The shores of another sea
Francesco Valeri, Porto San Giorgio 1979 known as “Lu FRA”, is one of the artists called upon to interpret this year’s edition of flashback, dedicated to sci-fi anthropology, the meeting between worlds and the contact between them. The work by Francesco Valeri is characterised by a powerful colour, a trait both naive and caricatural, both from the past and the future, charged with humour and sarcasm. His figures have an African touch, a continent which holds a special place in his heart. His artistic expression is by and for the people which are also the subject of his work. For flashback he will create live The shores of another sea: a 60 sq m live painting that embraces the theme of the event and projects it in another time dimension.
The Wanderer, Hunter and Reverie
courtesy Gian Enzo Sperone
Three life-sized figures are placed on plinths, some shaped as rocks, some shaped as logs. Around the sculptures, the walls are decorated with a wallpaper with sea motifs: a digitized picture of waves dissolving on the horizon. Tony Matelli erases reality and unveils a far, imaginary place, on the shores of another sea. We, therefore, like survived castaways from an island of dreams, are invited to embrace our fears, our anxieties, and our curiosity and sense of mystery. The three figures, all self-portraits of the American artist, present almost grotesque characteristics, maybe displaying the way the emotions are animating the artist’s mind. In every character we find conflicting impulses, the same impulses, the same fears and the same curiosity that are part of the journey towards the ‘other’ and the ‘beyond’.
In Wanderer the artist portrays an explorer that travels with a long stick, accompanied by three monkeys, and even though the group seems more likely to be found in the city maybe it’s in the new equipment that we find what we need to imagine a new world. Reverie (the dreamer) represents a character who is apparently carefree, with workout clothes and white socks, playing a small guitar. It’s as if every doubt evaporated in a moment of relaxation. But the tree behind the figure and the rope hanging from a branch behind his neck symbolise the lurking fears. In Hunter Matelli becomes an unlikely hunter, armed with only a rope and whose clothes are seemingly inappropriate. It’s as if the camouflage fabric, suitable to hide among the leaves, had been replaced by a fantastic uniform, perfect to wander in the world of dreams. The stunned expression on his face reminds us of the feeling of smelling a mysterious smell, halfway between repulsion and attraction, between the fear of finding out something unpleasant and the desire to meet something new.
All characters, all castaways, all of them busy trying to represent the contrast and the comparison between fear and curiosity, between bewilderment and desire for knowledge, all visions and feelings resulted from the journey towards the ‘other’ and the ‘beyond’.