A portrait of Iain by italian artist Luca Del Baldo, part of “The Visionary Academy of Ocular Mentality”

“Now, it seems, a portrait is being assembled”

– Iain Sinclair

Several months ago I learned that  italian artists Luca Del Baldo, based in Como, was creating a painting of Iain as part of a series called The Visionary Academy of Ocular Mentality.

Luca explains the genesis of the portrait:

My portrait of Iain Sinclair belongs to a project of mine, “The Visionary Academy of Ocular Mentality “(a title that was suggested to me by a friend and philosopher Arthur C. Danto), a kind of “Atlas” (very personal without encyclopedic ambitions on the current state of contemporary thought) on the major living philosophical theorists- writers (the word “philosophers” is in a very broad meaning, not in an academic or conventional way ) , a collaborative-performative relationship in choosing the image that I will take as a model. I have read and loved several books by Iain, perhaps the greatest psychic-shaman-geographist- investigator-historian of a hidden geography of the city and its suburbia, its objects and its characters in a perverse and crazy geometry . Sinclair’s face is beautiful, intense, has the strenght of Genius that I find in other writers that I have painted like Cormac McCarthy, his gaze has questions and answers that reveal about himself and about us. I have never met personally him, so my knowledge / memory of his physical face was based on the study and visual analysis of a photo/picture he sent me, through the slow process of painting, going to the labyrinth of wrinkles and delicate colour and bright rose-vermillion of the flesh, the black pupil behind his glasses, tip-punctum (Barthesian’s) of the nose, ect. A picture of a face-mask may be just a “jeu de massacre”, an illusion of appearance ( Maya’s veil) multiplied by the pictorial representation but, for me, the most important thing is a search for “truth” through these mediums (painting and photography) and “intimate”dialogue that has been created.

This is what Iain just wrote about the painting:

iain sinclair writing


iain sinclair by luca del baldo. Part of the Visonary Academy of ocular mentality

iain sinclair by luca del baldo. Part of the Visonary Academy of ocular mentality

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