Born in Monza, near Milan in Italy, Luigi Fumagalli studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Monza and developed his enormous and restless talent through six years of travel, painting, and exhibiting in the Orient with his first major show sponsored by the airline Alitalia. At each stage of his odyssey he experimented with color and line, interpreting the peoples and culture of one place through the perspectives of other lands. His first eastern subjects, Hong Kong’s Hakka peasants, were angular mosaics of color that reflected and refracted light like the stained glass of windows of Italy’s churches.
Today, influenced by the light and color of the East, Luigi Fumagalli’s western subjects – abstract chess variations, knights, marionettes and horses – are full of motion and excitement graphically stronger and bolder in color than similar themes by Picasso. His Oriental subjects, the colorful Kabuki and gentle geishas of Japan, are rendered with passionate, Latin sensuousness. His abstracts evoke tremendous vitality conveyed by the colors, compositions, and movement that betray his Latin temperament.
Fumagalli has lived in Honolulu since 1969, delighting in the clarity of Hawaii’s light, the variety of her colors, the ethnic mix of her peoples. His style has matured into a strong, expressionistic balance of realism and abstraction, a subtle interweaving of form and line for graphic emphasis and bold manipulations of color to create and intensify mood.
His paintings have received some unexpected publicity, turning up in scenes from the movies “Scent of a Woman,” “Aspen Extreme,” and “Out for Justice,” as well as in the Hawaii-based TV series “Raven.” Celebrities like Roger Moore, Neal Sedaka, Robert Goulet, Jim Nabors, Calvin Hill, john Hillerman, and many others have been privy to the evolution of Luigi’s subjects and styles over the years. Local charities have utilized his talents for auctions and fundraising events, and the Hawaii Heart Association has named him “Artist of the Year” in 1994.
Corporations like Stark Enterprises commissioned Fumagalli to create murals for their buildings, their ultra-luxury condominium, One Waterfront Towers, and the Restaurant Row in Honolulu. His new enormous abstract works are seen at the Hilton Hawaiian Villages, and his old works found their home at American Security Bank, Waialae Country Club, Host International, Cinerama Reef Hotel, Hawaiian Regent Hotel among numerous buildings and offices.
The Luigi Fumagalli Gallery: