22 FEB – 02 APR 2022


Text by Rossella Farinotti

Carnival Dream is a group exhibition that investigates, through three different aesthetics and pictorial approaches, the spirit of Carnival as a pagan festival that recalls the ancient sacred rites of Saturnali. Carnival represents a moment of liberation from social conventions. During these festivals and rituals the spirit and the essence of men were allowed to escape from the conventions in which they were trapped throughout the year, even venturing into attitudes of debauchery and excess to unleash the darkest part of being. Disguise and mask become important actions and elements to transform oneself, for once, into something that one is not, that one would like to be, or that one hides deep inside.

These extreme situations represented occasions of purification or catharsis to free themselves from certain constraints existing throughout the rest of the year.

Luca De Angelis, Danilo Stojanović e Maddalena Tesser, interpret these atmospheres through a selected path of pictorial works, inspired by different imaginary worlds, united by a need for escape, a vision of the different through a dense narrative.

Danilo Stojanovic’s paintings, presented by G/ART/EN in small and medium formats to invite the viewer to a special intimacy, transport the imagination towards grotesque aesthetics with a dreamlike impact. The theme of metamorphosis is developed through dark, melancholic subjects, which bring us back to the loneliness of being. A loneliness that can be appeased by a gesture, a caress. Details that mask human features, such as hands with an almost animal touch, which recur as alter egos in these paintings.

It is interesting to observe how today – that we flaunt an unlimited right to freedom – some parts of the collectivity are still struggling to gain a recognition in everyday reality. The normalization of some tendencies, still considered extreme by some angles of society, like the queer ones for example, is still in tension for the acceptance of some aspects of the personality considered obscure. Aspects that have been accentuated after a period of discomfort and emotional abandonment that the pandemic and its constraints have highlighted.

Overcoming the moral – or moralistic – judgment of natural personal inclinations, what’s fascinating in Carnival Dream is the concept of freedom as a possibility of emancipation. The atmospheres of Luca De Angelis’ works, with their dense and apparently gloomy scenery, show characters struggling between their real appearance and that of other worlds. Fascinating women and men with alien faces and a gaze always turned to something else are represented in canvases, either large or small, without mediation, where the brightness of the colors prevails, even the dark ones, where nature incorporates the subjects, appropriating them.Luca’s practice has a perfect balance between realism (see the iper-detailed representation of flowers or clothes) and a magical surrealism by creating dreamy atmosphere with their own proportions and narration.

The paintings in the exhibition by Maddalena Tesser may indicate a synthesis of the works of Stojanović and De Angelis. The subjects are only female, taken singularly to highlight even lewd aspects, such as the large and detailed braids of hair, but which the artist then depicts in a collective scene that encloses both a grotesque character of shared unease and a metaphysical and dreamy dimension. A dream prevails where everything is possible. A Carnival, a festival with strident tones, where what is ‘beautiful’ or ‘correct’ is overcome by the fascination and urgency of a necessary freedom.