May14 - June 18, 2015
Va, pensiero..., is a cycle of 109 drawings made by Emanuele Becheri in 2013 and never exhibited until now.
In this body of works Becheri seems to sharing for the first time that which had always remained hidden in his art: the genesis of the work, the creative moment.
The artist poses nude for a bizarre and amusing series of self-portraits. An exhibition of singular, eccentric, melancholic characters, showing the artist’s infinite potential for metamorphosis. The figure is at the center of the page, repeatedly; often only in a miniature a few centimeters wide. He is the vertex of every compositional element and appears in continuously different masks. Clown, tightrope walker, lunatic, marionette, saint, beggar, mannequin, prophet; figures which are always defined in crude strokes, direct and utterly void of any decorative flourish. The artist plays seriously, a protagonist in a world turned upside down; he experiments with every possible costume. The creative act thus becomes the place of physical indeterminateness, of sexual ambiguity and of excess. The figures seem to be involved in acrobatic spectacles, initiation rites or in the simple ostentation of their own eccentricity, giving life to a universe peopled with irreverent marionettes that laugh at themselves and at their audience.
Recurring throughout this works is the representation of the artist as mutilated; instead of limbs the figures have long sticks that, while taking the place of the limbs, at the same time trace out on the page the boundaries of the portrait. Drawing is the condition in which the figures can accomplish and define their world. The sticks allow the figures to maintain their fragile equilibrium by becoming, in some cases, actual stilts with which to exhibit themselves in hieratic poses.
The disablement and repeated morphological monstrosity of the figures is redolent of the Latin mostrum, the monster as a sudden manifestation of an epiphanic, divine aspect. The artist sets out to unveil a new reality, a space that is other, as seen in the drawing that begun the whole series, in which a figure’s arm stretches across the surface of the picture.
Va, pensiero... is the phrase which, in one of the drawings on display, the artist forms by peeing on a wall, an irreverent gesture that traces the creative process to the immediacy of a physiological need without necessitating any complex conceptual structures.