"Everything is so damned interrelated...and you are here".
On Thursday 26th of April, we inaugurated the first solo exhibition in London of Rome based artist Massimo Nota @ Art Lobby, curated by Alessandra Migani.
The show received a warm welcome despite the persistent rain and a grey sky.
I am publishing here my piece of writing on the show and images of the artist's work.
These black sounds are the mystery, the roots that probe through the mire that we all know of, and do not understand, but which furnishes us with whatever is sustaining in art. Black sounds: so said the celebrated Spaniard, thereby concurring with Goethe, who, in effect, defined the duende when he said, speaking of Paganini: "A mysterious power that all may feel and no philosophy can explain."
Federico García Lorca, The Theory and Function of Duende
Massimo Nota, originally from Rome, is a prolific artist/illustrator whose world is imbued with visions. Nota’s creative act reveals an instinctive gesture that he follows spontaneously on the surface. Here words and images overlap in layers. Each artwork, either on canvas, brown paper, cardboard, iron plates or wood, (re)presents an amazing arrangement of drawings, collages, acrylic paint, watercolour and paper sheets.
Looking deeply into the surface, we can distinguish original drawings, recycled papers, old book sheets found in flea markets and old dusty archives. Nota magically blows the dust off them. Once they were lost and forgotten and now they are placed in a new space, with a new function.
The artist doesn’t narrate a story, but many stories, or better, a shred of stories/events that coexist at the same time. His drawings are like children’s drawings but usually crude, cynical, humoristic. They are stripped of any romantic view and rather scratched. His freehand lines recall those cave drawings left by our ancestors.
In fact Nota’s distinguishing marks are primordial, powerfully leaving a trace of their passage. Here we can find reminiscences of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring or the more contemporary David Shrigley. They definitely share the same language.
Nota confesses: “I am constantly searching for the spontaneity of sign”. Therefore it’s a sign free of schemes and rigid rules; it’s pure energetic instinct. A gaze above the surface exposes the multiple layers of his work where everything is interrelated. Each image is “merely a road by which pass, in every direction, the modifications propagated throughout the immensity of the universe” (Matter and Memory by Henri Bergson). In this way, Nota’s childlike state of mind discovers a powerful enlightenment that we can surely share with him by looking at his work.
Alessandra Migani, 2012
On Saturday 28th of April, children and teenagers were attending a workshop run by the artist: "How to make an artist's book".
|photo by Fleur Donnelly Jackson|
Massimo Nota (Notamax) graduated as an illustrator at the "Istituto Europeo di Design", in Rome. He collaborates with many Italian newspapers, such as "La Repubblica," "Smemoranda," "Nessuno Tocchi Caino," and "Avvenimenti". He has been awarded many prizes in national and European graphic and satiric competitions and his productions have had exposure in Italy, Spain and former Yugoslavia. He uses both traditional graphical (watercolour, acrylic, indian ink) and digital techniques (Illustrator, Photoshop). Animations are realised in Flash.
“Everything is so damned interrelated… and you are here” by Massimo Nota
April 26th - May 27th 2012.
Private View 26th April, 6-9pm
curated by Alessandra Migani
Unit 1, Queens Parade, Willesden Lane, NW2 5HT, London