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In our contemporary world, made of contaminations and unusual combinations, different imageries are ordinarily clashed with one another and allowed to enact inedited dialogues. Urban and vandalic settings often share the same stage with the beauty of nature, enabling artists like Cosimo Casoni to create a visual research surrounding the relations between the given elements of this atypical dialectic coexistence. 

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Born in in Florence in 1990, Cosimo Casoni lives and works between Tuscany and Milan, where a variety of elements from the artist’s everyday life find a close connection with the depths of his memories and his Tuscan origins. 

 

Cosimo Casoni, La Strada di Casa #3 (Vallombrosa), 2021. Oil, Skateboard marks, bitumen, spray paint, cotton canvas stretched on linen

 

In Casoni’s research, his love both for painting and skateboarding finds a way to express itself, communicating to the viewer using a Postvandal vocabulary; a visual language which is simultaneously connected to the street-like setting that can be found in a skateboarding pool, and to the primal element of nature, when observed in its state of survival within our metropolitan context. If, for instance, we take some time to observe one of Casoni’s latest works “La Strada di Casa #3 (Vallombrosa)” (2021), now on show at G/ART/EN Gallery, we will find ourselves in front of an atypical dialectical appearance

 

Cosimo Casoni, Installation view of Contaminations at G/ART/EN Gallery w/Fabian Treiber, 2021.

 

Within the linen canvas, nostalgic reminiscences, implemented by the stillness expressed by the presence of a landscape dear to the artist’s memory, are short-circuited with the dynamism of the tar traces left by the passage of the skateboard. The landscape, which is the beloved one of Vallombrosa, is painted following the authentic lessons learned from the Tuscan “Macchiaioli”, a key element of the artist’s imagery which shows Casoni’s close relation with his referential origins. The skateboard marks are instead produced during the artist’s time practicing in the streets, in skateparks or in the studio, and stand as a trace of the artist’s everyday life experience, expressing the dynamic and chaotic environment that the painter is subject to in his metropolitan existence. The dialogue between these two visual languages, creates for the viewer an aesthetic made of movement and stillness, din and quietude, anxiety and imperturbation, allowing the observer to dive into a moment of recollection, before resurfacing, after a certain amount of time, having used the elements of the composition to create an inedited story of his own. 

 

Cosimo Casoni, Eden, 2020. Oil on canvas.

 

The key element of nostalgia, which triggers both the artist’s research and the viewer’s interest, can be found throughout all of Casoni’s work, as in “Eden” (2020), a small sized painting of powerful presence, where all of Casoni’s symbols are clashed into a melancholic representation of the artist’s self. Here, in a setting of seemingly surrealistic appearance, a dreamy atmosphere and a strong Tuscan vibration open up a void for the observer to fill with his past and present memories. What initially resembles a well executed landscape, after a moment of recollection, slowly begins to look more and more like a self portrait. 

In our contemporary and forward moving environment, often what remains are traces, unidentified marks, hidden within our metropolitan surroundings. There to be discovered and unveiled by the eyes of the innovative. 

 

Cosimo Casoni, Déjà vu #5 (Le Marze), 2020. Oil on canvas.

 

Cover image: Cosimo Casoni, Déjà vu #4 (Quarantine Easter), 2020. Oil on canvas.

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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