This year I decided to apply to the prestigeous Arte Laguna Prize, the world’s most influential competition for emerging artists with fourteen years of history the Arte Laguna Prize and exhibiting at the Arsenale of Venice on March 2021.
The project of 5 artworks I submitted to the competition are around the topic of "what is the essence of being human and about the transformation journey we all go through in our life".
I do believe that at the core, below the social mask or cross cultural layer we are all the same and we are all in a journey of transformation, in search for meaning and connection to something bigger than ourselves, for this reason my stylistic research is also about going beyond the separation between West and East in terms of way of seeing the world and visual language.
My art research is around the spiritual meaning of being human and around the transformation journey that each human being goes through his/her life tapping into personal and collective wisdom and discovery. To express that I use the concept of Archetypes (both West and East) and connect their metaphorical language with the artistic one.
The archetypes have raised recently new interest beyond the original mystical or psychanalytical origins. It is seen as a possible approach to (self-) discovery that tap into an ancient wisdom crossing different cultures (European, Chinese, Arabic) and it is at the intersection of science and spirituality, a way to observe and describe ourselves and the world with universal lens and language, a way that can touch our un-logical unconscious through metaphors and that highly resonates with the artistic language. I see it as an approach that can be integrated with the scientific one (more familiar to us) and that can make us reflect on matters of the spirit and "humanness".
The feelings/meaning I want to transmit is that when we experience transformation we go through several stages and emotions, each one expressed by one painting and archetype .
Stage 1 - The Hermit archetype: we retreat in ourselves in a difficult process of letting go our old identity and stay in a silent space , "in between" our past identity and the yet unknown future identity. This space is at the same time sacred (because it is open to infinite possibilities) and cursed (because uncertainty is uncomfortable). It is the liminal space.
- it is the passage to the unknown
- solitude, wisdom, letting go, crisis
- poverty, ascetic, going inside
- solitude where spiritual transformation is prepared
- I have freed myself of all bonds
- I create emptiness to open to a new path
Stage 2 - The Fool Archetype: we start tapping in our/whole undirected (yet), chaotic, dangerous sacred creative energy. It can move us forward or it can make us become "mad", depressed, suffering.
- Madness, chaos, pure energy
- Freedom, energy, liberating force
- Boost of energy without direction
- Follow the original sacred madness
- Pure state, ocean of unconscious, free instinct, intuition
- All paths are my path
Stage 3 - The lover archetype: we arrive to a stage where a strong internal energy coming from desire, passion, urge (about something new) breaks us free from our old self and moves us to the new self. We aim at unity again with our (new) self. It is the time for choices and to start listening the calling of "what we love".
- Eros, hearth, emotional, desire, attraction
- Finding and being moved by what I love, passion, energy driven by new desire
- I am attracted and united with the universe
- Unconditional love, pleasure of living of becoming one
- I love things and beings as they are with their infinite possibilities of development
Stage 4 - The Moon archetype: the seed of our new self is planned, and will grow in the cosmic mother energy, we cannot see it yet but is there. It is time to connect with our intuition, with our feminine energy. It is connection within. It is creation itself.
- The cosmic mother
- Pure receptivity
- The world of dreams and unconscious
- Mystery of the soul
- Hidden gestation
- Ancient wisdom
- Spirituality and intuition
- Personal mystery of being
- Worries of the unknown
- I am not logic, I am the beginning where all deep knowledge begins. There is not clear in me
- I contain all totem and prehistorical goddesses
- I do not inseminate, I only indicate. To alter myself into total reception I had to refuse to give. Beneath my clear light the wild beast is the wild beast, the angel is the angel... I am the Universal mirror, everyone can see himself in me.
Stage 5 - The World archetype (the submitted painting): passing through a period of experimentation, we will find realization in all our potential. Our new self is born, we find fulfillment, meaning and realization. The path in front of us is clear.
- Dear to take the new path
- Finding the light and finally knowing where to go
- Ready for realization, fullness, fulfillment
- Not alone anymore in our journey
- Our new Self is going to be visible now
Than the cycle starts again….
From a stylistic point of view I intend to bridge western and eastern philosophy, way of thinking and visual language by going back to the source of humanity artistic search, when, in the caves in Europe our ancestors were carving their first form of art and inscriptions and when, in China the ancient seal script characters are born (so similar to American cave inscriptions to lead us to ask ourselves if there is really any distinction at all). I am merging all these inspirations with our contemporary visual language: inscriptions (graffiti with spray) and QRcode and images pix-elates on computer.
I also paint creating texture and often using my hometown ground powder to anchor my art to my origins, after so many years in Asia that have transformed me so much. I am asking myself which is my identity now (Italian, Asian?) and I am realizing that 1+1 = 3 because in that liminal space where I am, in the " in between" space I belong, I can remix things in a new way and create and be something new and different that is authentically and originally me and express it in my art. A "me" that represents all human beings whose identity has been reshaped and mixed.