To the artist Fiona Liberatore
I, more than other critics in Italy, pushed myself to apply a method that in France has a long tradition in the "Salons des Refusées", in which it was possible to recognize in not less difficult and not less << crowded >>times, artists like Manet and Gauguin. Now, I have seen thousands of proposals, knowing fully well that as many or more do not reveal themselves or have other, different channels. The Vittorio Sgarbi Award project selects some of them, like a constellation in an ever-expanding firmament. The right to exist, for an artist, means the possibility of getting out of the anonymity and solitude of his studio. It guarantees a primary, constitutional good: the right to creativity. A simple exhibition is not enough to conquer it; a testimony is needed, the recognition of those who intend to discover the potential of an artist and take him under his tutelage, describing the essence of his vision and thoughts. The choice of your work is a document of existence and artistic commitment.
Fiona Liberatore, born in 1960.
Homologation, consumerism, waste of human skills: These are the themes touched predominantly by the artist.Her work tries to give a cross-section of today’s society which is now moving from anthropocentrism towards an objective center of gravity. Humanity now crosses almost exclusively “ non-places “, gets lost in a spray of advertising slogans, lets ephemeral information enter the minds, subtracting useful space from what is most human: culture.The figural representation of all this translates into vivid , attractive, yet disturbing-looking images, synonymous of a superficial reality of appearances that leaves no time to reflect. Consciousness is cleared and absorbed by fluorescent images, captivating, but empty in their ultimate meaning. Culture is no longer individuality and peculiarity , rather the elements of differentiation are canceled by a decline in subjectivity, which is digested by the unicellular organism into which we, our society, our landscapes, our art are being transformed.
The ultimate message is that technicolor has now made us addicted, we are satisfied with our false simplicity, with our modern entertainment, zapping is our favorite sport and we feel fulfilled if we can solve a puzzle on the mobile phone.
We are convinced that we are independent, self-sufficient, we close ourselves in our shell of colorful fabrics, certainly well furnished, forbidding access to anything that doesn’t come from a bright screen.
What the artist places her hopes in is an external intervention to the cry of “ Aliens, come and get me!”
"Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News. At twenty minutes before eight, Central Time, Professor Farrell of the Mount Jennings Observatory, Chicago, Illinois, reports observing several explosions of incandescent gas, occurring at regular intervals on the planet Mars.
The narration continues in the form of a direct testimony from the envoy: " "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Carl Phillips again, out at the Wilmuth farm, Grovers Mill, New Jersey...I hardly know where to begin...I guess that's the thing buried in front of me, half buried in its vast pit."
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is Carl Phillips again, out at the Wilmuth farm, Grovers Mill, New Jersey...I hardly know where to begin...I guess that's the thing buried in front of me, half buried in its vast pit.”
A few minutes later...
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed...Someone's crawling out of the hollow top...The whole field's caught fire...It's coming this way. About twenty yards to my right—"From "The War of the World" (H.G. Wells)
Marine ecosystems, invaded by alien species, plastic debris colonizers. Millions of tons of residual plastic, huge traveling raft of potential and invasive neo-monsters . Mr. McGuire:
I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Are you listening?
Yes, I am.
Exactly how do you mean?
There's a great future in plastics.
Benjamin, a recent graduate, could not understand so much optimism. Or maybe he didn't want to understand the approach of a new world.
A revolutionary invention. The transformation of things, functional, impromptu. Not long-lasting. Easy to change. The liquid, precarious and unstable society was on the doorstep of a new society. The Nobel Prize had now given the stura to the wide consumption of plastic in all its shapes and colors. Disposable. The illuminating metaphors about Bauman's modernity. The concepts of consumerism, globalization. The dismantling of safety and a liquid, hectic life that adapts and adapts to the attitudes of the group, before being excluded. Pasolinian homologation. An anthropological mutation. Bulimic consumption without an apparent purpose. Waste disposal is therefore one of the two main challenges facing liquid life. The other is the risk of ending up in waste." The things you once owned now own you." Durden. The fake micro-plastic plankton enters the food chain.Toxic additives that shape plastic in the endocrine and metabolic system. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to the environment.
Two main challenges facing liquid life. Using and throwing, compulsively a material that lasts 100 years, verges to madness. The risk of ending up in waste.Not even 60 years ago, this would have horrified men with common sense.
Today it seems normal to us. Common sense has been lost in recent years, used and thrown along with plastic. The fear of UFO’s conquering the earth, imposes on us a reflection bitter and inevitable. Are we sure that aliens want to come into contact with a violent and unjust civilization like ours?
We are ourselves the real threat to the universe.
We are the ones who in human history have fought, conquered, created, exploited, impoverished and destroyed.
Art, like Poetry, captures from everyday life the inspiration that is reworked with a cognitive process and manifests itself, as in the case of Fiona Liberatore, with a final pictorial product. The beauty of E. Hopper's works , the depth of his paintings that tell about the loneliness and anxieties of contemporary American Society.
A. Warhol's Icons explore the collective imagination of consumerism and typical American contradictions. In F. Bacon, anguish and isolation are evident, through the deformation of human figures. Street Artist Banksy expresses social inequalities through anti-system slogans, against war, power, greed. It is the myth of America Dream or the right to happiness that creaks under the doubts of a disturbing art. The American Gothic of the enigmatic and mysterious Grant Wood breaking into the apparent home. Works of deep concern.
Fiona Liberatore, attentive to social dynamics, does not shy away from a symbolist reading of her art. A conscious subjective description of a world that changes and devours us. She is an artist of dissent with the most intimate reactions. Plastic Aliens from the dreamlike atmosphere, investigates our consciences, the depths of the soul.
The domination of color over time of lost utterance
The compositional archetype of Fiona Liberatore's painting (once the cutting sharpness of the plastic-pictorial dualism has been overcome, on which critics have already committed for too long and in an avulsive way to the point of mediating an improper para-philosophical condition) clearly confirms the evidence primary and irrepressible of a chromatic supremacy. In the obligatory form-color complementarity, the latter prevails in you. It is also evident that the form understood in its exemplary conception of "circle of creative thought" (and as such limiting), sometimes blamed as persevering, severe stepmother of every creation of art (but of which, however, our painter preserves, albeit museologically, the fragments in a modest figurative tabernacle) in Fiona's painting is mystified and confused, finally relegating itself to an objective ancillary position. Not that this condition is a limitation of the artist's communicative strength; indeed, it can more properly be considered as a real, synthetic and effective evocative tool that dictates the rules of the pictorial writing itself while powerfully assuming responsibility for the spatial and material condition of the object in an only-begotten form and governs its emotional effect.
It is therefore the color that takes care of guiding and supporting the sign.
All this is quite evident in many works already known and appreciated by Fiona, first of all the series of acrylics called Still Life.
The same evolved and conscious expressive reductio supervises the performances of the Artist in the incidental interventions of minimalist installation (still Still Life from 2013 and Eyes open and shut) which can be considered rather as an attempt at a youthful expansion of the self towards an emotional offer. , a hammock suspended between two old beech trees, a generational necessity and a whim, an updated paraphrase of the first sign of the child written with a closed fist in the book of pastels.
In all the interventions, however, nature is felt to be sister and companion so that it is pleasant to dialogue with her, the undisputed mother of all colors, to the point of almost attempting the gentle violence of the creative graft, a bold blow inflicted on the sacred tonal custody, for the sole presumable taste (obvious being the interlocutory defeat of so much risk) to initiate a confrontation and to give oneself hieratically to an executioner, however benevolent and permissive: nature, taken as a mandatory and pedagogical reference, if not even ethical.
It has been written very consistently in this regard: “Too often our relationship with nature is limited to a distracted disinterest. For its part, nature is always patient, it continues to move according to its rhythms, dresses and undresses in the different seasons and offers itself to us in all its beauty. This extraordinary show that our land puts on is sacred: after all it is nature itself, with its changing forms that invites us to admire it and perceive it as a silent poem whose words are its forms, its lines, its smells and its colors. If in the vision of Fiona Liberatore trees and flowers move in an engaging space where colors vibrate and create a spiritual halo like the large stained glass windows of the cathedrals, the winter landscapes of Fusun Akbaygil capture the nakedness of nature in its free essentiality, making it re-emerge. strongly hidden colors. In the two interpretations there is therefore a logical and chromatic thread, an "interweaving" of shapes where the protagonist is undoubtedly the tree, a symbol of life that is renewed ".
Hence, above all trees and flowers break through as protagonists in Fiona's first production with the delicate offer of the collection Dialogue with a Flower that the painter defines as “a big hug”. But it is above all the exemplary proposal of The tree and me of 2015 that summarizes and exegetically clarifies the hendiadys of color and design in a product of pure essence and almost virtual concept.
Well wrote Pierluigi Terio again: "... the trees of Fiona Liberatore, with their strong polychrome colors dominate, imposing, like Lebanese Cedars, in lush terrestrial Paradises" then inviting to "... look upwards, beyond the foliage for a more light ".
The light is therefore recalled and finally bursts in to generate color itself (or only to reveal it?); the light has always been, the only generous matrix, divine sword of the possessive yearning of the eyes and the unexpected wonder of the first rock painter.
And what about the design requirement?
Fiona naturally favors the undoing of the role of form (already so dear to classical philosophers and which still governs much of the discourse on art); a role that historically runs out, as is known, when the purely reproductive function of art in relation to reality expires. For her part, the painter places herself in a sort of waiting in the oceanic and variegated post-impressionist limbo, where she gathers the signs to progressively break the last iconic fragment and venture into the earthly liquid of the informal (at least in the side in which it dialogues with the abstract which in turn attempts the recomposition of forms using areas of color, precise perimeters and delineations); in fact she deliberately ignores the sensational but essential overcoming made by the same informal technique that “limits the energies of color within the confines of the painting”. Ultimately it leads back to a condition of further objectivity of the color tool which is made on the one hand (for what has already been said) of a design nature and of a purely energetic value on the other.
Fiona Liberatore therefore never completely breaks down the visual reality (which of course does not necessarily coincide with the figurative and formal one); and it certainly does so out of a gentle feeling of infantile possession (as once the girls with the old empty boxes of Rachèl powder) placing themselves as a fragile elytra vibrated in what is really a process of expressive essentialization, where the pure ontogenetic condition is distilled of Chevreul's chromatism, which in turn takes on all the emotional necessity. Works such as those of the Trasalimenti collection of 2013 bear witness to this.
In summary, Fiona honestly takes on a sincere attempt at utterance using the obligatory and limited tools of pictorial art with the awareness that, like vocal language, these are unable to fully express nuances of pure sensations and sentiment to the point that, in a well-known episode "…. the Poet -Mallarmè_ complains of the fact that "les mots de la tribe, unable to be bearers of a single emotion, force him to create a new language: he cannot therefore use them, but must recreate them, inventing a sens plus while".
And this is the expressive limit, objective and insuperable, of every form of art: the instrumental monotype that ultimately generates the crisis of sayability.
With the last production line, the Artist reconfirms the ethically impeccable message, albeit diversifying the object of the research, and favoring as usual the eschatological data to the detriment of a predominantly figural reading, in a renewed propensity for the chromatic exposure that it even intensifies in its expressiveness; a propensity to which, paradoxically (provocatively?), a revival of the drawing narrative, more strictly figural, almost classical (especially in the group of works called Candy Portraits) is interpolated.
This recent production materializes in the collection called Plastic Aliens comprising 28 works that the artist loves to comment on in person by distinguishing the narrative objects into four groups. At first (Me and the aliens) (1) questions the “genuine darkness that accompanies it with the aliens”, evoking hope, desire, wonder; then fanned, to amaze in a neo-pop key, the gallery of Candy Portraits (2-13), a true and very personal hall of fame whose characters unarmedly submit to a subordinate acting role (not inclusive of their specific individual and historical profile) , agreeing to a minor voice while the Artist describes them only as "carved souls, scratched by fascinating laments". The color, always the protagonist, here recalls the game, extroverts the cheerfulness and tickles the declamation: this shining gallery of contemporary characters that we could more generically define with Giulia Terio as purely object witnesses of a "zero consciousness" should be read in this sense and absorbed by fluorescent images, captivating but empty in their ultimate meaning ”.
In the group of Floating candies (14-16) Fiona returns to expressions and evocations dear to her, emotionally attached to the communicative emergency of the beginning; color powerfully recovers its exclamatory role and encamps the whole picture with the power and determination that nature entrusts to it; the form becomes neglected again, while all around the silence stretches "on the excesses of mankind ... which promise paradises but create despair".
Tonal and chromatic recovery prevails and is also strengthened in the latest collection Dialogue with Migrating Kooks (17-28); the most disturbing, despite its apparent neatness, a living metaphor of migration "another" more dramatically current but in fact everlasting precisely in its human insistence. The imagination evokes "flashes of migratory swans" to brighten and soften the route of "human travelers" who wander "in the beautiful shadow of an extraordinary cloak".
We can honestly say, as long as the painter agrees, that the first expressive phase of Fiona Liberatore practically ends here; phase of stylistic and thematic training but above all of useful decanting of one's own inspirational impulses which, finally, eliminating the slack silk, make the final warp precious, consolidating our Artist in his personal, necessary poetics, essential sensitive trace of an authentic artistic research personal.
We can say that Fiona is defining her "poetics".
We feel we can borrow in this regard a beautiful observation by Cesare Segre which seems to us very useful as a "guideline" in the artistic research of our painter (but valid for all artists); well known words and concepts but worth remembering.
"The poetics" says Segue "include ... a complex of possibilities of signification in which all the elements of a culture are reflected, also thanks to combinations and commutations ... they include oppositions to" empty forms "of general validity and more or less strong codes . But what characterizes the poetics is their aptitude to connect the forms and stereotypes of reality, therefore to operate a continuous osmosis between language and non-verbal cultural codes. It is thanks to this attitude that the artistic text can convey its multifaceted combination ".
In the spiritual experience that is painting-research-communication of Fiona Liberatore (today already engaged in coherent, further "ecological" recovery operations) we feel precisely the attempt, albeit unfinished, to individually acquire that poetic trace captured in its originality, which guides the research ( and mitigates suffering!) in art and that, in the repeated migrations of the spirit (but this Fiona knows it well!) is the only star capable of indicating infinity.
Pasquale Del Cimmuto
The difficulty of long – travelling to define the noise of life the rigorously dumb transits.
Searching from your balustrade – artificial memories, mental trash…
Your reflections are shut up.
All your imaginations that have never been thought wheel around the earth in the big soul and disperse themselves in the universe.
You manage to schedule – archivate – deviate – sharply like an oration the collection of a mutual reciprocal elegance and amiability.
The colours of the that settle on your canvas with the gracely and elegant step of the cirkasse women.
With the divine help as by chance – relate – shatter the lullabies of the elder women sitting in the sun on the alter step.
The presence without eyesight .
You, manage to observe the apples in the winter kissed by the moon.
To set on fire in point blank the sultriness and enervated torture instrument that torments humanity
Exhibit like a clandestine fortune-teller , the break up – the amazement – the oversight of the woman – with the instrument of the magnetic resonance of your touch.
GABRIELE DI PIETRO
Fiona Liberatore’s trees, strong polychromatic shades, dominating, imposingly , like the cedar of Lebanon ,in luxuriant earthly Paradises . The Tree of good and evil, planted in the Edenic Garden.Damned were the snake and human avidity.The tree represents the metaphor of our own humanity. “ Le végetal est le modéle de l’home” (C.Levi Strauss).According to Plato human being is “arbor inversa”, where the roots are hair and the branches are arms.The tree of love that seals in its bark the bond between Angelica and Medoro and that incites Orlando’s madness.The tree as interlocutor, confidant and mentor ,whose shadow protects us.The tree of justice ,the Lime tree around which the wise men, reunited,sentenced.Trees ,witnesses of biblical faith, planted by God.The tree of Knowledge for the construction of the Cross.The resinous cypress for the Arch. The tall Ceddar for the Temple of Solomon. Calvino’s child’s tree of adventures. A gaze from above, in the silence, in the dark, to keep a minimum but insurmountable distance.The tree of Porfirio and his paradigm .The tree of Life, of creation of worlds, of energetic nourishment, the ladder of Jacob. Looking for greater light high up, over the foliages.Homo erectus rises slowly, not to imitate the apes but the nearby trees .The eternal human tree is born.