Can a painting get older, just like a man does? Just as in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, my wine-made paintings do. While making some experiments with wine as a source of colour – many others had already tried, but they never really succeeded – I realized all the difficulties of such technique: the wine density, the alcohol volatility, the limitation of the chromatic scale, the possibility of working only on small canvas.
It took a long period of research and experimental work (which also involved the Department of Chemistry of the University of Florence) but eventually I did manage to find a proper solution, one which allows the painting to last more than a few days and which provides a sufficient range of colours. I now use normal canvas, a little charcoal for the main lines and then just white and red wine – no additives or chemical components: the wine ages on the canvas just as it does inside the bottle and the painting chromatic scale goes from typically juvenile colours (purples and shiny reds) to more mature tones (orange, amber, brown). In order to avoid never-ending ageing, I have arranged a natural colour fixing system, which uses water and flour and prevents colours to fade beyond a certain limit.