The last series of paintings by Gian Piero Gasparini Profundum Nigrum is a lively centre, from which many lines irradiate: Matter – Body – Intimacy.
Painting is as sacred as the art of creating, expressed by the supremely physical process of putting paint on a canvas.
Profundum Nigrum could be read as a work in progress, a development, as physical as it is symbolic, of his journey as an artist. Through the saturation of
the background and the exploration of the figure, we come to better understand the direction that brought him here and now, all through the previous
works: Faces, Logo, Amerikaos, Street Heart. Starting from the colourful pop of universally recognisable faces and symbols, Gasparini now intensifies his
work on the naked canvas, to then move his eyes and his hands onto the full body, in often cases (and in this series for the first time) his own. In virtue of
this material and spiritual journey, the artist evolves therefore onto a universality of the most intimate feelings and sensations. The stratification of
Gasparini’s work expresses here the humanity of each and every individual: at the start the artist intervenes onto the blank canvas, by patching it up first,
and blackening it afterwards, thereby preparing for the naked body an already wounded support, but which has also already received the needed care.
The skin stands out from the dark, the muscle glistens; where the body tries to hide itself, there the light shines, as a beam, to illuminate every detail,
every passion and emotion. The canvas and the body in the Profundum Nigrum series stand to symbolize the whole human condition (la Condition
humaine, as per the writer André Malraux), seen today, but undoubtedly common through the revolving of time. Regardless of the undeniable scientific
and technological progress that have simplified our lives, the question about the sense of life itself remains unanswered: that empty space is here filled
by the shreds of canvas, the wounds, the marks we bare on our body and soul – and they are at once the injury as well as the medicament and the
substance that constitutes our being human, physically and spiritually. The artist has learned the lessons of the past and pays its unique and personal
tribute to them: from Caravaggio to Klimt, Mucha and Dürer, Gasparini chooses the amber-coloured human figure to give shape and form to his
contemporary expressionism. He gets his inspiration from a variety of cultural references, ones that have already been absorbed and metabolized by a
universal culture, such as iconography as well as Blade Runner atmospheres: this seemingly paradoxical mash-up actually allows the public immediate
fruition of the artist’s work and a glimpse into his most personal inner thoughts.
We can talk about “supercontemporary” not only because art always is contemporary, as a slogan would say, but also and principally because it is faithful
to the present: the work of art, if it is such, needs to concern us all, it must tell a tale that can be (also) ours, and the artist, for his part, has to be able to
renovate himself, without betraying his own essence or the present times, while respecting the past, with an eye already looking at the future.
In Gasparini’s artistic journey Profundum Nigrum represents a turning point: after a drunkenness of the visual body – either exhibited as direct medium of
expression, or declined as subject/object of the various media representations – he now urges to feel its ineffability, without too many exclamation points.
Nowadays, only a few artists are truly able to achieve this. Among those few, we can certainly count Gian Piero Gasparini.