Benedetto Di Francesco_Family Affairs
Exhibitions, Italy, Latina, 15 June 2019
curated by Italo Bergantini and Gianluca Marziani

Benedetto Di Francesco tinkers with the anthropological culture of his land of origin. We see the Sicily of pagan rituals, of the ceramics of Caltagirone, of the Baroque frescoes, of the cosmogonic mosaics, of the colour that seems to implode like a juice of metaphysical brightness. Here is the Sicily of culinary rituals, of desserts that resemble polychrome sculptures, of the blue sky that illuminates the plaster and cathedrals, of archaeology with the silhouettes of ancient Greece and the aromas of turgid citrus fruits. Here is the Sicily of widows in black, of large families, of embracing hospitality, of tumultuous and wild Beauty. Here are the radiant echoes of that Sicily, sewn into new forms, from the metabolic gaze of Benedetto Di Francesco.

Painting and sculpture come together in the polymorphic dialogue that crosses his roots of belonging: it is a narrative space that tells visual fairy tales somewhere between family and superstition, pagan cultures and Christian faith, popular sayings and surreal intuitions. A mechanism that diverges from canonical genres but also from certain rhetorical limits, taking much from his own Earth but in a way that recombines and reinvents every possible reference, be it literary, religious or popular.

His works are doors that open out onto vertical worlds, ascents or descents into private hells or into the distant paradises of consciousness. The game is led by mothers and children, at the centre of a modern tribal look, pure Italian juice of popular realism and sociological honesty. They are the dialectical poles of a conversation with multiple voices and many visions, a pagan plot in which incendiary spirits, devils, fauns appear... nothing is just as it seems, appearances are deceiving but they say a lot about an artist who senses the contradiction and the short circuit which modulates popular cultures in a manner both current and wise, starting with an oil-on-canvas triptych from 2004 to then go on to the polymateric declination of this exhibition.

Di Francesco keeps the theatrical sense of his representation alive. He emphasizes angles, deforms without transforming, increases the stage volume to create a domestic, ironic and literary theatre. There is a distant baroque vertigo flowing there, a warm blood that digests the anthropological apparatus in the fluid dictionary of the present.

Salvami Mamma (Save me mother) can be read in the title of one of the works ... a phrase that ideally opens and closes the exhibition, a perfect archetype that makes us dynamic spectators of Benedetto Di Francesco's figurative theatre.

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