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The path that leads towards the definition of the artistic persona is impervious and unpredictable, characterized by moments of recollection and continuous mutation, an adventure that an artist must look forward to and dive into, in order to develop a mature and profound conciousness of the medium that suits him at best. Throughout his life, Salvatore Mangione, also known as “Salvo”, experimented a variety of techniques and processes before falling in love with painting and becoming the artist that we know today.

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Salvo, San Nicola Arcella, 2004. Oil on canvas.

 

Born in Leonforte, Sicily, in 1947, but raised in Turin, Salvo experienced a vivid artistic youth, strongly connected to many important figures of the Italian Arte Povera movement, and artists like Alighiero Boetti, Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Salvo’s upbringing saw him experimenting with a variety of artistic processes, such as conceptual photography, collage, and some forms of sculpting, that allowed him to express his ego and the self-congratulation that we can find throughout all of his work.

Find your favourite Salvo's painting on Kooness!

 

       

From left to right: Salvo, Il Giorno Fu Pieno di Lampi, La Sera Verranno le Stelle, 1991. Oil on canvas; Salvo, Il Mattino, 1995. Oil on canvas.

Then came 1973, the year of change, when Salvo’s deep connection towards his motherland and the authenticity of Mediterranean ancestry, overtook the need of self-satisfaction and brought him closer to painting, the medium he fell in love with and never abandoned. The freedom that he found in the pittoresque approach had no limits, it allowed him to enter a world made of both authentic storytelling and the expressive power that he enhanced with the freshness of his colour palette; a research that led Salvo to discover the beauty of his motherland’s mythology, and translate it into the deep and cathartic landscapes that he later on painted. When we find ourselves in front of one of Salvo’s works, we feel the love that his subjects communicate, we sense a connection with the past and the beauty that can be found within immortal authenticity. We let ourselves dive into the stories that unfold from the narrative potential of the Mediterranean landscapes.

 

Salvo, Ottomania, 1993. Oil on canvas. 

 

What we find is an image that expresses both freshness, given by the contemporary usage of colour, which is no longer simply descriptive, but instead expressive, courageous and forward-looking, and a dialogue with the past, a reminiscence of ancient mythology that puts the observer in close contact with eternal beauty. The truthfulness that is found in Salvo’s painting research, is made of freedom, honesty and love, but also bravery, self-consciousness and acceptance. A mixture both of those conceptual examples that the artist experienced in his early days and the strong connection to his motherland’s past that Salvo felt as congenital. As can be clearly seen in the life and research of a fine mind like the one embodied by Salvo, the process that determines the emancipation of one’s artistic persona, is often full of changes and moments of dissatisfaction and misjudgement, but a path that is pursued through honesty and courage will always lead to the unveiling of the medium that is to each of us artists most natural and truthful.

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva
 

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