interview / liz rice mccray

Salvatore Alessi is a figurative painter born in Sicily, Italy. Alessi’s paintings are a fusion of various pictorial worlds: the reality of one realistic world reinterpreted to create an alternative universe where two or more realities coexist, exchanging energetically in a continuous dialogue. Salvatore Alessi’s principal interest is to picture a hybrid reality. Influenced by media, he depicts a visual “short circuit” with references to quantum physics and energy frequencies. These references are used as a tool to search a hidden and impalpable reality for major completeness. We welcome Salvatore Alessi’s paintings to the pages of BL!SSS and hope you enjoy his artwork as much we do. Please forgive all that was lost in translation. Many thanks to the lovely and charming Salvatore Alessi. If you have a chance, check out more of Salvatore Alessi’s artwork at

Your work seems to have a lot of different levels; it combines elements of reality and quantum physics with dramatic mysterious circumstances. Can you talk a little bit about that dichotomy, abstraction and continuous dialogue in your paintings?
I love to contaminate my work with apparent distant languages in order to create a visual interview. This dictum permits me to explain the world with all its contradictions and harmonies lying within. Today, more than ever, we live in a reality on several levels, one contradicting the other, and this creates an interesting paradox.

All of the figures in your art are viewed with their faces obscured, will you tell us about the ambiguity of your subjects?
I like to investigate humanity. And to me, human nature does not have a certain and recognizable identity. It is in transformation and mutates continuously: shape, color, etcetera.

What sort of effect do you hope your art will have on viewers or vice versa, what effect do the viewers have on you and your art?
My intention is to give the viewers a parallel experience, catapulting them in an unknown world, however familiar. Their nature is sincerely revealed though never violent.

How would you describe your style?
In continuous transformation.

What artists are you really into right now? Who are some of your artistic references?
I am very interested in contemporary figurative art, passionately discovering artist’s visions. I much love antique art, particularly Rembrandt, Vermeer and big masters of the 20th century like Freud, Bacon and Hockney.

Did your interest and inclination towards painting start at a young age?
As a young boy I was already passionate about Renaissance painting and particular the altarpieces. I’ve recently developed an interest for filmmaking, which has had an important influence on my work.

Yes, you graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo, specializing in scenography. Will you tell us what you did as a scenographer and how you transitioned into painting professionally?
As mentioned, I became passionate about painting after seeing the Renaissance altarpieces, which also caused me to develop an interest for opera and theatre and for scenography. In parallel, I have cultivated painting as a profession.

You are originally from Italy, are you currently in Italy? Will you tell us about where you are living and what the view looks like from your window?
I live in Italy however my spirit and my vision are worldly. I am Sicilian and Sicilians have a disillusioned view of life, honest and sometimes brutal, a somewhat paradigmatic vision of existence.

What are your thoughts on the effects of technology, the positives, and the negatives?
Technology is more often part of life, fogging life up, becoming involuntarily more or less a surrogate and transforms human relations and in some cases, scanned of the rules of rhythm. For sure, I do not have a most favorable opinion of technology but it is undoubtedly that with technology the world is more informed as well as uninformed, however closer and dynamic. We are only in the beginning and everything will transform. As a Sicilian I love paradoxes, and it is this aspect, full of contradictions, which technology interests me.

What offends you?
Everything and nothing. But in general when a person prefers to do without beauty, or worse, prefers not to look for it due to apathy.

Very last question, any last words for our readers, shout-outs, declaration of love or hate?
Yelling declarations of love!