top of page

ULRIKE BELLONI

Born in 1988 and working between Santa Maria di Leuca and Milan, Ulrike Belloni was introduced to the art of ancient painting in the studios of Charles H. Cecil in Florence. During these four years of apprenticeship, she trained in the sight-size technique, a process applied to the art of portraiture, developed by John Singer Sargent in the 19th century.  

 

Drawing its sources in the 17th century, in the work of Velázquez, van Dyck, and in the previous century in Titian, the sight-size technique is a method of pictorial representation from nature, in natural light and to scale, which aims to sharpen the eye, teach it to look. As if to gain momentum, when working, Ulrike Belloni positions herself, brushes in hand, far behind her canvas and her model placed side by side. This distance actually allows her to perceive the whole model-canvas and to understand where to apply her touch. Once the paint is affixed to the pictorial surface, she immediately steps back, analyses her brushstroke and determines her next movement. From the wall to the painting, her portraits take shape to the rhythm of her steps, to the rhythm of this well-regulated ballet, this dance of seduction which aims to capture the essence of her model.  

Alongside her work as a portrait painter, Ulrike Belloni is developing a contemporary practice revisiting the art of 17th century still life through a set of unusual supports and artisanal framing. Out of canvas and without model during confinement, Belloni did not stop painting, she renewed her practice focusing on fruits and vegetables painted on what she had at her disposal, namely cardboard shopping bags. Not without humour, the artist then represents contemporary vanities where the content is represented on the container. Belloni dresses her new models as she did for her portraits: oriental drapes and rugs have replaced frilly dresses, Delft vases and ceramics, pearls and jewellery. Lemons, Peruvian cockerels and apples, perishable like the disposable bags on which they are represented, accentuate the reflection on still life on the passage of time and its ravages. If the ordinary and utilitarian medium contrasts with the nobility of the genre, the coloured frames contrast with the pictorial style creating singular works in constant back and forth between the 17th century and the 21st century.

 

Ulrike Belloni's work was exhibited in 2020 at the Mall Galleries in London on the occasion of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition and in 2021 at the 15th Art Renewal Center (ARC) fair in Port Reading in the New Jersey. This year, one of his works joined the permanent collection of the New Salem Museum in Massachusetts.

bottom of page