“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, shes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”
Jorge Luis Borges
My paintings depict people who live searching for their true identity or are trying to defend it at all costs. These are portaits of immigrant people, strangers in a strange land. Here are some questions that I raise when I nd mysef in front of the face that has gone through the path of immigration, some reconsideration of reasons that had pushed this person towards migration, the consequences that are derived from it, and how it was determined.
How does one manage to understand the essence of a person that constantly feels out of the context? How can one capture the feeling of being extraneous?
In today‘s society, a great number of questions can be raised considering the topic of a lost identity and a person who is forced to migrate. The confusion of identity is encoded in the term ‘extracomunitario’ (extracomunitarian), de ning an individual who does not possess the citizenship of the European Union. The term descends from Italy, where in the 1980s it was begun to use for de ning emphatically the dissimilarity of migrants in Italy. The expression ‘extracomunitari’ discriminates the local community, heterogeneous groups of people, characterizing them as a community which is ‘illegal’, ‘irregular’, veiled with secrecy, subversion and invisibility.
This term, which in Italian is used with a negative shade of meaning, I have used as a title of each of my paintings in order to emphasize and show the importance of every represented individual, almost as to relocate them to the context of the Italian society, restore their position, in the same way as the classic painting highlighted and brought to light religious events or lives of characters.
Every individual in my portraits is isolated, decontextualized. This was done in order to give prominence to the face, while the brush strokes not only attempt to lend light to the face but also to recreate the inner light. Obviously, the time will make an impact on the chromatic scale of colours, veiling the original painting in some particular manner. When the patina of time takes its toll, some physical form is transformed, the shadow absorbes the subject, just as an extracomunitarian individual sooner or later gets assimilated by the society which now thinks of him or her as suspicious, and becomes such an element of it that the difference cannot be noticed anymore.
All of this is joined with my intention to capture the identity and the alteration of the foreign person who at a certain point changes, accepting a owing identity together with a world without boundaries or frontiers.