“Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high level sport is one of the areas in which human beauty is most likely to express itself. The relationship is more or less what exists between courage and war. ”Writes David Foster Wallace in his famous book Roger Federer as a religious experience, published in 2006.
“Donkey Man”, the exhibition of two Italian artists Alessandro Carano and Francesco João Scavarda in Mendes Wood, San Paolo, takes place with the elegance of a tennis match.
Using a playful approach in the production of the exhibition, the latter is not a simple collaboration between the artists, but rather takes the form of an exchange of jokes about different artistic positions, leaving room for wider reflections on the nature of art and representation pictorial.
In the text that guides the exhibited works, the artists declare: “Individually, our works do not have much in common, but we both work with the idea of the sublime that reflects less that romantic sense, the more the strange feeling of unease adrenaline that you feel when you face the unpredictable or the unknown “.
Formally exhibited in the two neighboring spaces, the works alternate, offering accidental clues and connections, emancipating the attentive spectator and managing to confuse the distracted one.
Scavarda’s six canvases, Untitled (2016-17) flirt with the history of representation through delicate pastel-toned gouaches. Highly controlled in the process and with allusions to motifs of classical painting, the works play with the surfaces, misleading the perception of the eye through layered visual planes and unexpected elements such as cuts or painted ribbons.
Even the work of Alessandro Carano presents a pictorial dialogue, despite using the materials and their juxtaposition as a starting point: White Line, Untitled and Cronodrama (2017) use sandpaper, aluminum grids, metal tape and screws composing chromatic landscapes; while Lovecraft (2017) and Tentaculus (2017), suggest futuristic environments through the use of silver ribbon. The confused image of space and people reflected by the works confuses the contours of the exhibition, creating an opposite – if not dystopian – representation. Returning to the introductory text written by the artists, I cannot stop thinking about the idea of unease in relation to the sublime, concepts in perfect opposition to each other to the point of giving each one a deeper sense.