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In a forward moving society, in a world that has no time for contemplation and that is ruled by acceleration, beauty can be found by those who look back, by those who take some time to search for innovative ideas through the reinterpretation of the past. Italian painter Alessandro Pessoli investigates historical references combining them with contemporary dreamlike narratives, aiming to enable the rebirth of authentic beauty to rise from past symbolism. 

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Alessandro Pessoli is well known in the art world for his expressive and metamorphic compositions, where multiple encounters occur; a stage for the painter to communicate historical mythology using a fresh and revisited vocabulary, telling an authentic and ancient story to the young, naif and forward-looking eyes of the contemporary viewer. 
The canvas acts like a gateway that allows historical characters to connect to the present and gain new life, after being transposed to a different time frame by the intervention of the artist’s point of view. As Pessoli himself says, history is not a predetermined entity but a shifting space, and its meaning is specifically related to different moments in time, and different individuals that experience it. An observation that allows us to understand the abstractness that underlies in the definition of the past, and the variety of different significances it is subject to. When playing with these elements, the artist experiences total freedom and is able to create inedited combinations of unpredictable expressive potential.

 

                                   

From left to right: Alessandro Pessoli, Neglected Figure, 2018. Oil and spray on canvas; Alessandro Pessoli, Fiamma Pilota, 2011. Oil and spray on canvas

When it comes to chroma, Alessandro Pessoli justifies his colour palette explaining its strong relation with the environment he is subject to. For instance, during his time in Milan, the tones and hues that prevailed were highly connected to the grey and introspective feelings that the city expressed, and to those artists that mostly influenced him.

“Certainly, the place where one lives has a great influence on what one does, it is an inevitable process. When I used to live in Milano my colour palette was much gloomier, I felt in tune with Mario Sironi, I found in him the grey sky of Milano, those dirty, smokey colours, a sort of sadness, I was emotionally tied to the Milano of the beginning of the century rather than the one from the industrial boom or the contemporary Milano of fashion and design”. 

If we look at Pessoli’s paintings from after the year 2000, and even more in those made after the year 2009, we can truly sense a chromatic turn towards a more vivid color scale, a more saturated atmosphere, in which the artist expresses the vibrations that a city like Los Angeles communicates. These powerful tones find themselves in opposition with fragments and figures depicted with grey, neutral colours, aiming to amplify the display of conflicting emotional states and allowing the artist to implement his form of authentic expressive storytelling.   

               

                                    

From left to right: Alessandro Pessoli, Defrozen Figures, 2011. Oil, enamel and spray on canvas; Alessandro Pessoli, Polka Dot Adam, 2020. Oil, oil pastel and spray on canvas.

Cover image: Alessandro Pessoli, Fiamma Pilota, 2011. Oil and spray on canvas.

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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