Andrea Meini


It all starts with the Renaissance. To be more precise, with a small, sixteenth century-style painting of a young naked woman holding a cat on her lap. Meini painted it in 2002. In the curves of the hand that accompanies his brush, an attitude towards female beauty develops: centuries ago, in the moment considered by western civilisation to be the cradle of beauty, aesthetes decreed that to be beautiful, a woman had to be curvy. Today, these curves are the nightmare of women young and old. Yet, Meini finds a harmony which is anything but banal in even the roundest of bodies. He searches the rotundities rejected by the very same women that nourish them, for the formal perfection of the "square and the circle". His always-calibrated compositions take advantage of fullness, transforming it into irrepressible geometries. The pictures are based on horizontal or diagonal planes which rest on the position of the figures. They are natural poses, studied while unobserved, as though peeping through a keyhole. Meini's women feel comfortable, they're alone with themselves and don't focus on us. They don't need to appear. Their beauty is revealed and unveiled for what it is. Accompanied by warm colours, it takes on even shades interrupted only very occasionally by glimpses of deep reds and blues. Behind the figures, the backgrounds flake into almost abstract spaces. The atmospheres are suspended. The everyday settings of unmade beds and beaches are fixed in meticulously studied spatial arrangements. A Magical Realism setting. Silvia Bottinelli