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.
You can take a look at some of my wine-made paintings here.
If you are interested in what the international press says about EnoArte, take a look here.
The EnoArt project started in fall 2010 in Florence (Italy) when italian paintress Elisabetta Rogai discovered a brand new way to paint using red wine instead of colors. The result is that paintings’ colors changes on canvas after a few months, moving from typical young wine’s colors to olders.
From that moment on, mrs. Rogai painted almost 30 paintings and showed them in Italy (Tuscany, Veneto, Lombardia, Lazio) and abroad (Los Angeles and Hong Kong, in 2012), both in wine and artistic occasions. In Los Angeles she was invited as special guest in the second edition of “VivaVinoLA” (16th-23th May), a week of fair dedicated to italian wines, and she performed a live show at Italian Institute of Culture in front of the father of italian restaurants in LA, Pietro Selvaggio, who said: “I think that every hi-level restaurant should have a wine painting of Elisabetta Rogai at their walls”. In Hong Kong (21th-27th November) she was invited to exhibit at Tsim Sha Tsui Center and Empire Center 16 hers paintings. Moreover, she went in:
- Rome, for the Vogue Fashion Night Out 2012
- Sant’Elpidio, for Di Arte In Vino fair
- Desenzano sul Garda
- Florence, for the gala dinner of Great Wine Capitals network
- Verona, for Vinitaly fair (2011 and 2012), the most important wine event in Italy
Almost all Rogai’s wine made paintings are 70×100 cm (wine on canvas) and the charcoal used for first drawing is taken from burnt vines. The paintings shows portraits of young women, analyzed in their daily life and often related to wine’s suggestion.
Live performance and exhibit
In general, EnoArt project is divided in two phases:
1) The exhibition of paintings-made wine, ordered from the youngest to the “mature” to show how it evolved on the canvas wine (past colors typical of young wines to shades of aged wine)
2) A live performance by Elisabetta Rogai, who paints for half an hour with wine – both normal wine of the one of involved companies – before the eyes of an audience, filling a canvas with wine revealing the secrets of her technique and answering to public curiosity, interacting with them. Then they will have the possibility to approach the painting and smell it, noting that still smells strongly of wine.
The wine is not used in purity, directly from the bottle, but it is previously centrifuged so as to obtain a denser liquid, able to withstand time, and yet at 100% wine. By being the first to invent the technique, and having seen how the imitators multiplied, we have registered the trademark EnoArte and patented the technique. In other words, Elisabetta Rogai is the only artist to paint today in this way with wine. Live performances of mrs. Rogai are an unique marketing tool in wine’s world, and can give high visibility to any brand in a way completely out of the stereotypes.