Bugo, besides being a great musician, is a respectable artist. Here are some of his works

Bugo, a.k.a. Cristian Bugatti, is not only a great musician, he is also a respectable artist. Here are some of his works.

Now, after the 2020 Sanremo Festival, everyone is probably familiar with Bugo, or Cristian Bugatti, a Novara-born singer from 1973 with, behind him, a long and level-headed experience in the ranks of singer-songwriter music and, for the past dozen years, electronic rock: nine albums, a 20-year career and positive feedback from the most discerning music critics are the best calling card of his gifts as a great musician. But it is not of Bugo the musician that we want to talk about: not everyone, in fact, knows that Bugo is also a respectable artist (read also our interview with Bugo: “I tell you about my parenthesis as a visual artist”).

His relationship with the visual arts was a fortunate interlude in his musical career, since, during a break from records and concerts, between 2008 and 2014 Bugo totally devoted himself to paintings, installations, and artwork. “I wanted to take a break from music,” he said, “and so starting in 2008 I ’betrayed’ music with its best friend, art!” The break ended in 2014, by his own declaration, and saw him approachconceptual art experimenting with different expressive languages: painting, photography, installation, sculpture, performance.

Bugo, alias Cristian Bugatti
Bugo, aka Cristian Bugatti

His first solo show was in 2009, at the Museo Faraggiana Ferrandi in Novara, and since then a few other exhibitions in Rome, Milan, Sassari and India, where Bugo resided for some time during those years. And then, a participation in the “Lido” section of Artissima in 2011 and at MiArt in 2012. Art, in some ways, mirrors his music: it speaks of the everyday, is very direct, has a vaguely naïve aura, is eclectic and not easily pigeonholed. His projects include Acid Times (2014), an artwork in the form of a newspaper that was created as an ironic and irreverent response to real newspapers and the news they report; the disorienting Bearded Children, a photographic series brought to MiArt 2012; the project French fries killing lovers, a huge six-by-three-meter billboard installed at the edge of an avenue in Ghaziabad, India (the work is part of a series made with newspaper clippings juxtaposed to create sentences of more or less complete meaning and capable of eliciting the viewer’s reactions), and then again The sound of love, a photograph of a part of the gallery that would have housed the work. And then performances, such as Sento tutti gli occhi addosso, an action intended to reflect on feelings such as discomfort and embarrassment, during which several dozen actors hired by Bugo stared at visitors to the VM21 Gallery in Rome, where the performance was held.

There are several areas in which Bugo’s artistic research has moved, although some elements can be traced with some frequency: the desire to elevate the banal to content that is good for a work of art, the surprising juxtaposition of elements belonging to different semantic domains, and the reflection on words. An art that has its roots in certain experiences of the 1960s and 1970s and had attracted attention from the public and critics. An art rhapsodic and perhaps dictated more by the need of the moment and inspiration than by more traditional research, but always consistent and capable of raising curiosity and interest.

Then, as mentioned, in 2015 the return to music and, since then, two albums released (including Cristian Bugatti, just released, with the single Sincero that Bugo brought with Morgan to the 70th Sanremo Festival), and the artistic parenthesis seems to have closed. But who knows, it might not reopen in the future!

Below is a gallery with Bugo’s works mentioned in this article. For those who want to learn more, there is also a site where you can see more of Bugo’s works.

Bugo e Luciano Baragiola, Acid Times #1 (2014; pubblicazione in 100 copie, 24 pagine, 31 x 45 cm, carta da giornale e stampa in digitale a colori)
Bugo and Luciano Baragiola, Acid Times #1 (2014; published in 100 copies, 24 pages, 31 x 45 cm, newsprint and digitally printed in color)

Cristian Bugatti, Bambino barbuto (2010; fotografia, 24 x 17 cm)
Cristian Bugatti, Bearded Child (2010; photograph, 24 x 17 cm)

Cristian Bugatti, French fries killing lovers (2014; manifesto, 600 x 300 cm)
Cristian Bugatti, French fries killing lovers (2014; poster, 600 x 300 cm)

Bugo, The sound of love (2012; fotografia)
Bugo, The sound of love (2012; photograph)

Cristian Bugatti, Sento tutti gli occhi addosso (2010; performance)
Cristian Bugatti, Sento tutti gli occhi addosso (2010; performance)

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