Eat with your eyes. Interview with a food painter

I recently met a very unique painter called Lucia Bergamini who, in the maze of contemporary art, found her own style, her own painting technique and her own personal subject: food.

From a little village in the countryside of Monferrato, in northern Italy, her works conquered the whole world and are now exhibited both at art galleries, art exhibitions and several locations, around the world, mostly in the US and Asia, including, many restaurants whose owners got fascinated by Lucia’s unique interpretation of food painting.

I met her and here are the outcomes of our conversation.

Nonna Maria” – Oil on canvass – Painting by Lucia Bergamini

Hi Lucia. Your painting technique is very peculiar and makes your works look like a photograph rather than a painting. Does such technique have a name and especially why did you choose it for your own works?

My painting technique is similar to what we commonly refer to as “Hyperrealism”, however, in my case, with a “Pop” trend. It is Hyperrealism with brighter tones and with a cartoony touch. I do stylize the shapes of the objects giving them a photographic effect from afar and a cartoony impression from near. I chose this technique because I feel it is very close to my spirit; it allows me to reproduce reality with a touch of comic and irony to cheer viewer.

Riflettimi” – Oil on Canvass. Painting by Lucia Bergamini

Your recurring subject is nutrition: many of your works portray food, wine products and drinks. Why did you make such a choice? What does mainly attracts you about food?

Food has always been my passion, both for its sensorial and emotional string. The “light” is my muse, the essence of my research, and when I observe the light moving in the vortex of a red wine poured into a crystal glass, I think of nothing but how to reproduce it.

What is the most gratifying food to paint for you, and why?

Definitely red wine. I can’t resist the swirl of a wine when the light enhances its forms into a glass, turning it into a plastic matter and transforming it into a precious ruby. The prevailing colors in my works are red and orange in fact. When I have to work on a subject that is devoid of such colors, (usually for a specific order), I always beg to complete it soon to move back to one of my favorite subjects for which I can supply free reign to my chromatic range.

Sommeiller” – Oil on Canvas. Painting by Lucia Bergamini

Your paintings are always very colourful, most of the times with a white backgrounds. Did you choose food as a subject because it allows free rein to your colour range?

Yes, very often in my paintings there is a central subject on a background, which is usually white. This is because I like enhancing the shapes and the colors of a single object instead of cutting out a complete frame of everyday life, to focus all the attention of the viewer on a single theme. It also allows me to exploit a well-balanced chromatic harmony, which usually includes only a few colors, to give an immediate feeling of positivity and serenity to the viewer. This is, in a nutshell, the purpose of my art.

Perla Nera 4 - oil on Canvass by Lucia Bergamini
Perla Nera 4″ – Oil on Canvass by Lucia Bergamini

Who are your main clients? Food enthusiasts or collectors? I guess your paintings are tempting to many restaurants around the world …

Most of my customers are collectors, but several of them are fans and lovers of good Italian food, such as chefs and professionals in the sector. I am currently working on a job for a wine shop in Hong Kong that ordered 5 paintings on the topic of 5 great wines.

Do you usually exhibit your works? What is your reference market or geographic area where your works are most successful?

I cooperate with several online galleries such as Saatchi Art, Zatista, Singulart. Through these galleries and through my website I sell my paintings all over the world. The Country where my paintings are most successful is undoubtedly the United States, but I also have many clients in Europe, China and even Australia. All year  round I organize several exhibitions in Italy also. On my website you can find dates and events.

Spuntino” – Oil on Canvass. Paiting by Lucia Bergamini

Is living on painting still possible? If our readers will be interested in learning more about your work, how could they get in touch with you?

Absolutely yes, it is still possible! It obviously takes a lot of dedication and perseverance, but if you want to get any result, in any field, these ingredients are essential!
On my website  you can find my contacts, the completed and available paintings and the news. Do not miss to take a look at the events section to attend the next exhibitions and meet me in person!

Lucia Bergamini – Painter

About the artist:

Lucia Bergamini was born in 1984 in Turin, and now lives in Asti, which is the heartland of good Italian wine. Graduated at the local Art School is nowadays a full time painter. In 2013 she started exhibiting throughout northern Italy, both individually and with other artists, and noawadays cooperates with various galleries in London and the USA through which she sells ger paintings all over the world. Her latest exhibition, before the covid-19 panedmic was the 2019 Florence Biennale, where she exhibited her latest intedependent works

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