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Pardo Mariani Fiori

CRITICAL REVIEWS

FROM: Milleuno-Profiles and Biographies
by Barbara Bertolini - Rita Frattolillo Edizioni Enne

What do movie star Robert De Niro, physician Antonio Cardarelli, singer Fred Buongusto, writer Don De Lillo, argentine minister Guido Di Telia, U.S. ambassador Thomas Foglietta have in common....? Their Molise roots, just like Pardo Mariani. Born in Campobasso, graduated in Law, he devotes himself actively to painting, a passion he's been nurturing ever since his boyhood, along with poetry; he lives in Bologna, he has often exhibited his works - on his own or along with other artists -, hitting the headlines over and over again and meeting with both the public's and the critics' favour.
His favounte technique, the so-called "pitto-scultura", the ground-breaking merger of painting and sculpture which made his name renowned, consists basically in handling soaked cloth as if it were clay, which eventualiy makes it look like a bas-relief. This is Mariani's peculiar way to voice his concern and reproach against the evil and wrongdoings plaguing today's world . His message is conveyed by means of a manifold and rich symbolism which unveils an outlook on life that is both withering and pessimistic and yet enlivened by hope of a not-so-distant rebirth and renewal.
As the material grew gradually less dense and somewhat lighter, the pictorial images, as they germinated from the combination of "pitto-scultura" and oil painting, were, as a result, endowed by a more profound and passionate lyrical intensity, which touches on a sort of dream-like, poetry-drenched quest.

 

By Oriano Tassinaro Ciò 


If we really want to talk about "pitto-scultura", then so be it and let us refer to this term regarding Pardo Mariani's expressive style. Let us be careful, though: this is not a mere technical "ploy", a playful device to broach a differenl and innovative artistic subject. This is rather a mudi more complex and significant question. The themes laid bare by and springing out of the "plastic" painted surface of the canvasses, mostly thanks to the cruciai recourse to universal symbols thal the painter draws on the substralum of the multi-millennial history of human culture, cast themselves from the third dimension - that the canvass acquires thanks to the naturai medium of perspective - over to the fourth, where "readers" find themselves seized and overwhelmed, engaged in a genuine participation in which they are not mere lookers-on, but rather play the main role.
Technically speaking, this pitto-scultura cari be regarded as a cogent and harmonic blend of "canvass contributions piling up on canvass", until what eventually meets the eye is a surface embellished by splendidly fitting and varyingly emphasized relieves on whose background the pictorial and chromatic oil-painted tale springs to life. What comes along as the ensuing effect of this effort, weli within the boundaries of an all-encompassing meditation originated and ripened on a prolific and lush humanistic and pbilosophical humus, is the underscoring of the eternai essence of mankind, in the adamant, ever-lastingly unyieldìng symbiosis of ìts spirit and its flesh, with ali that this union brings about in terms of dìgnity, sacredness and inviolability; and consequently, in prompt contrast, the highlighting of the inhuman and irrational essence of whatever underlies every violent attitude, every abuse, every inj ustice perpetrated against mankind.
Pardo Mariani - a degree in Law, a heartfelt poetic disposition, a flair for painting he has nourished and taken care of on his own ever since his childhood, a long, brilliant and engaged career as an artist, often awarded and acknowledged in many personal and collective exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad - eventually accomplished this task after going through an "expressionistic" figurative phase, marked by dense, "full-bodied" atmospheres, which anyway should not be dismìssed as old-fashioned and obsolete: adopting this viewpoint clarifies the essence and purpose of his loving porlrayal of Bologna, which he brings to completion by failing back on unconventional and yet Iruthful and revealing - in their transfigured quintessence - images that succeed in outlining Mariani's adopted city in ali its both earthly and sunny "full-bodiedness".
Therefore, Mariani sets himself against the great spiritual turmoil and the upsetting of human cohabitation rules - which from time to time results in hideous tragedies such as terrorists' massacres in Piazza Fontana and at Bologna Railway Station — countering them by working out and unfolding, within the whole of his philosophic theory, other all-embracing, universal key queslions such as man's everyday life commitment and efforts, politicians' "no-show" and silence in the face of the most pressing social needs, the creative standstill of the present time, mostly filled solely with fhepresence of knockout models (which we certainly do notmind...). Pardo Mariani, an artist we ought to keep our eyes on and "listen" to, as if he was our wakeful conscience, silently warning us to rescue ali the human values gone lost and, at the same time,presenting us with the shining example of his masterful artistic deftness which pleases our minds as well as our hearts.