TEA AND BISQUITS WITH ELISA BERTAGLIA
Rovigo, November 1st 2020
I am not used to write a text starting from an empty page. I usually start from something that already exists, from what I have written in the past, or from the indications given when an artist applies to an award. Now I am almost in difficulty; I try to collect my thoughts. The incipit is always necessary. We could say that this text has born in Milan, in a bar drinking a Jasmine tea with Martina… and eating five jam biscuits, of course.
Precisely after twelve months from the opening of my last solo show at her gallery, the lockdown would have started: March 2019 – March 2020. Today we are getting closer to the calendar end of this difficult and complex year, and Martina and I have thought to narrate this working period through a ‘spot’ exhibition. And we decided to call it just like this. Spot. Like a small parenthesis in this path; like to stop and take a breath, to assess the situation; like to say “here we are!”. With no narcissism nor presumptions like a bright circle in a shaded area. This exhibition is an essential and minimal selection of original works: some of them have been realized at the end of the 2019, others have been made during the last quarantine in 2020. They are mainly paintings born from four long travels very important to me: to New York, China, Japan and Miami.
During our lasting friendship, Martina and I have grown up a lot together, also thanks to an explicit, mutual and continuous confrontation. If the solo show Concerto. Singing over the Bones – curated by Rossella Farinotti – marked the turning point for my work, since then I tried to push my research always a step further. Without denying what I did before, I tried to reinvent the way I used to represent my poetic, studying and forcing my works towards a more essential both formal and aesthetic language. I pursued an ‘simple’ harmony that has been very hard to reach, and it still is, but that for sure it imposed a more ‘disciplined’ attitude towards everything I realize.