In this day and professing a visceral love of painting of a countertrend, particularly when it come sto painting far-removed from moods smacking of minimalism, post-conceptualilsm and from the templations of photography and web art. Bravi would apper to be going against the flow, given that henpaints in a warm, sensual manner. His i san open declaration of a vocation to painting in its entirety, which he wholly accepts: shapts, colour, brushstroke, material, gesture. Should one wish to broach the subyect of territorial heritage, one may perhaps mention the intimist, poignant inflection to characterize so many twentieth-century artists of the Romagna region. This root is a point of departure to other routes, certainly more similar to other experiences, o fan Expressionist nature in this instance which, in a roundabout way, is reminiscent of the moving beatuty of certain Nordic artists such as Nolde, for example. For Bravi, when it comes to landscapes nature is never an objective vision, neither does it dip into documentary language, but instead becomes a depoist of the mind’s eye, smooth as velvet a sit slips into a symphony of preciouns colour tones, extending into an all-encompassing area stretching out towards the horizon with incredibile freedom. Deep down Bravi is a Romantic, a New Romantic in terms of psychological make-up.
At the same time his a form of expression far-removed from informalisms, from organic-existential drives, from that subtle primordial inclination that was Italian “Ultimo Naturalismo”. This, too, is rather unusual for someone born and bred in the Romagna region whom, one would assume, has the experience and in-depth knowledge of the language of a Mattia Moreni or that o fan Ennio Morlotti. And yet Onorio Bravi is different. Different from the figurative painting of the area, far-removed from the guidelines of this fraction of a century, Curiounsly personal and disturbing, à rebours or unwittingly and consummately autonomous. His paintings verge on the Nabi, in that they are profhetic and pure, intuitive and visionary; they are fonde on a sturdy base of precious, virtuous, satisfying, intense colour which is at the same time symbolically rich in echoes and lyrical intuition. And what appears on the canvas, on the surfacer, is not a desire for an angry outberst; on the contrary, it comes across as a gradual enconding of interior perceptions that trensform the outside trough a gentle affectivity, delicately played upon strings of empathy. There are dawns, twilights whose feelings are set in the moods of a sky which ranges from fiery, passionate red to emerald green, lighting up with northern light sto lose itself in the deep blue of a night that gently rocks the dreams of men. There are starless nights, devoid of cold, distant celestial bodies; they are nights made of the same stuff as the dreams of men. Oneric material that develops into full-bodied layers, taking on the body, light and spirito f the landscape, extending into the moss greens of fields, breaking into the ash greys of intimated clouds, into the blue shadows of ruins. These constructions exist or are just bearne for, the murmure of a night-time journey. It is thus that Bravi’ spoetic choice becomes even more steeped in a Romantic mood, as Romantic or post-symbolist as his perception of it remains, and, ultimately, his submission of it for contemplation. “I must undergo osmosis with what is around me, becomes as one with my clouds and my mountain sto be able to become what they are” said Caspar David Friedrich on the subyect of painting. It would seem that Bravi has also quietly adhered tthis same golden rule which this painting which, althoungh thoroughly, openly declares paternity, affiliations and methods of perception, albeit in a deeply, intimately poetical sense.He remains therefore far from the chill moods of the web, almost as thoungh he were sayng with an imperceptible snobbery that life is outside, not here, trapped within the walls of solipsisms or mental dialogues. Likewise, is works where the main alement is no longer colour, but engraving, applying strength to score surfaces, the same frame of mind returns. Here gesture and is precious candour become the emotional fabric that weaves tales from an mystery book. Images that acquire substance in their fairy-tale dimension, characters that come to life in labyrinthine structures. Places in which a kind of interior echo come sto life, told throungh a seemingly child-like language that scores and animates, with a feverish activity, surfaces with stories, characters, tales which at first glance seem pure, telling of maternity, men and holy visionaries. A choice as archaic a sit is rich in sensual references and declared originis. A choice of rudimentary, primary instruments – brut – to quote Dubuffet, reminiscen – to quote Dubuffet, reminiscent of the rock graffiti of Lascaux, with which Onorio Bravi archives a calligraphic precision and elegance in which nothing is left to chance, while remaining unusually refreshing and immediate. It is a special giftgleaned, olong with insight into intense, precious colour, during a long stay in northern Africa, a place of contrastino light, arid lands, sandcastles and endless skies. It was probably this very periodo f time spent in Algeria that was to leave its indelible mark on the artist’s out look, to flow impetuously through valvet brushstrokes and an aggressive bulin, almost as forceful and angry as that o fan expressionist, slipping from incandescent shading of tones and all-embracing tachèes that are the paintings and quick, arid black marks of the incisions. And yet the substance and coreo f his poetry are not contradictory and feed upon these contrasts, maintaining a surprising equilibrium between different tensions and always achieving quality. The quality of passion, at times unexplainable, that binds the outlook and hand of a contemporary, yet at the same time old-fashioned painter, to the vision of the world.
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