Valerio Pisano



Valerio Pisano

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Playing is an adults' thing

By Roberto Gramiccia

There are two types of artist. The first is part of the vast group – Luigi Bartolini would have defined them "clear and clean...." – of visual operators à la page that work according to the current dictates of the system of art and thus: technology, performance, installation, a glance at Cattelan, at Vezzoli and so on, trivialising so as to obtain a place, however small, under the ever more tepid sun of attention (media) recognised as the final (only) value. The second type is represented by those would don't give a damn about being à la page and follow their heads. When I say head I mean: head, heart, personal experience, rage, sympathy for others, an idea of their own limits, the ambition to surpass these limits, fear of death, aspirations of immortality, respect for the masters and hate of the masters.

Valerio Pisano is an emerging Sardinian artist, well, actually already emerged, who is part of the second group.

One of the dictates of the specialists of success in art, one of the most followed, advises, even orders you to be "recognisable", that is to choose a language, a technique, a material, an artistic logo and never again to abandon it so as precisely to avoid being confused with others in an exhibition, in Fairs, in auctions. That of recognisability is the altar upon which the vast majority of contemporary artists, in spasmodic search of success, commit suicide.

Valerio Pisano quickly understood that if one commits suicide, maybe they could make some money in the fairs, but leaves no mark, does not remain. For this reason I believe, or maybe for others I do not know, he is the incarnation of an unorthodox, eclectic, syncretic artist.

A painter, designer – he brandishes his biro like a weapon to ward off his enemies – producer of a thousand inventions and, above all in "Metal railing perfume", a poet with a rebellious irony that entertains within a three-dimensional scope not only physical but mental. The works that he proposes, in fact within this project which is like a flying machine that will even reach as far as Peking, are, overall, an ironic provocation in search of a marrying of the consumer via uncommon forms of courting. Not the extended beauty of the countryside, nor a calming figuration or the pain of a cry. Not a system of meanings or signifiers closed within itself, opaque, sad and depressing, rather an open system, able, with a smile, to teach intelligence, critical intelligence, that which frightens the masters, the tyrants, the oligarchs.

The masters of Valerio Pisano are: first of all himself, his experience, his personal observatory. But not only. There is a vast multi-form literature, exquisitely Italian, which he draws from; from Piero Manzoni to Alighiero Boetti and Gino De Dominicis. Do you recall Manzoni's thumb imprint in a hard-boiled egg to give the public art "as a meal"? Do you remember the Mozzarella in carrozza by Gino De Dominicis? Do you remember also Boetti's Self-Portrait in bronze with a puff of smoke from the head?

These twists of irony, this exquisitely Mediterranean nonchalance, this culture which tends to, in a playful way, give rise more to questions (alienating questions) than to answers, this is the prime material of artistic reflexection, the creativity of Valerio.

What are his Handcuffs with castanets if not a living oxymoron? Castanets are normally played by free and beautiful flamenco dancers. Those of the Sardinian artist are played by hands in handcuffs. Which is like saying; when freedom is authentic, handcuffs are not enough.

There is also the range of Suppositories; in granite, in ash wood which are meant to retain their solidity instead of melting.

There is the fishing guitar, with a reel, the double bottle-opener, completely useless but very pretty to look at and the range of forks with food ready, the triple thread screw and the metal railing perfume. We forgot the mint suppository, with a taste that could never enjoyed as rectal mucus does not contain tastebuds.

Also the double and triple scissors for split ends. The book handle – a magnificent work for its synthetic but eloquent simplicity – which proves that you must have a key to open the lock of culture, you must gain entry. If you are poor and have no key, you don't enter, and will remain poor forever. The problem is not that you don't have a penny, the problem is that you don't know, that you can't, therefore others will decide in your place.

Valerio Pisano is an artist like this. One who never ceases to amaze. Long live (artistically and otherwise) Valerio!

Roberto Gramiccia

Presentational critical review of the metal railing perfume catalogue