‘Honest art arises from the accumulation of one’s own visual experiences, conscience, and knowledge of one’s own and others’ bodies. In conjunction with the intellect, it offers the expressive means of being both what one is and what one chooses to share.’ Thus writes the Italian artist Salvatore Bruno of his voluminous portfolio of drawings of the naked human body, especially the bits and interactions that most artists – and most life drawing students – choose not to dwell on.

Bruno grew up in Foggia, a town in the southern Italian province of Puglia. Apart from a high school diploma in art, he is entirely self-trained, using both live models and photographs as the basis for his work. He still lives and works in Puglia, though has participated in exhibitions, both solo and collective, in Florence, Rome and Turin. As well as his drawings, which are his favoured medium, he has also created a few large paintings.

Whenever possible, he prefers to draw and paint naked himself, as he feels more in touch with his work when both artist and subject are unencumbered by clothes.

Bruno, who also uses the nom d’artiste Zozos,  has written of his artistic quest ‘I have within me an agitation, a quivering, an excitement, an energy that accompanies me until I have transferred everything I have in my imagination onto paper or canvas. What I produce is an accumulation of sensations, of what is seen, what is taken hold of, of the beautiful, the less-than-beautiful, the full-bodied – everything and everyone I love. I see art essentially as a medium for the transmission of feelings, feelings which reaches their maximum expression in the representation of the body in all its forms. Thus in art the honest nude, the human body free from any covering, in its “beauty” or its “ugliness”, cannot lie and hide its emotions from itself or from others. It depicts the sensitivity and spirit of human existence, whether in this or in any era.’

Salvatore Bruno’s Facebook page, where he regularly shows new work, can be found here, though given Facebook’s policies on nudity you will only find his more conventional life drawings on Facebook.

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for introducing us to this artist, and for supplying most of the images.


Example illustration