Meeting One’s Soul
Interview with Federico Pinto Schmid, Painter
by Maria Teresa De Donato
Dear friends, today I am pleased to introduce you to a friend I also consider an extraordinary artist and a great man: Federico Pinto Schmid.
Someone rightly defined Federico as "a free, restless and rebellious spirit" (Gloria Laura Ricciardi - Biography). To this description, which fits him perfectly, I would add "passionate" and "courageous." 'Passionate' is, in my opinion, both his personality and his painting full of colors with often intense and contrasting hues. He is also 'courageous' for it takes courage to make a 'leap of faith' so to speak, following one's dreams and, without any certainty, having absolute confidence in succeeding thanks to one's unceasing and total commitment.
I have a lot more to add to describe him, but, as usual, I prefer my host to do so personally.
MTDD: Hi Federico, and welcome to my Blog and Virtual Cultural Lounge. It is a pleasure to have you here with us today.
FPS: Hi Maria Teresa, thank you for inviting me, the pleasure is mine!
MTDD: In your Biography, we read that you were born in Orbetello (GR) on May 6, 1988, and that, although of Maremma origins, you spent your childhood between Porto Ercole and Eschenlohe in Germany, the land of your father, which, coincidentally, he is an artist as well, and, more precisely, a painter and sculptor.
How have these two cultures influenced your personality and your art?
FPS: I experienced Germany through the eyes of art. I remember I used to build small sculptures with my father. I was fascinated by that environment, mainly because I spent a lot of time immersed in his art studio, among different shapes and objects. Porto Ercole is the town where I have always lived. It is my base and has significantly contributed to my personality and choices. They are indeed two different realities, but both are part of me and, consequently, of my art.
MTDD: In your opinion, does this encounter between these two cultures, so different from each other, in your life and your art, create more harmony or contrast?
FPS: In the two countries, there are very different visions of art: while in Italy, they are still linked to figurative painting, in Germany, the new genres are more appreciated and certainly more present. Therefore, the contrast between the two countries is present, but I believe that these differences create harmony in my works. Two opposites that meet and create something unique.
MTDD: Being you 'child of art', it is clear that you inherited your artistic side from your father, even though I know that for years you have dealt with something completely different, almost suffocating what has always been your nature while trying to get any job that would allow you to survive economically. From your inner torment, one day, you reached full awareness of your actual being and connected to your soul again. Let's take an introspective journey through the years…
How did this happen, and how did you bring about this "revolutionary change to [your] habitual existence"?
FPS: At a certain point, I realized that the place where I worked did not give me any satisfaction; always making the same gestures every day, making us sad, takes away our passion. I decided to feel good and be satisfied, no matter how much money I would make. The road to art was not easy, but it was undoubtedly a revolution of good energies.
MTTD: "... when I painted for the first time, I touched my soul, I didn't do it willingly, yet it happened. Since that day, it has come back to talk to me ... it said things full of meaning. ..."
Can you elaborate on this statement and explain to us what relationship you had with your soul from that moment on?
FPS: I didn't write this text personally, but it was written for me, describing my inner change. When I was working as an employee, I felt this constant pressure, a push to feel better and improve, but I avoided the thought and rejected it for a long time. As soon as I started listening to myself, I no longer felt oppressed. I finally felt free to be myself and to express myself, for better or for worse, but only and solely as I wanted.
MTDD: Traveling between Tuscany and Germany, at some point in your life, you moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where you stayed for several years. In Zurich, you have devoted more and more time to painting, turning it into a full-time career, opening your art studio, exhibiting your paintings in an art gallery, and selling your canvases worldwide.
Would you like to tell us about your experience and explain to us if you believe that your stay in that country has further enriched you culturally, refining or otherwise impacting your artistic production in some way?
FPS: I think that every place is essential, every area has different energies, and for this reason, it changes us, even involuntarily. In Switzerland, I met Arnaldo, who I consider my great teacher, who was very important to me on an artistic level and taught me many things. With him, I learned the least pleasant part of the bureaucracy and the drive towards art, the trust and value that works have, leading me to experience something that I thought was unattainable for me.
MTDD: From Switzerland, you moved in recent years back to Italy.
Do you perceive a difference between the 'Swiss' and the 'Italian' inspiration when it comes to shapes, colors, atmospheres, and so on? and if so, which one?
FPS: As I mentioned previously, every place is unique and leaves me with different sensations. Tuscany is my land, a land of colors, nature, and curved shapes. Switzerland is grayer from this point of view but more stimulating for the kind of art I do.
MTDD: Would you like to introduce us to some of your pictorial works, leading us through the creative process that allowed their creation in terms of inspiration, shapes, colors, and meaning?
FPS: I answer this question in the most sincere way possible: no sketches, no precisely constructed thoughts in my art. I paint when I feel I have to; I certainly express emotions through painting, which vary according to how I feel at that moment. I like to think that everyone can see and, therefore, feel something different in one of my paintings. If I were to give and tell my interpretation, I would limit what others can see. Each of us experiences different sensations at different times, and we should interpret reality on a subjective basis. Art is the maximum interior expression for those who make it and those who look at it and give it meaning.
MTDD: Spot on! Let's, then, give our readers the chance to interpret your works the way they want to. Here are some of them:
MTDD: What is essential to recognize in yourself to be able to take a leap of faith as you did, and what advice could you give to those who feel they do not belong to the world they have built for themselves - or that has been outlined to them - and would like to do something else in life, whatever that might be?
FPS: I think it is imperative to work alongside the right people, who do not limit us but encourage us to continue and believe in ourselves. There is nothing more authentic than what we feel we are; sometimes, we must just trust our passions. Determination and courage are essential, you never know how it will end, but it is only by trying that I have achieved results.
MTDD: Thanks, Federico, for participating in this interview. I hope to have you again as my guest in the future.
FPS: Thanks to you, it was an absolute pleasure. I also hope to be able to meet you!
MTDD: Federico, should potential customers wish to get in touch with you and/or buy your canvas, how might they do so?