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Ettore Tripodi: Modern Interpretation of Medieval Art

Childhood Obsession

Born in Italy in 1985, Ettore Tripodi is a 33-year-old artist, whose paintings shock and challenge every observer upon a first encounter. From a very young age, he accompanied his father, who is also a painter, to his atelier, and spent hours there drawing and painting, which is something he came to do very frequently, often drawing in school instead of taking notes.

medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
"Storie 3" by Ettore Tripodi, gouache on wood, 2016

Ettore Tripodi has a very particular style. As the artist says himself, his recent works, the strokes, and techniques he is currently using has changed very little over the time, and continue to resemble Ettore’s childhood drawings. However, there are two things that stand out in his work, which is also what generates an instantaneous connection in the mind of the spectator. The first is that his color palette automatically recalls the medieval graphic pieces, earth tones with details in primary colors. The second one is what unifies this medieval sensation is the composition that Ettore uses: square format, focusing on the subjects portrayed, and making an aberrated use of perspective by crushing the subjects against the background and placing them in physically active positions.

medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi

Eros and Thanatos

The animal instincts of man such as pleasure and suffering (The Freudian Eros and Thanatos) tend to be a constant in Ettore’s work. Sometimes it is subtly presented, even out of the picture through a speech complemented by the viewer, but in most of his paintings, these two drives are explicitly shown, even mimicking human figures with animals showing their deepest passions and animal roots.

medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
"Storie 7" by Ettore Tripodi, gouache on wood, 2016

There is a clearly archetypal and mythological content in each of Ettore’s works, either as an everyday activity in reality or as an evocation of the world of dreams and nightmares. In addition to this, Ettore Tripodi’s work transmits a slightly voyeuristic sensation, because of the composition and size of his artworks. Observing his paintings can feel as though we are watching a unique moment in the life of these characters without interrupting them, from a privileged and recondite point of view.

"Storie 11" by Ettore Tripodi, gouache on wood, 2016

Although, as Ettore often finds himself passionate about a particular technique, an author, or a subject, there is a narrative and aesthetic line that is fully characteristic to his art – a medieval imagery, which gives an almost naive purity to all his work.

In addition to his individual work, Ettore Tripodi is part of the “Mammafotogramma” design studio that offers different types of creations in terms of design, architecture, video and new technologies and is based in Milan, Italy.

All images courtesy of Ettore Tripodi.

You can view more work by Ettore on his website.

Article written by Anamaria Aguirre Chourio

medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi
medieval gouache paintings by italian artist ettore tripodi

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