Exhibition at the Mexican Stock Exchange, Mexico
There are some paintings that demand particular attention. That ask to be contemplated with special attention because it is through that exercise of viewing that we understand how it is objects are viewed, as well as how we feel when viewed by others. Jan van Eyck’s portrait of a “Man with Carnation” or Velázquez’s “Dwarves” are works that repudiate banal appreciation and cause the observer to enter into an inquisitive terrain where paintings signify something more profound.
In these works by Bianchi, we can appreciate the interplay between the individuals portrayed and the viewer, the interplay between looking and being looked upon, each handled masterfully and forcing us to reflect upon whether it is not one who looks upon works of art but the works themselves that look upon the viewer. And it is through this interplay where I look upon you, as you upon look me, as I look at you, where profound questions arise, that infuse paintings with life. What is he looking at … me, the emptiness, the artist? What is the nature of the relationship that arises between the portrait subject and me?
Bianchi invokes these questions through the excellent quality and sensitivity with which each portrait is imbued. This sensitivity is recorded and expressed as each portrait’s candid humanity, and is transmitted, nonetheless, in such a subtle fashion through paint that there is no doubt as to the passion injected into each individual work.
The BMV Group is proud to present works by Philippa Bianchi, a Maltese artist who explores the virtues of paint, unearthing a realm in which conviction and confidence intersect while drawing upon the theories of art that have swept the academy, to date.
Curator of the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico
Exhibition of portrait of Pope Benedict XVI, Guanajuato, Mexico 2012
Pope Benedict XVI, only very recently visited Mexico at the end of March (23-26 March 2012), and Philippa was very privileged to be able to paint him in anticipation of this.
The painting (oil on linen canvas) measures 2.21m x 1.48 m (in golden proportions) and is entitled “The Pope as St. Corbinian’s Bear”. It is an ambitious undertaking in view of its size and its deeply religious significance with myriad references to the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI
The frame is a hand-carved, sculptural work in itself, covered in its entirety with 23.5 carat gold leaf and burnished with agate stone.
Ultimately, Philippa was very fortunate to have been able to exhibit this work at the main entrance of the Colegio Miraflores in Leon, Guanajuato, which served as the Pope’s official residence during His recent visit to Mexico.
His Excellency Mgsr. Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, was delighted with the piece, and therefore personally arranged this 4 day private viewing for the Pope and papal seguito (Vatican diplomatic corps). The papal seguito were very impressed by this work, as were several residents and staff at the Colegio Miraflores in Leon. Truly, this has been a tremendous honour for Philippa, and she extremely grateful to His Excellency, for such an unprecedented opportunity.
Presentation of Portrait of Archbishop of Malta at Westminster Cathedral 2010
Philippa Bianchi recently completed a large portrait of the Archbishop of Malta, Paul Cremona. This was presented on 11th September, 2010, to His Grace, before a full congregation in Westminster Cathedral, London in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Malta Day, UK. In attendance were the Archbishop of Westminster, the Mayor of Westminster, the Maltese High Commissioner in London, the Maltese Deputy Prime Minister, the Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs and several hundred participants. The painting was sponsored by APS bank.