While I was working on these paintings I listened to a lot of music, including the demos and home recordings of Bob Dylan and Robert Smith (who are two of my favorite musicians). I’ve always liked home recordings, with their raw sound, without tricks, very simple and direct.
I realized that my painting process was similar, like writing a journal, day-to-day recordings. These paintings are made on a raw canvas, with only two colors, black and red, as two instruments that intertwine. They have something very direct and they are as honest as I could make them. What interests me is to capture variations from one painting to another. I often work in series. And I wanted the exhibition to look like an album of home recordings, a series of daily recordings. (Recording of course echoing here, for me, the word ricordo, which means memory in Italian.)
It also brings me back to this idea, which seems to me primordial today, that a painting is an object made by hand on the scale of the one who produces it. The work of an amateur, in the noble sense of the term. The artist (like the amateur or the do-it-yourselfer) works with what surrounds him, what he finds and collects as forms, objetcs, remains and fragments which he incorporates into his painting, at that precise moment. Unlike the majority of images around us, over-produced for the screen, edited and retouched via photoshop, the painting remains a singular object, which incorporates the moment and the peculiarities of said moment.
What we then look at in the exhibition are the traces of these lived moments. What interested me too with these paintings was to mix figures with a certain form of abstraction so that the two merge and unite. Whether it is a character, a shoe, a cloud, or an abstract form, a line or a spiral; all of it is made of the same material: painting. A way to reconvene the figure and the subject, while considering them as pure forms, a line. My work has long revolved around this idea of the fair and vibrant layout, what Shitao, in his Comments on Painting, called “the truth of the only brush stroke”.
The titles of the works also go in this direction, simple and descriptive, as if we were sticking a label on the paintings to list them and remember them later. “Portrait”, “Shoe”, “Studio”, “Landscape”, “Truck”, “Hand and card”; they are reduced to the subject itself, ontological and descriptive, the word and the thing, the pattern and the idea, gathered in the painting.
Notes for Home Recordings, Fabio Viscogliosi