Beddru, née Giuseppe Bellia, is a remarkable self-taught figurative painter whose origins have strongly influenced his work. He was born in Agrigento, Sicily where he developed his love for ancient Greek art, absorbing the beauty and harmony of the human body, while from the Arab domination of the island he perceived the rich variety of colour.
Beddru’s subjects dominate his paintings and are representations of the more marginalised members of society, which he paints with a matter-of-fact candour and naturalness, letting the viewer share audacious themes, dear to the artist’s heart, with serene acceptance and comprehension.
Beddru uses various techniques, from drawing and watercolour, to painting on canvas and plexiglass. Colour is central to convey his visual and at times controversial message. His vibrant chromatic effects are the result of a deep “osmotic” relationship with his pigments. As he himself admits: “I work without gloves on purpose so that my inks can penetrate my skin while painting, and I can feel the colours”.
His figures conceal a beauty and liveliness that remind us of Kees van Dongen and the Fauvist movement, along with Alexej von Jawlensky and Franz Marc of Der Blaue Reiter. The bold outlines, dynamic brushstrokes and contrasting hues exude passion and enthusiasm. Beddru relies on strong clashing colours to construct his images, thus evoking powerful emotions of sensuality and expressive depth, juxtaposed to a lightness of spirit that captures and enthralls the viewer with its calm, unobtrusive serenity and pictorial clarity of speech. Marlene Dumas said: “I have always been interested in how you can depict suffering without being heavy-handed”. With Beddru we finally have an answer.