Art News, Artists, Music and more!

Sebastiano Cannarella: Sailor, Artiste, Alchemist

For most people, it would be truly blissful to spend your life doing what you love. But only a rare few are both lucky to do something they love for most of their lives and then dare to pursue a new endeavor long past their prime. Italian artist Sebastiano Cannarella is one of those exemplary humans.

Brief Look At His Life

Sebastiano Cannarella was born on May 12, 1959, in Portopalo di Capo Passero, a small fishing village on the outskirts of Sicily. Born to a family of sailors, it was no surprise that the talent came naturally to him. Even when he was a child, he displayed the skill and dexterity of an adult sailor. As an adult, he decided to make the seas both his bread and a friend. The next five decades of his life were spent in the waters, battling the tides and soaking in the vastness of the seas.

But destiny had other plans for him. In 2015, at the age of 55, Sebastiano Cannarella had an epiphany: he found his calling in art. And thus, without any second thoughts, Cannarella poured himself into his artistic pursuit. It is not easy to learn a new craft – especially when you are well past your learning age. But this did not deter the Italian sailor. He spent his first few years learning and studying the craft of masters. In particular, the style of Impressionism and the works of Van Gogh played an important role in shaping his own artistic style. While he started with painting natural, scenic art, by 2018 he had turned towards making portraits. In both styles, he garnered praise from the critics. Through studying, practicing, and meditating, Cannarella was able to establish himself as an accomplished artist in just a short few years.

Style and Theme

The art of Sebastiano Cannarella is not a product of isolated imagination. In each of his works, he draws from the long experiences in life as inspiration. His personal experiences and thoughts are mirrored perfectly on his canvas. As few critics have pointed out, there is a certain poetic aspect in his works. While the flow is linear and simple, the strokes somehow manage to convey something much deeper and more profound. His works are like an inside joke that the audience understands even without ever meeting the artist.

It would be wrong to think that Cannarella, as someone who spent his life surrounded by seas and nature, only paints naturalistic realism. Quite the opposite, in fact. As some kind of metaphysics, his abstract works transport the audience to a world that is seemingly familiar yet entirely different. Many critics have called him an ‘alchemist’. The way he uses colors to create brilliant hues, and the way he uses lines to interlock planes in a surrealistic way, are enough to think of him as a magician. But he is just a man; albeit, a brilliant one.

One really needs to view the works of Sebastiano Cannarella in person, if they want to soak how a sailor can truly become a magician.