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DREAMS’ LANDFALL

I met Alberto Storari at a crowded trip to “Artfiera”. My senses tired and full of the many images seen, upon entering an outside corridor, I was instantly captured by a large canvas. A grand shipwreck immerged in a silver mist enveloped me in it’s mysterious hazy atmosphere. An evocative and original discovery, a landfall on an unknown island with a vision that seemed to answer some unconscious need which appeared upon seeing this work.

Loosing no time I visited his studio on a cold snowy day. The studio had just been flooded and the shipwrecks, hung on bare cement walls seemed to float in an unsettling liquid atmosphere. It’s already a perfect exhibition; it enchants and unsettles me. The perception of a shipwreck awaiting a safe harbour is overwhelming, a well known inclination which has governed my life .It seems like I must salvage the remains of a wonderful voyage from within my memory, together with the objects that emanate sensual trails.

 


 

The works will soon be moved to a new dryer studio where Storari can work more comfortably. They will move on to this and other exhibitions to give us new imaginary landfalls. A beached shipwreck is a powerful metaphor for unfulfilled desires, sails unable to open to the wind, troubled paths, ships stranded in hazy dreamlike atmospheres with a romantic Kaspar Friedrich like feel to them. Dreams, memories of a frozen era, a mysterious dimension filled with fantasies of images and voices from the depths of our mind .The visionary artist’s talent can produce mysterious inspiration to the sensitive spectator including the most precious gift, that of being greatly moved by beauty. Setting sail has always been part of our dreams; the sea’s breath is life itself’s breath. The wave’s infinite movement and the thrust of the wind on the sails are the very movements of life, port after port towards new landfalls and adventures. In our search for new adventurous voyages, where did we run aground? What became of our desires and dreams? In this noisy and useless world which we struggle in, is poetry our lost friend? Let us place our mourning for poetry in these works in order to renew our desire for it. And yet in an invigorating winters walk on a windy beach, with its melancholy charm we find the poetry, inspired by Robert Walsers bitter and moving reflections. Other dreams, objects and rhythms and other spaces will be the scenario for new achievements.

What fascinates is the density of Storari’s work as he moves freely between the surface and the depths like the sea foam; it is an interminable work on the search for meaning amongst these damask scaffolds. A “Nostos”, to be able to return to a place which resides only in our memories, but where we left our soul, to the part of us which was tied to happiness, curiosity and light heartedness and where the slow ongoing rhythm of life has buried these sublime emotions. Romantic and iconographic literature has left our imagination full of archetypal symbols of humanity’s constant battle against the storms of life, from which the ghost ship emerges out of a misty beyond to swallow in its fearful stomach the fragile ship of our existence. For Edmond Burke an aesthetic experience of the sublime, combines wonder and delight, but also the fear of the unimaginable, an aesthetic and psychological concept that sinks through our personal unconscious, into our dark and unmentionable experiences. It is that which the artist can bring to light. For Novalis the invisible is suspended above the visible, the perceivable with the unperceivable, the thinkable with the unthinkable in as much as the object of art is not what you see, rather what you don’t see, as K. Freidrich noted.

Storari’s subjects, although filled with polysemous richness, are of pure aesthetic value, void of points of reference; one has the experience of losing oneself in a sphere without boundaries. If the great shipwrecks appear to make a breach through the cloudy memories of the infinite, the works portrayed on the ephemeral and delicate paper portray a narrowing which seems to darken from the outside inwards, with the visual field of the memory closing itself on the well travelled paths of light and desire. The expressive core of these works is no longer attached to the outside world, but to an interior emptiness of meditative solitude and silence. It is expectation, akin to Felini’s memory of the ship “Rex ”passing through the misty night, surprising our sleep filled with long held desires, only to watch our dreams sail away. We must await its return yet again.

 

Author Rosita Lappi

 

OF MOTIONLESS SUBLIME

Alberto Storari’s pictures are fine. “Here is a truth valid for each living and thinking being”, wanting to gloss the incipit of Schopenhauer’s work, The World as Will and Representation. This judgement holds in itself an urgent danger, that vulgata current criticism gives the same value to attributions of beauty as to empty truism of foolishness. Saying that Alberto Storari’s pictures are fine means a lot. They graze grandeur, I was about to say sublime. So: fine they are fine, but not sublime. Now, before causing the eventual readers (and Storari himself) an attack of tachycardia, I will follow on introducing my thesis. His neutrally accomplice fascination for romantic temperament, evocated by the representation of colossal wreckages, beached and decontestualized as whim in reality, can be matched to tipical romantic emotion of Sublime, terme of comparison for thinkers (Immanuel Kant and Edmund Burke, after the Great Precursory of Sublime, of course, the Pseudo Longino) and painters (William Turner, Caspar David Friedrich et cetera).

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The image of the wreck of the ship

The image of the wreck, the ship at the mercy of the weather, occurs in Western figurative with some frequency since the romantic era, when Delacroix, Turner and Friedrich have place in a different way, in the center of some of their most famous and challenging compositions. The sinking as a metaphor of the unequal struggle between man and nature, typical of the culture of the early nineteenth century, then turns over time – and as a result of events of great impact on the collective imagination, such as the sinking of large ocean liners or naval battles of the two world wars – in a wider metaphor for the transience of life experience, a sort of memento mori that transforms the wreck in an abandoned animal between or near the shore.

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