Art & vin

What's more natural than matching art and wine. Both are among the first expressions of human greatness. Dozens of millenaries ago, as soon as he straightened on his hind legs and took shelter in caves, man developed his artistic expression. A few millenaries ago, while the ancient civilisations started to build around the Mediterranean berth, vine culture expanded strongly. First reserved to the elite, also recognised for its medicinal virtues, consumption of wine enlarged progressively to entire populations. At the entry of the twentieth century, wine was so part of the people daily diet than taxes collected on it represented a forth of the French State budget (more or less balanced at the time !). We were then furthering away from the artistic expression.

Today wine consumption became again more selective. The rough red wine disappears at the benefit of, on one hand industrial branded wines some well made, and on the other, fortunately, nice wines expressing their soil. Obviously our interest lies with these ones. They magnify these millenaries of culture, refinement, human conviviality and quality which are transforming these great wines in real artwork.

The chateau du Petit Puch is among these ones. It is therefore natural that its owners favour an artistic expression in sculpture and painting in addition of wine. They fall of in love with Gino Ruggieri's talent and wish to contribute to the radiance of his art.

The encounter with Gino Ruggeri

By a winter evening of 2006, under heavy metallic heavens, on the right bank of the Garonne river around Langoiran, I spot in the middle on a nondescript bric-a-brac a strange piece of ironworks. Since then, impossible to extract it from my mind till I came back a few days later when the workshop was open, and I made the acquaintance of Gino Ruggieri, painter and sculptor. A few days later he was installing this first sculpture in the internal garden of the chateau, for our greatest pleasure. I like to look at it from the entrance to the chateau's garden or from the eastern window of the library.

Born December 6, 1957 in Libourne. This complete artist, painter, sculptor and designer gradually moved from the academic school to abstraction in his painting and sculpture, which lead to fun and spontaneity. His works are present in numerous exhibitions both in France and abroad (Oklahoma City, Bonn, Paris, Anduze) and in private collections in Bordeaux châteaux, and amateurs private homes around the world. His very personal style reflects research that falls outside of fashion trends through an ongoing approach of artistic revelation where the stroke quality and the relevance of matching colours combine together to give life to unique works. They express the visceral taste of this untypical artist for love, fun and life through the strength of authenticity.

This constant search is accompanied by a mastery of techniques of artistic expression for the constantly renewed visual pleasure. The words which come to me to describe Gino are "The Happy Strength".

Gino Ruggeri - Atelier de Tabanac - 33550 Tabanac FRANCE - 06 61 23 01 61

L'origine du monde
The World's Origin
Our first sculpture was simply named "Mobile" by Gino. Personally I named it "The World's Origin". Nothing to do obviously with the homonymous painting from Gustave Courbet realised in 1866. For me this artwork represents indeed all the parameters essential to life : Its structure is made of tortured metallic bands from plough's wheels, basis of nourishing agriculture through effort. In the protuberances and circles inside of it I imagine the grapes and clusters, basis of our occidental civilisation. Finally the general volume of the piece reminds me of an egg shape, the start of primitive life. Under a different angle one can imagine it as a human head which enlarged superior part symbolises the growing of the brains which allowed man to become civilised. Everyone will see in it what he wants, but I certainly believe that in its simplicity and creating power it is a masterpiece.

Exhibited in the chateau's internal garden

This piece is far more figurative. It is composed of several scrap metals, bronze for the crown, polished steel sheets for the breastplate, steel and copper alloys for the plane's camshafts which form the arms or the sceptres, rusted iron shovel for the face and the bunch of key around the neck. Gino named it "Caesar" carrying the key of all his conquered cities. I like this name. However, in my view, he shows a nice face that one was not expecting from a man of power of this dimension. Maybe after all, politicians at this time were more pleasant than ours today !

Exhibited in the entrance hall of the chateau

Hieratic, thin and slender, a Cyclops's eye in the middle of the forehead, it is an African warrior scrutinizing the bush. Or it may be a totem soliciting from the gods' benevolence the weather conditions appropriate to our human endeavours. You decide.

Exhibited in the chateau's large tasting room

Full of energy and power, gathered on its hind legs, curious, it maybe a bull entering the amphitheatre, checking its new surroundings before unleashing its energy and rage. But like with our "Caesar", according to me, he has a cheerful friendly face. Initial gentleness, final drama. Maybe the illustration of Rousseau's school of thought according to which man is born good, but society perverts him.

Exhibited in the chateau's large tasting room

Taureau mourant
Dying bull
Weary, tired after a tough fight, the bull resigns itself to its end. Bent on its forelimbs, horns still high up in a last effort, it submits itself to the liberating sword.

Exhibited in the chateau's large tasting room

l'amour et la mort
Love and death
A striking diptych, all in black and white with throwing of gold. Love, death, wealth, only the wine for celebration is missing. A very strong artwork, simplified and sensuous, winning matador, expectant woman. One can't but think at Carmen from Bizet : "toréador, l'amour, l'amour t'attend".

Exhibited in the chateau's large tasting room.

Le sarment de vigne
Vine shoot
A piece of torn iron found in a field. Fixed on a base, it springs to life and becomes a striking vine shoot. Beauty in simplicity.

Exhibited in the chateau's large tasting room.

A large painting in the shades of chestnut, ochre and black. The mane and the eye of the horse bring a contrast of happiness to the picador's shut face and to the doom aspect of the work. The stiffness of the limbs is strangely balanced by the slight curve of the lance crossing the painting on the right side. A powerful and fascinating masterpiece.

Exhibited in the chateau's large tasting room.

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