Giovanna Sottini’s work is still progressing: it is a painting focused not only on ichonographies, but also on the specificity of language, of technical instruments considered like a real expressive nucleus, primary reason of behaving. The everyday nature of situations that characterize this young artist’s works are actually emphasized by an obsessive painting, that is able to turn bodies and objects into decorative patterns, making the onlooking ask about the nature of imagination, without renouncing the pleasantness connected with the pictorial art. Full of references to previous historical facts that are well recognized, in particular for what concerns the relationship between painting and photography, the recent work of Giovanna Sottini lets us imagine a sort of maturity whose landingplace hasn’t been foreseen yet, even if it is easy to understand that it will be characterised by a further analysis of these preambles, in view of a bigger and bigger expressive autonomy. And they won’t lose the freshness and joy of doing, that comes out from these first experiments.
On Giovanna Sottini’s paintings some of her deepest experiences live again: these are moments quivering with energy, that remained engraved not only on the look, but also on the soul of the young artist. Through a psychedelic filter, that intensifies the chromatic spectrum, veers the shining effect and amplifies the constituent breath, the artist seems to recreate some visual snapshots in all of her works: short narrative clips characterised by the same rapid, cadenced and fragmentary style of the video clip.
…You can enter into the artistic world if you are willing to the journey and to exceed your formae mentis. You can enter into it if you welcome what is different, if you feel like meeting and trying it, if you are prepared to listen, to the dialogue, to the integration, to the enrichment, because you want to reveal the roots, the history and the reason of each reality.
Its course of creation goes on following stratifications of different passages, it’s repertoire of memories and graphical and mental revision, it transmits reflections that unravel from what is real towards a more hanging but more genuine dimension. The starting point is the journey, what follows the iconography product – masterly and patient – of the suggested analysis.
The journey in the contemporary society is often one of the best opportunity to walk and reach a status of hypnosis , a bewildering inner peace able to bring us into contact with the most unconscious part of the territory, to find out and show yourself, to think, to feed your mind with colors, sounds, streets scents…
the best of the verbs to suggest an invitation to travelling and to wish new experiences. It’s a key word for a family like ours, who managed to put into our veins an independent vision of the things that permits even to appropriate the blade of grass. I want to tell about these works from the biographical (or almost) point of view, explaining the interior forces that permitted their creation because nothing of what I did is separated by a trouble or an emotion.
The first experience is when I went riding during high school and university, a particular period but also full of precious and meaningful post-adolescent aftereffects. Three summer seasons spent in Mykonos, “the island that doesn’t exist” made me collect sensory spurs and perceptive distorsions that allowed me to find sufficient stuff for a short collection of four works.
Four photograms underlined by high white margins that amplify the “snapshot” effect. Flashes, symbols, mnemonic intrusions in the pandemonium of fun: discos, deejays, ketamina and following morning visions! A symbolist period at the Baudelaire style. The style used till today has always been the oil paint; I have always loved this style because it permits to be spread and spread again until it submits to the elusiveness of perfection. It’s a sort of game to know that no brush-stroke is never over.
It is certainly wasn’t to endorse the youthful trend in vogue for some time that the Prize Marina di Ravenna decided two years ago to restrict the event for young painters. It’s a line which only shifts in part from the long tradition of the “Marina”, which has moreover been suitably remodelled with regard to the initial ‘extemporaneous’ formula that with the passing of time had revealed all its inadequacy. Just as it happened with all similar events that had also survived the tabula rasa of ’68.
The choice of a competition restricted for painters ‘under 40’ responds rather to a twofold need: that of not proceeding with further and therefore somewhat taken for granted homega to figures already widely consacreted, and at the same time the determination to aim at the continuity of painting, understood in all its possible technical extensions . With regard above all to this second aspect, faithfulness to the tradition of the ‘Prize’ seeks to find the work of young artists that singularity which does not contradict the need to keep an eyes fixed on our time.
In other words, on the condition summed up by a keyword like ‘contemporary’, frequently used at the risk of even gross approximations and equivacations. It should be understood that the strongest stake lies precisely in the choice of limitng the field to painting, in order to assess its endurance with respect to all new expressive media ‘tradition of the new’ techniques. Which, as seems evident, have returned to the almost unconditional embrace of artistic officialdom after the ‘setback’ the famous – or notorious, depending on your opinion – 1980s: from the Transavanguardia to New Savages, and kindred spirits, to make it clear, who held the floor for a handful of years before undergoing a marked and almost inevitable re-dimensioning, with exceptions where they are due.
At bottom, the young artist’s choice of painting today stands for courageous faith in the possibility of being in any case an interpreter of one’s time, but in a continuity of memory which is also awareness of the irreplaceable values that the painting represents.
If anything, it is precisely comparison with the endless horizon of the history of painting itself that renders any comparison even more arduous at a moment in which the habit of ‘seeing’ and of understanding how much the painted work may still express has been almost wholly cast off.
This second edition of the ‘Marina’ is therefore far from being a mustering of nostalgic but rather a question of young artists who have not given in to the enticements of different and perhaps, at least apparently, smoother roads.
So it seems to me a propitious occasion also for a museum, the MAR, which rewards the five selected artists with an exhibition, to once more demonstrate how history and topicality may not only cohabit but also turn out to be reciprocally necessary in a bond of consequentiality . And then i see it as a good sign that these young painters – Bo Mi Kim from Korea, Sandro Palmieri from Florence, Marco Pariani from Varese, Marina Scardacciu from Sassari, Giovanna Sottini from Brescia, are so different one from the other, And if it is no longer geography that characterises their expressive modes – as with ‘school’ of painting, especially Italian, down through the ages – but the long-time contributions of an internationality of a culture and a widespread eclecticism, as they say, which appears also on the historical surface of painting, then we must welcome it as a confirmation of awareness. Just like certain traits, perhaps revelatory of returning echoes from a not wholly evaporated historic memory: this too is a certain sign of prerogatives that hark back to the prime, still sustainable reasons of painting.
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