“The Image is Other, Also”, critic text by Toni Toniato, 2019, eng

“Approaching the work of Andrea Morucchio means entering a protean creative dimension - apparently disorienting, perhaps - which has been forming in a broad horizon of research. In fact, for more than two decades the artist has used the mediums of  photography, sculpture, installation, video and performance in a continuous experimentation of expressive, experiential dimensions and creations of meaning.”

This premise, made explicit by Laura Poletto in the introductory text to the monograph “Morucchio” published by Bugno Art Gallery - remains very valid for knowing and understanding the turning point, today, impressed by the new direction of research that characterizes the artist’s works - perhaps those among his most “pictorial” - albeit in the immateriality of an “electronic” painting founded at the same time on the construction of computerized algorithms and on the extraordinary prerogatives of a sensitivity as sharp as it is reflective, as alarmed as it is alarming. And with this, verifying and essentially manifesting a thought, precisely, of the image in its making itself as a “sign” of oneself and of the other.

Thus he once again depicts an alterity that is constitutive of the image, or rather ontological, the same alterity that presides in a radically dialectical manner over all his work, every aspect of his intriguing and multiple creative processes.  And which, now, in the “portraits” or “flowers” depicted here - models-manifesto, on the one hand, of the painting of Leonardo da Vinci and, on the other, of that of Andy Warhol, from which the artist deliberately takes reference, appropriating them for a tribute or a reinterpretation that is anything but conventional - also demonstrates that it introduces and therefore holds a dialogue of unpredictable but also intriguing correspondences.

But in the same way it opens up a whirling visual and philosophical labyrinth of conceptual interactions and imaginative meanings, using both surprising metonyms and illuminating metaphors to express and convey both seductive figurative evocations and disturbing poetic allusions.

On the other hand, there are many elements that constitute the linguistically original aspects of his recent works, visually hinged in an image weave that reveals itself as a puzzle, at once structuring and deconstructing the “figures”, merging the analogue and the digital, so that the very weave here of the image - the magnetizing appeal of the image - cannot be, in the end, other than the very form of its original duplicity

This is what it is about and this is what it shows, as if to signify something both absolutely defined and indefinable - art really does have the power to think the unthinkable - and this is where the creative impulse that animates the series of current “representations” also ventures, far removed from any complacent decorative performance and any playful entertainment.

Perhaps a less obvious approach would be, for the moment, not to stop at the obvious notoriety of these historical ‘icons’, some of which have even become ‘stereotypes’ and are used as such by the most fashionable advertising - and moreover reproduced now, with virtually simulative means - and not even to give in to their merely perceptive effects or to the empathy that drives us to lose ourselves in the exuberance even of suggestions that are as aestheticising as they are emotionally gratifying.

In fact, behind the eloquent but deceptive redundancy of those overused citations, marvellously free, however, from any inevitable visual entropy, one is nonetheless disconcerted and fascinated by the sorcery of the conceptual and experimental devices at work in the creation of these works.

In his dazzling career, Morucchio has practised the most diverse instruments and genres of contemporary artistic research, using the new media of visual communication in a prestigious way, adapting them each time to his own ideas and existential experiences. He has been able to see with new eyes, even managing to hybridise different languages into a magnificent material and expressive composite - through refined alchemy and mental subtleties: figures, sounds, gestures, words, but remaining, despite the variety of formal solutions, coherent with the instances of a thought of the image, of the image of nature and life, of things and the world, investigating with equal inexorable lucidity, both the recesses of the psyche and the dramas of existence.

In previous projects he had already tried his hand at a similar perspective of vision, both imaginative and critical, which also provided, albeit in a less sublimated manner, an innovative diction on the debated theme of art about art, revisiting with great acumen and introspective passion certain figures and places - forms and symbols - of painting and sculpture of the past, thereby establishing a long-distance dialogue made up of unusual spiritual and poetic correlations.

This further phase also projects a different visual mode of historical recognition, shifting the objective frontality of documentary and mimetic detection into the transformative obliquity of interpretation, thus renewing and updating an experience that in this case is not only sensory, but involves the various apparatuses of the aesthetic sphere.

Far from being mere quotations, the “figures” shot in the artist’s targeted poses are presented in such a way as to unhinge and trap the pretended certainties of perception; rather, they are duplicated images, indeed bi-frontal or, better, multi-dimensional, so that the spectator’s gaze is lured, remains “ensnared”, thus attracted into the “network” of their factual chains of structuring and signification.

From this arises the complexity of resonances and references set up in these mirror-images (not unlike the neuronal ones) and to this function, if one observes well, even revelatory of the archetypal semblance of the hermaphrodite concealed in Leonardo’s enchanting female portraits and of the commodified and regressive polysemy pertaining to certain mass “myths” obsessively anticipated and exalted by Warhol.

As it is all too easy to see, Morucchio re-produces famous “icons” - ostentatiously entered, moreover, in the worn-out enjoyment of the collective imagination, on rather, they have ritually become fetishes of the growing visual bulimia (from omnivorous advertising to the irresistible narcissism in the childish recourse to the selfie).

Here, however, those icons are represented through a sort of conceptual and perceptive “anamorphosis”, the formulation of which allows the artist to deliberately deviate from any peremptory assertiveness, which is entirely tautological; on the contrary, he manages to insinuate, through imperceptible modifications of the figural texture, further captious perspectives, even managing to merge and combine in the same structuring articulation the stereotyped lexicon of pop art and the perceptive grammar of op art, digital photography and pixel painting.

Once again, therefore, he presents us with a cycle of works that are both fascinating and disconcerting in terms of speculative intensity and formal values.

Like mosaic tesserae that follow one another and join together to recompose a picture that has already been prepared, so the pixels - we should say the “quanta” of this energy that generates the organism of the image - have an adventurous reconnaissance function. .

This allows the artist to disassemble and reassemble the particle morphology, activating an inextricable maze of visual magnetisms, temporal situations and spatial paths, in the polyvalent dimension of an immaterial texture that cannot foresee determined margins or profiles, but that continuously becomes and is transformed into an indefinite dynamic of forms - of colour atoms and sign impulses - sometimes made up of a radiant texture of abstract elements or of micro-frames of splendid butterfly wings. 

What the artist is focusing on is not so much the electronic reproduction of historical pictorial figurations but the very essence of the image as such, the problematic if not inexplicable nature of its duplicity, of its symbolic appearance of itself and of something else, in concrete terms its admirably becoming idea and thing, substance and reason, form and sense, precisely the true “enigma” of art. And of its illuminating truth.

 

2019