Chiara Boeri: The Goodnight

  • ©,



    The Goodnight


Creation Year:



    mixed media on canvas, cotton and silk


    1.67 x 2.00 m



Artist Statement:

    The Goodnight belongs to Jorge Luis Borges’ universe, and mine. It is the object I would love to outlive me. Giving a message of orderly disorder, colors and shades, geometry and casual strokes, despair and love, darkness and light, and all which lies in between.

    The piece was created for an exhibit in Italy entitled Amate Cose (Beloved Objects). The exhibit theme was inspired by a Borges’ poem, “Las Cosas” (Things), which talks about objects around us that we perceive and feel and remember. They stare at us and at our lives. They are objects beloved and beloved moments of life. So, my object is this patchwork. I thought of it as a white cover when, very tired one night, I fell asleep, dreaming strange and colorful dreams, which all flew on it, composing The Goodnight.

Technical Information:

    A long time ago I started using computers to make many of my artworks. To me, computers can help find a different way of expression and can enrich an artist, as long as curiosity for any new media moves the artist to experiment, understand, and finally master new techniques as well as the traditional ones. They can help artists produce what they want to create.

    Most of the 63 panel pieces were made directly on a Paint Box. I integrated some 30 models, made with Strata signs, that were painted and drawn on different media, and then digitized. The image resolution for each piece ranges from 2000 x 2000 up to 4000 x 4000, depending on the material used for print. For canvas or cotton, it is better to compute the images at a lower resolution. For silk, the images are computed at a higher resolution.

    A first printout test was done on papers of different weights and textures, in order to get a better idea of the final work; then all images were printed on the different, final fabric materials. Some of the images were printed only once, on one type of fabric. Others were printed on two or three different types of fabric, mainly cotton and silk, to obtain different textures and reflections of light.

    Finally, all the pieces were sewn together, to form a sort of quilt or patchwork, and each one was finalized with oil painting and brushes. The patchwork is hung on a bamboo stick.

    Hardware: Quantel DeskTop, Graphic Paint Box, and Macintosh G4. Software: Quantel, Strata 30 Studio, Pixels 30, Photoshop (just to write the images in CMYK EPS format, not to retouch them), and QuarkXPress.

    Input of some elements: Agfa Arcus scanner.
    Output: Epson Stylus Color 3000, Iris Graphics.
    Print media: silk, cotton, linen, canvas. Additional painting with oil and brushes. Individual pieces mounted and sewn onto a light, very tight-knitted canvas.

Process Information:

    I love materials: silk, cotton, canvas. I need to touch them and feel my work in a very sensual way, so that when one of my works is printed, it is never finished. I need to add brush strokes to complete it, eventually going back again to the computer to make a piece that is missing, and so on, until I am satisfied.

    In this way I created La Buonanotte (The Goodnight), a quilt composed of 63 pieces of artwork. The images created with the computer were printed on different kinds of fabric (silk, canvas, cotton, etc.). Then each one was repainted with oil, and all of them were sewn together to form a patchwork.

    I started by making lots of sketches on paper, looking for the right colors and shapes. I finalized some of these with watercolors on different kinds of paper and tissue. Then I digitized some of the drawings and started reworking them with an “r” paint system, in this specific case, a Graphic Paint Box. This allowed me to find the look I wanted to obtain, the right textures and atmosphere, in a relatively short period of time.

    Then, I decided how many pieces of artwork I would need to create the quilt. The initial estimate was approximately 50 to 60 single pieces, to be sewn together.

    I worked on one or two pieces, each 40 cm x 40 cm, integrating digitized paintings I had made: signs, textures, 3D elements, and paint directly on the computer. Since the medium is very important and determines the way I work, I printed these first pieces on different materials: two types of cotton, two canvases, silk.

    One of the pieces was very detailed with neutral colors. Except for some brush strokes here and there. I preferred the image as it appeared on silk. The other image, which is more geometric, and has many overlaid textures, had a better result on cotton and canvas.

    I continued creating all the different pieces back at the Paint Box. Often, I went back to draw or paint on paper some elements, or make some oil or watercolor backgrounds, which is sometimes more complex to do with a computer. Other times, I would only work on a 3D system, building abstract shapes, mostly with an old iron look, which I transferred on the Paint Box. To get a precise feeling of the overall work, I simulated it on the computer.

    I went on painting, assembling, overlaying for quite a long time, and in fact, I ended up with some 100 different pieces of artwork. I printed all of the images on paper and made a first collage on a big panel, correcting colors with traditional oil paint. I chose 40 pieces, and printed some of them twice, in order to have a quilt made of nine rows, seven pieces in each row.

    Back at the Paint Box, I retouched and finished the ones I had chosen. I transferred all the files to a Mac G4 and used Photoshop and QuarkXPress to print the images, using an Epson Stylus Color 3000 and an Iris Graphics. I printed directly on canvas, silk, and cotton.

    When the 63 pieces were ready, I sewed the quilt together, then I retouched (or better) finished each piece, using oil colors, so that each one looked different, and the work looked as brilliant as I intended it to be. When the painting was dry, after many days, I lined the quilt with a dark red cloth. Hanging from a bamboo stick, The Goodnight was ready for the gallery after four months of work.

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    Studio Boeri