Critical by Roberta Ridolfi - 2004
WHAT REMAINS? We wanted to conquer the world but the world conquered us. That is what we, without rhetoric, but honestly are lead to believe. Humanity faces all types of troubles from its history, allowing itself to be crossed by many fleeting and superficial TV images. We are all rotating in this frantic orbit in this contemporary world full of contradictions and lacking answers. Nonetheless, not all has been lost: often unwillingly waiting for one`s life to end, a dim light can be perceived.....Sentimentally, we could refer to this as hope but in this particular case, we prefer to call it consciousness - a pondered conscious awareness of our human side. The means by which not to satisfy the questionable way of how things usually go, are not missing. Let`s take, for example, the role that the arts play as the expression of unease: a malaise expressed through avant-guarde theatre, in contemporary dance, in hermetic poetry, in the visual arts through different historical movements and so forth...There is, nonetheless, a new way of conveying innovative messages full of energy and new poetic attitudes, which can be found in the re-emergence of painting. In past centuries, painting was considered the sovereignty of the arts, but during the nineties it underwent a phase of decline that brought about its standstill. A kind of impasse which, for a short while, saw numerous experimentations applied to video and digital technology. As is well known nowadays, art, as well as fashion, are heavily reliant on variations of tone in trending styles... Yet this consideration is out of our scope of interest if art is considered as pure essence, as the expression of the artist`s more inscrutable side, as it pertains, in essence, to the aesthetics of one`s looks. We intend, nonetheless, to focus our attention on the poetic originality of expressing one`s self through painting....and this is precisely why we intend on discussing Giuliano Tamburini`s intriguing and unique artwork. Let us answer the question posed at the beginning of this thesis, exemplified by Giuliano Tamburini`s works, stating: What remains? What remains of our hopes for the future? What about the guiding light for the future? What about us? If we are unable to reflect our image in the clear and encouraging iris of all children that crowd this artist`s paintings, what shall we do? What else can we do? We can read the grey dullness of the figures portrayed in the background by the artist. We can recognize the dull and imaginary setting, constituting the background of the distinct characters in the forefront and consider it a type of world implausible to us. But this is not enough! We believe the characters` features, painted by Tamburini, are not simply figures, but rather portraits of an emotion, aesthetical monuments of human frailty, particularly if we refer to those people who were, and still are, subject to the countless assaults approaching from the exterior, due to the times they are living in. We, however, do not wish to convey neither fear nor lack of hope, but rather wish to express a new possible manner of living our life, through the purity of art. We can even avoid using words to state/notify/denounce. Painting is, perhaps, an alternative way of doing so, but we cannot avoid using our heart, if we wish to manipulate emotions. The protagonists` eyes in Tamburini`s settings do not usually express a statement, a state of mind, but rather they witness the emotional progress of one`s life, in particular of the one they are involved in. After all, the artist narrates a story, where he himself is the protagonist, since he is intimately involved in the narrative he is painting (which he ultimately depicts as the story of the contemporary time he is living in). Another significant aspect in Tamburini`s work is, without a doubt, his strategic use or better psychological use of colour. In fact, the chromatic vigour of the primary colours, and I dare add, in my opinion, so similar to pop art style which fill foreground figures, is in direct contrast with a the masterfull and original use of the background`s silver colour. For the rendering of these chromatic choices, one should carefully consider the position of the figure inside the story being portrayed. The coloured figures grow to be, in fact, auspicious symbols for the future and they represent the present day. On the contrary, the background figures and setting, is characterized by grey shades and by the chromatic ambiguity of silver tones. The colour silver is ambiguous, since, being directly influenced by the variations of light incidence, it refers to the incognito uncertainity of history....a possible allusion to ancient Fate, to which each person is obliged to answer. A turmoil of contemporary world, of social denounciation, of a careful interpretation of the time we are living in occurring on the two essential levels of the pictorial portrayal; in particular, technically, through the experimentation of the pictorial means without limiting himself to the perfection of performance, and, poetically, through the attempts to juxtapose figures showing themselves in all their intensity. The flow of emotions, the well-pondered, masterful imposition of the reflection to which the artist is leading, allows a touched re-reading of history. But something remains. The entirety results in a mother`s protective and hopeful embrace towards her petite son, behind which, a grey, vague town, divided by a dark and profound wall, stands out. Once again, children playing and throwing stones towards a cannon, confusing play with war adults` play, while a western child is observing them, or an eastern child busy making a ball, while behind his back there are other children playing with other balls. One could continue but it is Tamburini`s works that express their best, in the charming vision of this exhibition; his way of being an unobtrusive and timid interpreter of the world scene, opposed to the explosion of pure energy he portrays through his paint. It is a painting that does not search for beauty, which for a long time has abandoned an academic approach, twisting its way in today`s convulsive contemporary world. Tamburini`s poetics are the kind which cannot leave us indifferent, because of its originality and uniqueness, for its being, made by the almost carnal substance of the world. It is now art, a rare strength of human sensitivity, to show a valid way-out to life. A door open onto the world, and onto the future, can be interpreted in the picture through two children in bathing suits depicted from the backside, so real that you can imagine touching them. The two children look at the skyscrapers, similar to grey ghosts, of a big city. A look on the future incognito, but it is a look which needs to be interpreted. But those children, like in a play, never show us their face.
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