At the beginning, just words from little white stones on the black earth, in order to not lose the way home. His painting increasingly resembles his words. He creates worlds, other natures, other existences: before and after, gestures and uncertainty, childhood and death, maturity and life. But also the abstract, or the figurative, and the ambiguity of painting, blinded by the light of the rain that is falling today, in his transparent spot. Giorgio talks a lot. He did so already 10 years ago, when we met in another studio, in another story. Even back then, colour came first. But the colour was the colour of earth. Matter searching for light. Since then, nothing has stayed still, the house, the gaze, the studio, have changed. And the painting has changed too. The perimeters have been forgotten forever, the matter, abandoned. Subtraction after subtraction, only colour remains. That fleeting, rebellious colour, that Giorgio has encapsulated into the liquid of polymers. Some of these floating figures have chosen the canvass path. Giorgio says they’ve come home, to tradition – as if his colour were on a long journey and his first efforts as an artist were to invent and discover a new way to grasp and drag it where others could see it, every day. It appears to be simple, but it is not. Because in capturing, in that furiousness that is extinguished in the act, there’s an ancient, archaic violence. Nothing is calm, nothing is peaceful. It is life: the gaze of the present that is constantly being tackled by the past and the future. The new story begins here, in the transparent space. The earth is behind, the sky in front. The canvasses are leaning against the wall, they are covered in rice paper, fragile like snow that on certain days of the year falls upon the marble head of Bernadette della Valganna, a silent witness to grace and paternal love. Giorgio removes them one by one. Sometimes – a blot of ink, a smear of violet – he crumples them up and throws them away. More often, he folds them. And with his strength, he slowly moves the canvasses. The space is immediately cluttered and I find I have to move. I’m afraid to move, to scratch the secret between shiny and opaque. Nostalgic colours silence me. I feel a sense of loss, of something that will never return. Perhaps that’s why I look outside – the dog licking his fur, the lions by the gate, the stairs to the entrance. Suddenly I realise that everything is double. There are two lions, two steps, two polymers, two elements in the drawings. And I realise that what matters is in between: the intangible raw colour, the image created from thick graphite on dry paper. A horizontal cross becomes a bird in flight. The severe shadow of two bowls of rice. I speak the truth. I would like a canvass just for me. That always happens, with Giorgio: I enter, I have a look, and I want everything. The jars of colour, the wrapped polymers, the cigarettes, the paper, the brushes, the writing on the wall. But most of all, the raw colours: the grey that wants to escape, the burning red river that is flowing over me, the whisper of the purple, that much-loved colour that skims the many whites around me. Yes, I would like to take this away, and much more. The effort, perhaps. That which Giorgio must feel when he’s working, divided from the world by this glass membrane. When one dares, researches, recomposes and performs the gesture, which is always bold and almost scandalous, of declaring to be indispensable: to capture colour and place it here, in front of our eyes.
Sara Honegger Chiari
Then along comes painting
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