Italian art: Hitnes

May 19, 2019 285

In the ranks of Roman street artists who have recently moved from the Italian Capital city to clients all over the world, Hitnes is certainly one of the most representative and convincing expressions. Born in 1982 and active as a writer since the mid-1990s, this artist becomes over time an excellent illustrator, making his way especially in the reinterpretation of taxonomies.

Animals that are dynamized in large masonry works or blocked on old sheets printed as if they were taxonomic lists to be leafed through, all rendered with a palette of bright and total color, excluding no shade at all.

The great attention from the public is reached in 2013 when at the National Museum of Zoology Hitnes exhibits the project “Paginae naturalis - ritratti reali di animali fantastici” ("Paginae naturalis - real portraits of fantastic animals"), a long and varied journey through the rooms of the museum where are exposed embalmed animals that dialogue with their representations invented by Hitnes. Some details are omitted, replacing the chiaroscuro directly with the bottom of the page in which the animal is portrayed, perhaps the proportions are altered to the advantage of an enveloping dynamism and expressiveness that goes beyond scientific rigor and results in the impression due to patches of color that take the form of wildlife. It is as if the modern taste of a baroque zoologist had found its way into the contemporary world of the twenty-first century.

Two years later, in 2015, Hitnes takes part in the project for the redevelopment of Rome's suburban district, San Basilio; with "SanBa", the name of the project, Hitnes's work becomes monumental and an entire square overlooking six buildings with a single strip of small windows, is converted into a majestic theatrical scene with the scenery flat crowded with dynamic and mammoth animals.

"I make murals, which are large, gigantic paintings. And also for this reason they express concepts in a strong, almost violent way. For SanBA, however, the aim is not to tell something, but to create. I want to create a place, an environment, a magical place" he declares, reaching his intent after a few weeks.

Immediately after SanBA, Hitnes leaves for the United States with the project "The Image Hunter", following the traces of the studies and travels of the American ornithologist, painter and naturalist Jon James Audubon and taking inspiration from his work "The Birds of America". Hitnes travels through the same lands crossed by the ornithologist in 1830 and leaves evidence of murals in situ where the facades of the buildings become huge Audubon tables in a contemporary style.

In 2016 Hitnes works on “La Collezione Sommersa” ("The Underwater Collection") at the Etruscan Museum of Trevignano Romano, a significant change of direction where the bright colors and large sizes give way to a personal interpretation of Etruscan vases alongside the original ones. Hitnes works with the two-tone and the material of ceramics, creating once again an excellent conversation between ancient and modern, between original and revisited.

Hitnes' work is alive and involving because it starts from a human curiosity that has always been present, the curiosity for nature that surrounds us, stimulates us and fascinates us in a way that is always new and never exhausted.

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