MICHELANGELO CONTINI
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"In my work I aim to communicate an experience of reality best described as a deeply felt sensation, like a smell or sound that evokes a certain feeling, place or memory. Working with figuration rather than image reproduction, I want the material (oil painting) to play as great a part as the image in the making of an autonomous painting. This I believe to be the greatest challenge in painting: to give the viewer an experience of something real, touchable and sensational, to make him more alert to his own sensibilities. Painting in my opinion is not about how well reality is described rather about how real the painting looks to the viewer, how real the experience of the painting is. My subjects are chosen almost casually from found material (photographs, scraps or notes). Certain parts of an image catch my attention and what continues to fascinate me is the part's ability to stand alone and become something else, a new entity. Rags, shoes, scraps of wood, whatever has accumulated in my studio over the years, also add to the painting and become essential parts of the making of a new image. Organic elements and suggestive figuration serve as traces of humanity. With these different elements in play I construct the painting while deconstructing or leaving out everything I recognize as visual order: perspective, obvious shading and depth. Subject and background melt together creating a flattening of the painting that eliminates the sensation of space. Different fragments must correspond to each other on the same level, become the same matter, the same flesh that makes up the painting, enabling through the flattening of the image the part to become itself the new setting and through this transformation a completely new whole, a new entity. Painting to me is about exploring the image and reaching a greater understanding of the relationship between the part and the whole, the individual and the community and as such both conceptually and pictorially a way of researching humanity. What touches me deeply are leftover items, abandoned clothes or objects, things that simply lie around out of context, naked to the world, no longer belonging and obliged to share their stillness with whoever is looking. Silent and saturated with a past unknown these items carry the presence of a previous owner, of a human being that has gone past carrying beauty and misery."

A bag of bones, Beware, Chronicle crutch, Draggled, Epitaph, Fug. Go astray, However, Immobile. Juxtapose. Knee-deep, Lust, Muzzle, Need. Over and over, Put a sock in it. Questioning? Rug, Scrub the floor, Take a turn for the best, one for the worse. Under, Vast, Water, X, Yawning, Zed.