An Interview With Stefano Barbaresco



Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Sepino on the stunning Matese mountains in the south-central area of Italian Apennines, a small town and unfortunately unknown to most, but with an extraordinary historical, archaeological and cultural heritage. In fact, in addition to the present settlement, nearby there are the splendid archaeological remains of the roman city, and the settlement of samnite era.

My pictorial and musical experiential paths intertwined themselves ever since I started to play the guitar.
Music for me is a natural aptitude, since I was a child I was fascinated by each instrument that could somehow make a sound, and when I had my first classical guitar I have not stopped. With painting I have a very different relationship, my first true experience with painting begins at art school, where in addition to run my first poultices, I started studying the painting of the “masters” through the execution of several art copies, activities that I among other things, continued for several years. My personal pictorial research is something recent, I am still processing the meaning it has for me, and I think I can define it almost ready to exit from the embryonic state, although already it fills me with satisfaction.

No Visible way
No Visible Way

You seem to be a multi talented person being a musician, composer and painter. What is it you like about each different industry?

Meanwhile, I thank you! about the music, I simply cannot help it. During the painting process sometimes occurs an alternation of meditative and frantic phases, but both characterized by something that I would call “timeless joy”, an almost mystical experience I would say, Although this does not always happen, unfortunately, I might add.

Which was your first passion music or art?

Undoubtedly the music, although I have always loved drawing, my first encounter with a guitar has been blazing.

Your paintings seem to be quite abstract but at the same time a bit cubist in how
you apply the paint, with square and rectangular shapes. Was the abstract and cubist movement an influence in your work?

Yes, not the first time I hear this observation.
Cubism in truth did not have a great influence on my journey, at least on a conscious level. The abstract instead plays a fundamental role in my current research, starting from Kandinsky to extraordinary and often almost unknown contemporary artists from whom I got a lot of inspiration. So, I think that geometric themes of my current technique are actually more related to the search of three-dimensional and depth than to the “fourth dimension” dear to Cubism.
The “cubist synthesis” moreover, in many of its phases, was always very careful to approach an examination of the reality very rational, analytical and almost “scientific”. The inner and almost spiritual dimension is of crucial importance to me instead, and therefore also reflected (I hope) in my painting.


Are there any other artists or movements that influence your work?

I love the “Street Art”, and I think it’s really interesting the return to a certain type of figurative.

How would you describe your style?

Ahhh…I really don’t know!!
given my love for progressive rock, I would say “progressive abstract”!! I’m kidding … but maybe not!

Are there any themes or emotions you hope the viewer sees when looking at your work?

I believe that great art always should, in addition to analyzing the “zeitgeist”, expose the paradoxes and hypocrisies of contemporaneity, favoring thereby least a few reflections, if not, a real evolution in collective thinking. I would not mind at all being able even only to get close to those aims, without sacrificing pure aesthetics and style research.

The Roots of Coincidence
The Roots of Coincidence

How would you say your style is different from others?

I feel still far from achieving a completely distinctive style

Your earlier works are more traditional including landscapes and figures, what made you change direction?

Although important, for me it was a phase of study, at one point the reproduction becomes an end in itself and limiting.
However, I plan to return to a personal figurative style mixing it with my other contemporary interest namely the sacred geometry.

Are you working on anything currently?

Yes! the return to figurative I mentioned above, various geometric and chromatic studies, and my main strand, in which the main goal for now is to detach myself from some particularities of my personal technique, sometimes bind itself too much to his own “manner” can be a further drag on growth.

Are you academically taught or self taught?

I graduated from art school, and I would have liked to attend the Academy of Fine Arts, but in the end I opted for a specialization in music, graduating at the “Percentomusica” in Rome.

Extrapolation - 100x70

As you are a musician and not only artist, tell us more about your music career. I see you was part of a blues band called the ‘Jelly Roll Band’. How did your band form?

back in my hometown, I answered a call, and for me it was almost natural to start a partnership in a band playing a genre to me so much kindred.

‘Jelly Roll Band on Stage’

How did your band come up with its name?

in fact, the band has just transformed itself. Our new name is “Tintilia Boom Boom” where instead of the most common “tequila” there is the name of a very fine wine from Molise, our region…

How much has the blues music influenced you?

Well, about the blues I think is necessary a premise, in my conception blues is not just a musical genre, its importance goes far beyond being the progenitor, directly or indirectly, of so many kinds of music of the last century, is a matter which is directly related to musical language and its potential. I try to explain better, from a structural point of view, the blues is very simple, it is a cyclical form of music in twelve bars characterized by progressions of seventh chords but in this simple case the expressive potential of the soloist are endless, this happens in many other musical contexts, of course, but precisely the simplicity of the basic harmony of the blues makes it almost mandatory to focus on expressive potentialities of their own instrument, rather than on solutions of harmonic or melodic nature that have more to do with genres in which the compositional complexity is on a quite different level, I think about jazz and beyond. I believe that the blues in this sense transcends itself compenetrating potentially every other musical genre.
So, to answer your question, the influence of the blues on me, as a musician, is precisely linked to theme of language

Who are your favorite blues artists and why?

in addition to many great blues guitarists, I think to Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, but also harmonica player like Sonny Boy Williamson and Junior Wells to name a few. I gladly quote also an Italian artist who I admire very much Fabio Treves. A strong influence on me was definitely exerted by musicians who not belonging strictly to pure blues, but, that by it have drawn and much, but in general they have added important chapters in the history of modern guitar among the many Jeff Beck and David Gilmour.
other musicians to me fundamental are (we stay in the guitaristic coveted) Scott Henderson and Pat Metheny.

Have you always like blues music?

Yes, even though I started to delve it a little later than other genres that I love such as progressive rock, jazz-rock, fusion and bossa nova. let’s say is a continuous rediscovery

What are you doing musically now, as your band broke up in 2008?

The band still exists although it has changed some members and name and we are happily in assets.
Furthermore I’m trying to put on another project far more post-rock than blues.
Teaching, to which I devote part of my time and finally there’s my solo project for only guitars, a fairly ambitious project that I hope to complete before the next ice age

When did you start composing music?

Guitar Composition “Inteciòn”

At the age of fifteen more or less. “Psychedelic Soup” was my first experience with a band that sought to go beyond the cover or tribute bands style.
from the compositional point of view and not only very exciting

Do you write your own music?

I typically compose directly on the instrument, it can happen that I need to write it on the stave later for other reasons, but never during the act of composition.

Do you have any upcoming gigs or exhibitions?
If so where and details of venues other artists.

I finished last month my first solo exhibition at the gallery Freedom of Piacenza 6, and I cannot wait to repeat the experience elsewhere!

Where can people find you on the internet?

I hope to soon put online my personal website.
At the moment I am on the site

Toltec Spring.jpg
Toltec Spring

Author: Helen Ingram

Self Published author, artist, interviewer and owner of New Art United