Nicola Micieli - Lo Sguardo Oltre - The look beyond by Mauro Rea
(Mauro Rea - Lo sguardo Oltre , polimaterico su tela)
Nicola Miceli - Lo sguardo oltre di Mauro Rea
I feel pure empathy while looking at Mauro Rea’s picto-sculpture works, and the others, formally similar and based on the same poetics, but developed on a plane. Some, in particular, make me think at once, to the expressions of a primitive painter, who stratifies and aggregates nucleuses and presence of figures, decorative signs and patterns in substantially coordinated compositions, even where the differentiation between the plane of the figure and the one of the background is kept. In other works, even in absence of any kind of figures, but with the presence of an emerging scheme of marks and signs, there is always the evocation of a primary atmosphere, but through discrete movements that emphasise the material whose structures somehow recall a sort of totemic symbolism, when they are not explicitly based on the variegated totemic typology.
Therefore, I take the liberty to think of Mauro Rea as a contemporary aboriginal, but at the same time, I must confess that I do not know in which continent, country, or unexplored region of the globe, if there is still one, he has his origin. However, these are only my thoughts. In fact, it would be improper to recognise to Mauro Rea, that is his art, a “geographical” placement, since the roots of his imaginary world draw from a limitless basin: his imagination, in which the echoes and the memories of numerous other imaginary worlds whose roots are differently placed in space and time, converge fluidly and mixed.
As a contemporary aboriginal, Mauro Rea introduces and reveals in his works quite a few signs, clues, material evidences, and visual documents. For example, a single object, a bent nail, an inscription of metropolitan wall graffiti, or a figure insertion that could be fantastic or taken from the enormous iconosphere in which we are immersed, and that therefore, can identify and be symptomatic of our historic contingency. However, it could also have been taken from the immense iconotheca of art, which remains the primary constitutional source of formal language, even for a so-called contemporary “primitive”.
Whatever the accesses suggested to our mind and the points of view he offers to our look may be, Mauro Rea never declares his contemporaneity, but he hints at it or makes you sense it as a natural sensation. I mean that he makes you perceive it through the activation of your senses, thus through the actualism of vision, and not through the actuality of its possible contents, or through an analogical image reference, modality of the language, and aesthetical communication proofing its explicitness.
It would be extremely topical; it could make you think about a real aboriginal of modern culture based on computer technology, an imaginary universe totally immaterial, based on the unlimited possibility, offered by electronic means, of manipulating the signs, shapes, and images. However, it is not the kind of virtuality, which in Mauro Rea’s case we call “magic”, that becomes for those who declare themselves or are considered to be anti-modernist, since he does not want to be limited to a specific time, his and ours, which would be restrictive, even if part of a cosmic perspective. It would be for an artist that cultivates and prefigures archetypal shapes, the fundamental and eternal structures of knowledge and communication, a continuous thread that connects past and future. A clear example of this is the totemic monolith made of accurate lines at the beginning and at the end of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Kubrick’s film dating back to 1968.
I look at Mauro Rea’s works and think of an artist who takes inspiration from a magical and animistic vision of reality. They seem impregnated of a syncretism of cultural beliefs and impulses that cancel the space-time line, and defers to an anthropological indefinite where every sign, symbol, and figure is absorbed, metabolised, and placed in another dimension, which I cannot define.
If I were sure not to be misunderstood, I would talk about a suspended and mythical dimension, that is, the metaphysical shifting to a spiritualistic reading of the anthropological indistinctness of Mauro Rea’s world, as threshold of transcendence. A metahistorical category instead of, as some works corresponding more to rupestrian and parietal art would suggest, some prehistoric period or even, more generically, the primitivism of the so called interrupted cultures, which would be nevertheless an arrangement in time along the evolution of human civilisation.
In this sense, Mauro Rea’s works are even intriguing and captious in their similarity, especially those in which painting and relief integrate. Their suggestion power is such that they can easily be mistaken for rupestrian findings with a properly incised and painted rough surface. Real graffiti of an original but refined ethnic group, indecipherable according to the current codes of cultural anthropology and semiology applied to the repertoire of natural symbols and pictograms.
Not casts or parts of scenes realised on the walls of their caverns by primitive painters/shamans, and recovered by the artist through pictorial interventions and possible integrations of material, to simulate mineral oxidations, colours, decorations, and imaginary human and animal presences. For the way the mixed material is arranged and assumes a sort of mineral morphology, and the pictorial one is emphasised transferring to the warm and arranged shades the original strength of the colour, these visions of Mauro Rea seem more sections of originals removed in considerably thick slabs, instead of new creations of a contemporary artist. However, Mauro Rea has no mimetic intention; he is not skilled in executing visual illusions. He would have no reason to make true copy of an outdated primordial world, since the “workshop” of his imagination is able to produce one of its own that contains them all, and with each one of them, he establishes a sort of osmosis of senses and poetic illuminations.
Therefore, I will assign Mauro Rea’s works to an interstitial space, to an ephemeral or delicate world, somehow located between reality and imagination; the same world of the being conceived in the most exquisitely pantheistic interpretation of living nature, of which man is vibratile fibre. Actual documents of original art, they search for and find their authenticity within the feeling that inspires them and that relies on the intuition and empathy of the observers, and not on some kind of anthropological, ethnic, hermetic, or other nature reading code; not even on the one of those analytic or historic codes used to interpret art languages.
One work, among the others, seems to represent, as a symbol, the nature of the visionary world of Mauro Rea. It is entitled “Lo sguardo oltre” (The look beyond) and represents a settled and incandescent landscape. At the top, a crested horizon crossed by a big feline. Everywhere – incised, in relief, applied, there are the signs, symbols, and figures, the iconic inserts of the above-mentioned original “graffiti”. In the foreground, the original revelation! The head of a man on which the figured “topography” of the ground, as if he had his imaginary hand on the ground, which becomes a sort of pillow for his head that looks sleepy, dreamy, and immersed in death. He has the eyes of a visionary poet and he clearly is the access door to the submerged and infinitely large dimension of that interstitial space in which Mauro Rea places his visions.
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