Room 2
Invited by Julia Krahn

For my entry into Giovanni Testori’s house, I wanted to bring just two works, which speak of me and of him. This Eroe belongs to a cycle on which I have been working in recent years and which starts from Heinrich Wolfflin’s book, Come fotografare le sculture. The intention is to work with repainted paper on classical statuary; thanks to the medium of photography, the statue becomes a painting and this allows me to bring it closer. Often the museum setting does not do justice to the work, it makes it elusive, it prevents me from having the overall view that is necessary to really see it. Painting tries to respond to this need, summarising all the necessary points of view and releasing the force that the work wishes to express.

For the second image I thought of Testori, of his being a tragic poet, and this is the first time I have worked in a serious, serene and thoughtful way on the human skull. Unlike what usually happens, I did not start from the page of a book, but had a photo taken ad hoc that had the composition, strength and shadow that I had in mind. It is a work that takes me back, to my training, when I painted architecture characterised by dark holes, by these relationships between dark and light. I looked to my beloved Bellotto and his shadows, where images emerge powerfully through absent areas, through cavities. In this case it is a human skull and, as with the animal skulls, it is my privileged relationship with black that dominates. As in the writing, the colours are reduced to a minimum, because what dominates are the colours of absence: the shades of grey, the lunar colours that lead almost to monochrome, to grisaille. The board is a medium I never use, but it also takes me back to my early work, when I painted on upturned masonite and found wood. And then I always work on the themes of time and memory, which is why I love materials that have had their own history and that bear a trace of it.

Luca Pignatelli was born in 1962 in Milano, where he lives and works.

Posted on: 15 December 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri