Anyone can imitate art – but it takes a genius to create art never seen before in the world. Beniamino Ciancia refuses to call himself a genius, but the influence of his works and technique has held the Italian artistic community in awe for many years. Now, the artist is moving up in the ranks of the international art world.
Born in the small town of Chivasso in Turin, Italy on 23 June 1974, Beniamino Ciancia’s artistic talents and passion were apparent ever since he was a child. While still in pre-school, he used to try to paint portraits of his classmates. One of his fondest memories, he confesses, was painting on the floor of his cellar with chalk, alongside his grandfather (who was a creative expert in his own right).
Growing up on the outskirts of Turin, Ciancia lived mostly a blissful life – but this changed when tragedy struck, and his only brother untimely passed away at just the age of 13. After this, Ciancia decided to attend the Liceo Artistico – a secondary school in Italy that focused on the arts.
Beniamino Ciancia graduated as a professional construction surveyor – a prestigious job in Italy. Over the years, he came in contact with many artists while continuing to work as a surveyor. It was clear that the artistic fire within Ciancia might have been hidden away, but not quenched. An added bonus of his educational qualification and line of work was a deep understanding of the chemistry of materials, almost like an alchemist, which will be of great importance later in his life. On the night of November 26, 2013, Ciancia had a revelation and perfected a technique that would be his magnum opus. In almost a Biblical fashion, Ciancia extrapolated the image of Pop Francis on a wooden board, thus birthing his ultimate technique.
Ciancia goes into detail about his technique: The “Ciancia su legno” is a craft devised and perfected by Beniamino Ciancia after years of studying and hard work – it is a culmination of what his life had been leading towards. The complicated technique involves preparing the wooden table – the canvas – by sanding it and dipping it in a color-soap mixture. It takes a specific proportion of mixture, set at the right temperature, and multiple dips before the wood could be ready. Only then does Ciancia starts his artwork on the board using acrylic colors, lime, and a layer of soap. This entire process of extrapolation can take hundreds of hours. But the final product is a magnificent, sublime work of art that projects art onto the wood as if it was a regular canvas. His most celebrated work is “Torino 1957”, created in 2014, which showcases a white outline of an urban landscape – Turin, his home – against a purple background.
As a lifelong connoisseur and creator of art, Beniamino Ciancia looks at art from a perspective of passion and love. In his own words: “Art cannot be separated from life. It is the expression of the greatest necessity of which life is capable. Art is a private action that the artist does for himself.”
He also ponders the deep impact art (and culture) has on man, and mankind itself: “Art and culture refer to a concept of beauty that serves to provide man with better tools for social and civil coexistence. Art often takes us back to the ancestral world with reference to data and reasons felt and spiritually inexplicable of our existence.”
Beniamino Ciancia has had a significant influence on the Italian art community, particularly due to his innovative technique. Now, he is moving towards making an impact on the global art community. When Ciancia isn’t creating the next work of art, he loves to sing – quite often, sing and paint simultaneously.