Inside our time - Works' content

The landscape of the railway has always interested me, without a reason. As time goes by I gave a meaning to those plots, to those “concentric signs which pierce” the canvas.

I started painting trains stopped, tracks, cars, electric wires, all strictly framed in the geometry of perspective. As a result, my focus has shifted from the countryside to the passenger. Now I’m inspired to fill the canvas of figures, and the station, as an urban structure, is often only sketched or simply suggested by some particular...

The man and the station

It is matured a real change of content: the landscape that may suggest the memory of a meeting, a trip, or the perfume related to that specific environment, has been replaced by communication in an atmosphere of temporariness and movement, typical to that of a railway station.

The focus of my work is the man at the station, the person who has decided to change the environment, the man who wants to be part of his destiny, determined man who has chosen his destination while he is near the tracks, waiting for something.

Waiting spaces

Many works also present in this volume are titled “Waiting.” You may think that it is always the same picture, but each work is different: a moment of a unique story, destined to develop because the painter describes something, tells and excites us, even if it does not use the words.

With this theme I bring the visitor into the structure of a railway station that surrounds and involves him in its special atmosphere, full of smells, full of rarefied spread and unclassifiable murmurs, overwhelmed, occasionally, by squealing brakes of an approaching train.

The architecture embraces and draws plenty of space, and thus plays an important role in set design. Light enters through the large windows and invests the plot of electrical wires that seem to scratch the ceiling above the tracks. Look, there’s a train parked in the background waiting for the green light and another announces its arrival with a double acoustic signal amplified by the environment. This is echoed by a speaker who communicates arrivals and departures imminent. A hasty and irregular movement of some people, contrasts with the smooth and continuous flow of figures vague and insecure, some of those passengers who just got off a train.

Spaces of proximity and separations

Aside, there are also those who are waiting for the return of a loved one and makes gestures among the people to be recognized. In the mass you can distinguish commuters, businessmen, students, and anyone who runs every day at the station.

Near the track number nine there are people with dark skin, others with a typical cut of the Maghreb area, people who are on stage, dressed according to their traditions and with little luggage and object. They are waiting.

The great history is not only made up of treaties and wars, it is often the result of many small individual stories and great mass movements that are made for different reasons.

Today, the popular uprisings in the countries of North Africa have made life more difficult for entire populations, worsening a life that was already difficult. The civil and religion wars, hate, fear and the plots of some foreign powers (interested in the riches of the subsoil) continue to push large masses of desperate people to our shores, which moved aboard crumbling barges, reminiscent “The Raft of the Medusa” by Theodore Gericoult.

Those arriving knows that Europe is in trouble and feel the weight of these serious events, also suffering in silence and dignity the distrust and the indifference of the Italians and European people, feelings that offends more than a refusal. However, these unfortunates find a better environment than abandoned. The news story indicates that these people are in transit, who has nothing to lose, and that they are an unstoppable flow.

After the desert and the sea, they get disorderly on the right track for another trip to join a relative who preceded them. And, while they wait for the train with other migrants to whom (coincidentally) they are close, the eyes meet and they recognize themselves as participating in the same project. There are new reports, and people exchange their experiences and ideas that reinforce in them the hopes.

Station, a window on the world

Some call the station as a non-place, limiting its relevance to space and the physical movement of goods and persons moving within the convoys. But, if we consider the human capital that goes into this place, you have to agree that it is a place of excellence, intercultural excellence, because these migrants bring with them religion, culture, ideals and traditions.

Wherever they go, these people share these values and bring a reshuffling of ideas, a continuous fusion of lives that will lead, I’m sure, a cultural and moral enrichment of the populations in which they will be hosted.

Instability and temporary nature of life

“Expectations” are works on loneliness, insecurity of life and on the transience of human conditions. Important, sometimes temporary, they can also prove to be the choices that we often have to do, those that are categorized as important turning point of our journey, such as marriage, buying a house, school choice, the choice of a new work.

These are decisions that cost us a lot, and who practice them bears responsibility, every time. “Homo faber fortune sue” of course if, in the various stations of life, after a “waiting” for reflection, we go always on the right train.

It may also happen that something goes wrong. In these cases, the choice should be revised, not without difficulty and pain, it is necessary to establish a new goal to achieve with our train, after a new and necessary “waiting” for clarification.

The world of the railway stations gave me the opportunity to see the desperation of young won encountered in desperate situations, but also the ease and camaraderie of commuters’ groups who live in the train with confidence and familiarity during transfer to the job or to the place of study. I painted the loneliness of so many people while being myself waiting with others.

... the rites of the trip, greetings, hugs and kisses from friends and relatives to travellers who depart or just get off the train. I have dwelt on the long and unnerving waits caused by trains’ delays. I learned the joy of children attracted by the movement of the landscape beyond the window in the railway compartment. I applaud those who have found the courage to leave for distant lands to learn about themselves.

Speed, technique and motors: the lure of consumerism

Who needs a bumper, a taillight, who wants to replace (to save money) a dented door of his car, that person may apply to a car-wrecker store.

These large stores of used parts are everywhere, in the suburbs of large cities along the busiest streets in each region. They are also called cemeteries machines: mountains of rusted cars frames, scrap iron, sheet metal bent, skeletons of cars no longer recognizable due to the deprivation of any accessory that can be recycled.

They are waste of our civilization, the so-called consumer society, and we are astonished to see such material (not only iron) placed in order with these outdoor stores.

The market offers every day new car models; manufacturers multiply and enrich the cars of new accessories and amenities to attract the consumer who seeks and loves to possess useless objects elected as “status symbol”.

A big chunk of our savings is invested to buy a car because it is essential for travel related to work and leisure. Those who can allow it, but also those who love to show off, at the time of purchase choose a powerful and elegant car, produced by a famous manufacturer.

With this dominant mentality, the car has become a cult object and a symbol of personal success. Exaggerating, it could be recognized (because of the abuse made of it) as a prosthesis, an human appendix. And in the formulation of these ideas, advertising does every day his portion.

The works entitled “scrap” want to be a reflection, a denunciation of consumerism. This machine is perhaps the most visible phenomenon among many consumer products such as the iphone and ipad that all flaunt it with pleasure. The consumer thus obeys to a false need created by the system.

The cemeteries of cars stop to the complaint and show objectively the volatility of that “sacred” object, that throne of paper-mache. I hope that they suggest, to those who will stop at these works, the suspect, not so far from the truth, that the market laws influence our choices, and the suspicion that perhaps we are the victims of a sophisticated robbery. The fact becomes much more serious if, for completeness, we assume that these observations are also valid for most of the mass of products that end up in garbage dump.

The dimension of “Nocturnals”

The “Nocturnals” that I made in the early years of this decade are moving in view of the overwhelming traffic and environmental citizen.

They can be considered, as a careful observer has noted, part of my blue period. In them I have tried to create realistic and domestic atmospheres, which drivers and non-motorist live in spite of themselves. The queues at traffic lights, smog, advertising, the hassle of car headlights, reflections on the wet, speed; the pounding rhythm of the traffic in the city and in the streets of the suburbs, the inconvenience for the “love “offer.

Some paintings fall outside of this dynamic metropolitan (see “The appointment”, “Construction Site”, “Night Shadows”, “The Road”) and describe a little-visited reality, the one surrounded by an aura of mystery. The chiaroscuro and the absence of man on the scene give a particular character to these images; in my opinion, they have something more, due, perhaps, to the magic of the night and the colors.

Witness of our time

I tried, and still try, to be a witness of our time bringing on the canvas some images related to fashion, advertising, gambling slot machines and concreted.

I paid particular attention to loneliness and fragility of the woman who continues to be used, raped and, unfortunately, massacred, despite the claims of the feminist movement in the 70s and now recognized matching requests.

I also tried to highlight the issue of communication within the family, the relationship between parents and children and between spouses.

After 60 years there has been a change in the family: the rules of behaviour inside and outside the home, are no longer emanation of the parents, but they are by the media, by society. Also aspirations and desires of the person have changed, we now seek the well-being, we love to have valuable things to show off, we are following the success at any cost. Now people prefer the fixed place, because it provides safety and more free time. The couple prefers to live together, rather than binding to the wedding. These are so selfish choices, choices that are part of a life where we are always in competition with each other.

The children already in school age choose the rules of the group: the guy does not want to dress more like their parents. For accessories, from shoes to scarves, from the folder to the diary, individual choice gives way to conformity: all the same not to be declare as different. At home they do not feel the need to explain their behaviour and, as soon as they can, they close in their bedroom. Here phone-calls and computer contacts dictate their agenda. Parents are displaced and stand apart as not to seem out of time.

In every corner of the house there is a TV, and so, time permitting, the family comes together only at the table, even there, however, in front of the small screen. The television has replaced the dialogue even between husband and wife, and have helped to exacerbate an already cracked family routine.

It is possible that all are aware of this wall of selfishness that separates us from each other. However, people continue to choose the most convenient position, time to time, which allows us to go on and avoid conflicts.

An overlook in the future

The presence of so many foreigners in our country has affected my attention to the issue of racial integration. It is a widespread phenomenon here in the north of the country because, until a few years ago, this area offered greater employment opportunities. Those who arrived in the last few decades have found work and are now part of the Italian population.

In some works I have tried to expose the problems about the racial integration that could be achieved in the near future, when the children of immigrants, born in our country, trained and educated in our schools, should feel part of our country.

However, I think that only the union of women, all women, who have always cared for the family and the welfare of children (in every part of the earth) can favour the development, the elimination of prejudice and allow a more open and available coexistence to the other human being.

A bit of nostalgia

Also works outdated deserve a word: these works are titled “Fields of wheat”. These are very dear memories that I wanted to fix on the canvas not to stop time but to remind myself, my roots, the humble people I’ve met, the interpreters of a philosophy, of life concrete, and constructive, never resigned despite being aware of the limitations caused by the misery of the Forties-Fifties. These are landscapes that I lived and that evoke serenity, lost spaces and silences.