might even become fictive and/or parallel to the one we live in. In my case, Art has made me discover my true self. It’s a manual that explains step by steps how and why I function. I am a self-taught artist and as it may sound weird, I feel blessed for not having an academic artistic background. I tried last year to attend a workshop in one of the best Art schools in Brussels but it became clear already on day 1 that this was not my cup of tea. Being guided on what I should and should not mix, I can and I cannot do, is a NO GO for me personally.
Art is the realm of freedom so academic rules on the way I should paint are just a turn-off mechanism for my creativity. Don’t get me wrong, studying art is important and I have been investing years and years in it. If you enter the space where I live and paint you would find art books everywhere. I like approaching it on my own mainly observing and admiring in person the masterpieces of the great masters. I travel a lot and usually my trips are planned based on exhibitions I want to attend.
Art is an empowerment source for both the artist expressing his/her identity and the beholder who eventually faces new ways to look at the world. All emotions from joy to pain deserve to be represented, as they are all human. I paint subjects linked to social phenomena spanning from rejection to narcissism to make people reflect and ideally broaden their perception. Prostitutes, homosexuals, dreamers, outsiders, have been part of my investigation. At this stage, I am focusing on a new body of work about bearded male portraits reflecting the evolution of masculinity in modern times and the weight our image has in the illusive trip to perfection. I abandoned the canvas as a support 4 years ago. Since then I have been painting on thick Plexiglas panels, support that seduces me for both its transparency and solidity. The challenge was finding a way to make colors stick to it. It took me six months to figure it out, but what counts is that I have eventually succeeded and this has empowered my technical knowledge. Being different or “non-traditional”, it is not just good. It is a necessity to feed the life cycle of contemporary art and make it embrace a new stage of its evolution.