11 July 2023

With us today is Diego Santini, the artist who, thanks to his unique painting style and his touching poetry, has become the singer of the dreams of the inner child that lives in each of us

Art is always also synonymous with emotion. The positive energy you manage to convey is the real magic touch of your works. Where do you draw inspiration for your subjects? 

The creative idea often comes from an image that intrigues or fascinates me. Sometimes these images come to me out of the blue, while I am walking down the street, or while I am leafing through a magazine. Sometimes it comes from a sentence I read or hear spoken. Every creative cue can bring forth scenes where I can tell the story of my characters. Maybe we can call it inspiration but I see it more as 'stumbling upon my painting'.

Your paintings, through the representation of characters that are dreamy and ironic at the same time, are a celebration of the inner child within each of us. What is, in general, the message you want to convey to the viewer?

I often have the feeling of wanting to exorcise with my works that thread of nostalgia that always accompanies me, that holds my hand. The nostalgia that I believe unites many of us with the mere memory of the times when we were free to say and do what we wanted. That wonderful time in childhood when you were sure that your fantastic and bizarre thoughts were pure reality, the same reality that the 'grown-ups', the adults, had long since locked away in a drawer. I admit I am lucky, painting often takes me back to that dimension. I like to think that the viewer of my works is also catapulted into this world where anyone can realise their dreams, a world where even the most awkward and marginalised person finds his revenge.

Often when looking at your works, one has the impression of being confronted with real 'visual metaphors'. The subjects represented always refer to another, more intimate and reflective dimension. How much do you owe your production to the Surrealist current?

I had almost repressed the passion I had as a boy for surrealism, but especially for Salvador Dali. Discovering him was like an awakening of the senses for me. He is an artist who was able to project me into a dream - sometimes even into nightmares - but in any case always into a dimension that was never banal. Master lights and shadows, a true source of inspiration and technical mastery. Later, other contemporary artists were added to my list of sources, as well as the whole world of illustrated books, but the idea of trying to execute technically flawless paintings set in a fantasy world typical of surrealism always accompanies me.