The magic of Indian mythology and its epic tales takes people by awe and surprise all throughout the world. They are intrigued by it in a way which makes them believers and followers of the same.
Considering Indian mythology as an ontological cosmological model, Giampaolo feels that it describes human sense in a poetic manner expressible by art.
Kamala Subramaniam’s colourful version of the Mahabharata, explaining the tragic attempt of humanity to elevate themselves from lower individual consciousness to a universal spiritual liberated condition, inspired Giampaolo to create his illustrative versions of the Mahabharata.
Before illustrating characters, Giampaolo does an intense research and study about them. He combines the understandings of the characters and the scenes from the explanations of the Mahabharat, descriptions from Bhaktivedanta and Srimad Bhagavatam’s texts and also the interpretations of a sanyasi as some of the information is purely from oral traditions.
To have a better understanding of the Indian culture and mythology, he even visited India in 2011. He spent some time at the School of Drama, New Delhi where he had the opportunity to go through the texts about history of Indian costumes. He returned back to Italy with his mind impregnated with details from the past.
Hand-Art: An Exclusivity
The difference between hand-made art and digital art is extremely similar to meeting people in actuality and meeting people over social networking sites. The coming in of digital art has not washed away the other forms of art. In the past, there has been a wide variety of expressions using various techniques and these pieces of art have been more dominant than the present day art pieces, barring a few. The beauty of the hand-made art lies in the human touch it has, which is missing from the digital art. It is exclusive in the way that one can feel the surface and texture of the hand-made painting by touching it and also feel the gestures and the strokes used by the artist to create the master piece.
The Emotional Attachment With the Illustration
Choosing the scene to illustrate is an emotional process for Giampaolo. When reading the book, he reads it rationally while understanding the plot, the tales, the intricate relations and the feelings that the scene expresses. This helps him visualise the story in his mind simultaneously while reading. He illustrates the scene that moves him the most on an emotional front. For instance, the end of Bhishmadev Pitamah on the bed of arrows was something that Giampaolo did not wish to illustrate, but the emotional sentiment that the incident has, which explains the characteristic of a great warrior that Bhishma was, is what moved the artist and got him visualising this scene.
Art is Self-Rewarding
He is immensely submerged in a continuous cycle of art production to create works to be exhibited at the end of a cycle. At present, he is working around the idea of “order and chaos”, which starts from a chaotic distribution of colors, followed by carving figures of women, animals etc to re-establish the lost consciousness on known models to overcome the terror of the unknown. A big fan of Indian mythology, he is soon going to start illustrations on the epic story of Ramayana.
He believes that one always learns from their mistakes and that practice is the best teacher!