We are submerged by images, while we live in a world where anonymous IKEA furnitures and normcore clothes seem to be the only way to avoid a visual overcrowding that suffocates us. Advertisings, tv spots, banners fixed to street lamps or on the tube walls: our eyes slip on those flat forms everyday without perceiving anything but a vague presence. This is quite absurd if we think that before the XX century the people would see less or more a hundred images during their entire life, which is the same amount we can generally achieve in a few minutes.
But what happens to the image if we deny it, if we ignore it? It becomes meaningless, and what remains is just a form, a silhouette. We often start something like a mental iconoclasm, but does it make sense if more and more images are being produced everyday? Has art reached a point where she has to abandon those recognizable forms that have always been part of our human behaviour, at all? This would mean to leave this current world without any trace of our passage to posterity. It would also mean to deny a typically human necessity: that of using images to learn and recognize, as Aristotle already claimed in the IV century b.C.
The five artists on show – Andrea Carpita, Cosimo Casoni, Eracle Dartizio, Domenico Laterza, Marco Strappato – are linked together by a methodology that constantly stress this reflection by bringing together technique, research and poetry. The artworks have images, but those are often hidden. They need to be found, to be hosted, as in everyday life should happen. The artists themselves invite the beholder to dig and search those images, holding them without denying or taking them for granted. As Georges Didi-Hubermann taught, we should try rebuilding every image from each fragment left behind: we have to start from their loss and their lacking to make their form floating from an absence that was either accidental or deliberate. In the art of the new millennium this is the main task of us, as users and beholders.
Andrea Carpita (1988) lives and works in Carrara. His research has led him to cross various phases of the representation process: starting from a fantastic and delicate imaginary to phytomorphic suggestions that remind of the Japanese aesthetic, until the present attitude to a radical synthesis of the visible in the Minimum Portraits series, where he uses a few lines and dots to resume a body, a face or a person, without claiming to be narrative or whatever. The image here hiddens a place that is intimate and closed to the beholder, while what emerges is just an outline, an almost detached superficiality in which, however, we are able to grasp a little about the artist's sensibility.
Cosimo Casoni (1990) lives and works between Florence and Milan. His artworks try to reconcile the ambiguous meaning of the word “equilibrium”, by challenging everyday-life objects to maintain their shape and identity even after having de-structuralised, re-assembled and then recomposed them in an empty and suspanded space which is cut off from ordinary references. The strenght of these images touches the color-fielding reality, that is liquid and thus unstable: from this collapse the trompe-l'oeil and the landscapes become a window that stays in between the realm of imagination and that of reality. Then, a third element comes in, which is the most personal of them all: the skate culture, from which Casoni comes and that he pours on the canvasses. Even in those artworks where there are not recognizable objects stays the skate gesture, which is an authentic representation, the remark of a passage.
Eracle Dartizio (1989) lives and works between London and Milan. He's always been fascinated by infinity and cosmos, so he uses astronomic elements as a pretext for making a reflection and giving a tale about personal experiences, in which he finds refuge to existentialist questions that are difficult to answer. The result are sculptures and installations that speak about mankind and its uncertain condition, forcing to rediscuss its anthropocentric vision on things. Thus, life seems to slip on an undefined surface, as images flowing on puddles during a rainy day. And there, on the edge of the water, stays the border that separates “here” from “there”, the earthly world from the stars, which are both intimately unknown and fascinating.
Domenico Laterza (1988) lives in Milan although several projects brought to California, Berlin and Frankfurt. His works' aim is to animate objects with a clever and funny irony by facing the limits of an encyclopedic knowledge. Laterza reflects on art and design, on actions and their meanings, leaving them 'pollute' each other. In Dancer's case the artist has collected kilos of advertising flyers and has impiled them around an iron soul. So they are fixed to a central pale, but unfasten from each other, so that the sculpture is always different every time is composed, and the result is a high column that seems to be dancing in the air. Moreover, the artwork ennoble a kind of object often considered unnecessary, that we look with bored and indifferent eyes, transforming it into something that is brand-new and suddenly desirable.
Marco Strappato (1982) lives and works in London. His artworks remind of the open air and the Leopardian infinity, even if their aesthetic seem to be formally alienating, cold and detached. But there's a deeper issue in this, which is given by the beauty of what is shown: pieces of manipulated nature that loose their identity, on the borderline with abstraction but at the same time witnesses of a natural and, overall, figurative state. To look at one of Strappato's works means to use an archeology of the image that shall manage with intensity the narrative apparatus built by the artist. Like a little and precious secret hidden in a castle that defends it and that we have to save from oblivion. We are both terrorists that make the ancient temples fall down and the archaeologists who dig to save their fragments.
Credits (left to right):
Andrea Carpita, Minimum Portrait (Willem), 2016, mixed tecnique on canvas, 13.8x9.8 inches
Cosimo Casoni, Canvas Ride #5, 2017, oil, skateboard skretches, dirty and bitumen on canvas, 78.7x59 inches
Eracle Dartizio, Puddles Puddle, 2015, sand casting anticorodal aluminium and bitumen, 41.7x20.9, 29.1x18.5, 26.8x10.6, 38.2x24.4 inches
Domenico Laterza, Dancer, 2015, flyers and iron structure, dimensions variable
Marco Strappato, Untitled 35-2, 2013, collage, black ink and spray paint, 19.7x17.8 inches