For the insomniacs the idea of awakening does not sound like a curse but like an enlightenment.
I have a memory of Anna’s study that over time has developed into a vision. It opens after an ascent, after a cold evening it is reached, it was February, and after a storm: I would have discovered it only at the end, as soon as I got out. It is the third studio of an artist visited in my life. A vision I said because, that’s what I see, around her, Anna, black as coal, and wild, a regenerating bloom of bright colors, never sad like the palette of colors of the famous Nordic painters, or Gothic like those of the East. The colors poured into Anna’s study are as bright as the trumpets of the Apocalypse, and, grant me, one can be sickly even with bright colors: Vincent, says. A person married to colors, I saw, like Munch’s self-portrait impaled in his atelier, straight and now a ghost, forever, embraced by his isolated paintings, alone among themselves, as if Munch were in the chains of gendarmes, the gendarmes paintings that stop us and deeply disturb us, as if we were victims of a guilt of Kafkaesque memory. The cadres like gendarmes. Or paintings like mummies, the same ones encountered and admired in the gloomy and beautiful space of the Capuchins in Palermo. It is a confusion of colors like blossoming fires appearing before me, crackling from the noise like a sweet hum like a faint crank music box, absolutely sweet colors, exquisitely sweet, and therefore disturbing, I saw, generating around her. She posed on colors. In his studio suspended between clouds and inhabited by animals, Still life, where I could recognize our dogs, snakes, skulls, vases with flowers, masks, disturbing masks, his black dissolves and around everything seems to have appeared in reality from a elsewhere we call it a deep dream. Yet there, she and her works, and I, were awake, wide-eyed like sleepless veterans surprised by so much bulk.
Mauro’s studio is white and curly like his hair, and shaggy like his beard. Biancone e ispido is his study where the monstrous noises of some spotted pigs reach guttural. Up there, Mauro’s studio, unreachable to most people, is hidden in frozen, albeit luminous, heights. In his studio he takes to his dream matter, his neural magma has the blue color of celestial bodies, and sometimes it slips and becomes a cage, trapping everything, including thoughts. Mauro’s painting is a flow that slowly invests things, makes things and air pictorial matter. An expanded painting that comes from afar, that lies deep like lava that is hidden, that hatches, and when it spits it moves everything, shakes the space, floods and covers it. I met his painting when I was very young, on a page of a period magazine full of figurations. Crumbled with color that page made an impression on me because I sensed that that crazy color was a cover, an aggression against reality that swept hot that painting very present in the early eighties so mythological and shattered. I did not know Mauro and I imagined the author of that page – strange to say today covered by so many images – of the same substance as the painting, a detail was then, composed of a multitude of colors, confetti, a cosmogony his face I thought, face unknown to me. If I hadn’t gone to his studio I would probably still imagine him like this, if I hadn’t seen his face it would be forever a galaxy Mauro, the face of Mauro, generator of living and dead worlds. Mauro today is expanded like that pictorial galaxy that had so impressed me, and still continues to blossom to regenerate energy and transmits a tension that is difficult to understand and embrace at first glance, with the mind, so much is his universe expanded. The multiverses of Anna and Mauro have something monstrous, disturbing, the cultured voices would say.
Anna fell into dreams. Mauro too, and even before: His dream is dark and pink, as soon as I glimpsed it I thought of Duchamp’s Dati. Anna’s, otherwise, is red, but maybe also blue, or green or purple? The insomniacs are those painters who sleep with dreams that bypass the daytime, subvert the real and open up the vision on impossible and super real worlds. They are, the insomniacs, the portentous who cackle in every possible time and space, everywhere while the awake, those who sleep, move like sleepwalkers. There are four works on display, two by Anna and two by Mauro. Thinking about the installation was easy, easy after hearing Anna speak and while she was speaking I saw Mauro’s works. I’ve seen them get confused, hug. I also wanted to enter the works, explain them but then I said to myself that my words would be useless, while the protagonists, the artists, will say something if they wake up. Or maybe not, it won’t be necessary. The works will be present there, ruthless and sprung out of the tensions of dreams. It is up to us to be seen by the works, to enter the filaments, and for thanks. Also, above all: Thanks to Anna and Mauro for giving me the luxury of hosting me in their lairs, and thanks to Davide for hosting everyone.