ANIMULA VAGULA BLANDULA: Artist Statement

Category: Curatorial

The work of Marco Cassani is constructed around the idea of a place of origin. The painter takes a physical and psychological journey, going profoundly into the man. Not to the primitivism but even further to the place before birth. To find the place of origin where things are still undefined. There, he starts to re-understanding the things and defines them according to his own experience. In this place, he is the Animula Vagula Blandula (these are Latin words written by Adriano, a Roman emperor. The meaning is: little soul, wandering and pale).

Through his paintings, the artist wants to share some of those things, those human aspects he has encountered during his voyage: the word, the house, the home, the meditation, the solitude, the unknown, the mother earth, the agriculture, the awakening, the death. The painter believes that his paintings should always be open to the spectator’s interpretation. Therefore he does not provide a series of a well-defined paintings but only the traces of vague narration presented in a balanced proportion with his expression. He wants to invite the spectators to see closer, to get closer, to see through many different layers of his paintings. When they do, they would find those traces such as the small men, the organs, and the skulls. These little traces are intended to provoke curiosity, questions, thought and eventually to stimulate people to find their own definition of his paintings.

To create his paintings, Marco Cassani does not follow any methodologies of work. The paintings were born from his initial ideas, from photographs, his sketches, stories, books, internet. Everything has a potential for inspiration, even from the progress of the painting itself. Sometimes there is a real dialogue between the painting and the painter. Sometimes the painting suggests to the painter how to continue or how to finish the work. As important as the inspirations is his intense research on materials and techniques. He uses oil colours, acrylics, chalks, enamels, asphalt and mixing them to achieve some peculiar effect from the reaction produced by the mixture. This peculiar effects of mixed material that he calls “The stain” could be seen constantly on every of his work. He also uses various instruments to apply colours: pens, spatula, knives and rocks to achieve a new relationship with the colours. Marco Cassani does not have restriction of time when he works. A painting takes its time to finish; it could be one month, two or three months or even 15 months.

The first one of the paintings exhibited in this show was started in the beginning of 2008, a short time after he returned from his 3 months travel, living alone in a wood in Mexico. This travel plays important role in the spiritual aspect of his paintings.

In this exhibition, Marco Cassani presents a music created from his three months collaboration with an Italian musician. This music was created with a strong root to his art, using mathematical algorithm to bring the spectators deeper into his paintings. Inside the paintings there is a little bit of everything of Marco’s life. It takes more than words to understand and feel them. It takes time.Like he says for the life: Feel with the heart, re-elaboration with the brain, and feel again with the heart.

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Published: July 1, 2010





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