The death of art and its long funeral marked the culture of the twentieth century. The wind of the world wars covered Europe with a black shroud and a stone sealed it all.
Michele Omiccioli decides to open this tomb to silently peer into the slow and inexorable change of what were the beautiful and harmonious forms of the past.
Here then is a meticulous reconnaissance of these remains, skeletons and bones of human and fantastic beings that once populated the great canvases and frescoes of the old masters.
These wretched crumbled remains were Piero’s saints, Michelangelo’s prophets, Raphael and Leonardo’s sublime women, Caravaggio’s commoners, Velasquez’s kings and queens, Ingres’s bathers, Manet’s bar patrons, Fattori’s soldiers, Boldini’s ladies and gentlemen, Mancini’s commoners. Omiccioli brings to light candid forms and relics of a glorious time when art marked the boundaries of beauty, describes them in his papers like a diligent and meticulous archaeologist, and shows what remains of that ancient splendor. Neither ugly nor beautiful, just a detailed inventory of pieces and structures whose primal function has been lost, nameless bodies. A merciless list of silences that leaves no escape. In this research work of his he does not allow room for feelings, he prefers the cold light of the scholar analyzing what is in front of him.
In the space of the canvas and in the artist’s papers there is a clear statement: life is now, in our living bodies and in nature, beauty is life itself, and what is past has already borne fruit.
A human being can overcome his own fears and resistance to daily living by simply visualizing on a medium – whatever it may be – his own despair, joy, disappointment and consent to everything that happens around him. The compositional balance of Omiccioli’s works is instinctive. He does not use to make any preparatory studies; he starts from a corner of the canvas or board and proceeds, often without even having an overview of what he is painting or drawing; this element of pure instinctiveness inextricably binds the interiority of man to artistic expression, creating a direct thread between his brain and his hand.
After all, we all have creative ideas; but it is when they pass from our mind to our hand that they can lose energy and order of expression. This does not happen to Omiccioli, who manages to give the perfect shape and expression to his thoughts, whether they are positive or negative.
Alphabets and DNA
Months ago I met a painter who lives not far from me. Sometimes you’re near to somebody or someone, and you don’t see it because of the difficulties to speak with your neighboors, too.
In contrast with this feeling, Michele Omiccioli – that’s the artist’s name – communicates with the outer world and the society through his own personal alphabets, which spread from his genetic code, and shout the desire and the will to be understood, to let his interiority be known.
Like a beehive, like the bees create cells for their magic product, so Michele creates on paper or canvas the grids which will host his alphabets and then he write them, draw them, stylize them; and we, the spectators, are overwhelmed by the exhausting curiosity to discover what’s been written, what they mean those little signs – or drawings – so cryptic and fascinating.
Sometimes I’d like to assist to the creation of his mysterious writings, but I never had the strength to ask him, because I think that the real solitude and the comparison within himself, can produce this genre of ideograms, so internal, and capable to exorcise the social and anthropological demons of Michele’s personality.
Sometimes my mind wonders and sees his own alphabets as an attempt of extra-terrestrial populations to communicate with us through the hand and the sings of this young artist; but then I come back to reality, and I realize that we are the real extra-terrestrials, who need to communicate, and we must approach Michele’s art with curiosity, but without any hurry above all. His papers, his canvases don’t want to be read superficially, in contrast of the consumism and the technologies of today, which destroy our lives.
Michele Omiccioli and Paolo Sorrentino share the same passion, the first one for Doctor Louis Ferdinand Destouches, the other one for the writer Celine, apparently two different persons, but actually the same who, in times, preferred to identify with his grandmother’s name. The first one dedicated to him Decadi dell’ovest, a precious little book of poetry published in 2005 with a presentation by Catia Migliori, the second one introduced his own film The great beauty with the following statement cited by Journey to the End of the Night: “Travelling is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is only delusions and pain. Our journey is entirely imaginary, there we have its strength”. And the journey – a journey that “makes the imagination work” – is an interpretation of the complex literary work and figurative by Omiccioli, two distinct moments of creative exchange: from the poetic strength of the words images spread and the images are the same with their titles, which sometimes appear to be imitaion of those of the poems: “What I’ve left on ground” (Image)/ First testament (Poem); “Into the storm of the future there’s no sun” (Image) / When the colour (Poem); “Serene landscape (Image)”/ Cheerfulness of contribuents (Poem); ‘Brighten the corners’ (Image) / the traffic lights (poem).
We have a journey crossing through different places in different times: the pencil drawings, the architectures, the surreal works, the digital elaborations show time to time unexpected space which remind the experiences into 3D virtuality during science fiction movies or heroes into graphic novels. A culture witch comes out from media and mass communication which into the past century gave us the american Pop Art and nowadays is a daily experience which commands on our choices, assured by banality, by what is easily transmitted and consumed. In this cultural tendence we have, because they’re felt necessary, some corners, some lairs where anyone, but the artist above all, can fell their individuality protected. For Omiccioli his defence is the vertigo where the word falls “You won’t see / on how much / it’ll be different / this entire whole/ from the choice / of a shelf / with sight / on baby bed” (from Love at the times of ikea), and the vertigo in witch falls the image inside the Matrices. These last ones, inheritage from the optical, create abysses of white-black geometries into which the sight keeps seeking a center but, like bad mothers, unoriented, laid always on other things, the center continually changes and we don’t find it, we don’t find ourselves.
Colosseums, Gugghenheim Museum are hanged vertically to the walls because they’re transformed from open places into paintings, they have lost their third dimension, they’re spaces where the dream thickens like the pen drawings where the portraits are charged, where the landscapes spread into anatomies of nerves and muscular bends which can continuously transmutate under the effect of a movement into the brain.
Into the vertigo life and death times melt, too; the most remote past, that one of the origins, lives together with its present, painters drag from science their signs, biologists destroy ancient certainties and Omiccioli records with his work the eternal contradiction of life.