- Hide menu

The metaphysical architectures of the contemporary age

There are no facts, only interpretations – Friedrich Nietzsche

The artist is only someone who turns the solution into an enigma –  Karl Kraus


A measured structure of contamination involving pictorial art, photography, digital elaboration as well as a sedimentation of acrylic colours laid out with well defined brushstrokes and the barest of interventions, Serafino Maiorano’s work stakes a claim to a space that is both investigative and inevitable.


His obsession is saturated by the images conjured by a visionary poet and an architect of sedimentations. In fact, his work thrives in the conflict of an incessant dialogue between places, venues, times that cross each other in a dimension both diachronic and synchronic. In this manner, the effect is of a hypothetical subterranean truth constantly placed under check by an intersection of sub-reality.


The worlds created through these linguistic and psychological strata are, therefore, hybrids the artist needs in order to find a place of the mind where the spectator, faced with his works, is affected by a perspective and mental disequilibrium. Spectators are thus called to face this key element of the composition and to get destabilised in the process, so that they can go to the origin of the question and thus be shaken from the left to the right, from the bottom to the top, and be pushed towards an artificial invention disguised as the metaphor of the world. One could go as far as to talk about an artistic practice that has gone beyond the limited space of pure retina vision to enter the vision of the Hegelian “sensitive shadows” where the “invisible” part is that which is perceived, that which distinguishes the common object with the object of art. That which stands out is the domination of a narration explored by breakdowns, conditionings, sudden accelerations and abrupt progressions, and enriched by physical and psychical suggestions defined within a framework of formal operations that have been pushed to paroxysm.


In the illusory play of his art, Maiorano is able to pour a quantity of light that appears to be generated by an unnatural energy source while the truth emerges in stripes of white or in foggy haloes that have been laid out by hand and have remained untouched by neon light. Printed on aluminium slabs, the work is an ephemeral play the artist puts forward in a bid to shake memory and certainties.


In the transmission system of the pictorial/photographic work of the Calabria-born artist, various other systems as well converge: analytical, constituted by spatial and temporal relations among the represented subjects; specific, with figurative references that vary depending on what is being depicted; ideographical, based on logos and systems of identity; and symbolic, containing the different symbols within the work. If his work were to be confronted with the vastness of the history of art that contains it, the difference of meaning in the process towards progress and significance would take place through awareness and the conscious unification of the elements indicated above, and in the ability to place it at the service of the work.


By virtue of this complex pendulum-like movement, Maiorano’s work is a complete and detonating art system, principally generated by the transformation of those single elements in an ortus conclusus where, relying on the gestalt principle, “the whole is larger than the sum of the single parts.” Its dreamlike nature nourishes itself on a rational component that filters the exploration in an overcrowded external world constituted by an assorted variation of architectonic spaces, partial views of cities, technological elements as well as objects or persons belonging to his domestic domain that the artists observes from his ivory tower – which is at the same time a defensive station and a prison – in order to present them once again through an individual stylistic code that removes them from their condition of pure and isolated visual objects so as to turn them into deconstructed, whirling and constantly moving narratives and stories.

Hovering between continuous tension, disquiet and estrangement, Serafino Maiorano’s latest works blossom to include a more structured research as well as a multiplication of meaning. In fact, the artist has added to the architectures, interiors, shades and to manual and digital skill, a theme that is part of the documentary-ecological and Eco-Sustainable ambits by opening up the city to such key issues such as the need to produce environmentally friendly energy.


The currency of Serafino Maiorano’s work lies in the constant quest for an intelligent, refined, knowledgeable   experimentation that is capable of sublimating, through beauty, that which is necessary. The large Aeolian blades dislocated in improbable places somehow fit in the setting even when the estrangement should invoke a plausible explanation where juxtapositions, evanescence, colour spots and rarefied tones are able to justify each image to a perfect equilibrium.


Maiorano has now added to his photographic works a sculptural and tri-dimensional side through a construction-sculpture that is the outcome of a long-time research that he has brought to light. A corporeal cubature that includes all those elements that have so far been available only on foil or as figures. The volumetric architecture, too, maintains the complexity of the sedimentations and overlaps that bring to mind a day after kind of archaeology, a contamination that is the outcome of multiplied images and of worlds inexistent in the past as in the present but somehow all the more concrete by virtue of just this absence of a natural dimension.


There occurs in this world, an estranging inoculation between the traditional setup of sculpture and the unexpected classicism arising from the latest in semiotics. The orientation is towards the broader perspective of the construction of a synthetic theory of visual culture where the complex hierarchy of meanings can rely on a well-studied  and knowledgeable single language.


Thus even when his wall works take corporeal shape the sense continues to be that of having to give back to the present, and to bring up to the surface, those metaphysical architectures of the contemporary that consist of several elements that have been associated and consociated in a single structure almost as if the world had exploded and the remaining fragments had reassembled by a process of osmosis.


Maiorano’s works escapes that which is granted, contingent, amiably rhetorical and reassuring, in order to find, once again, a destabilising and at the same time re-stabilising function, ready to make full use of history, of crossings, of combinations involving architecture and humanism, all quoted and highlighted through linguistic multimedia. His work aims at returning to the “future memory” of history the ruins of an alphabet that has been re-founded and revitalised by the familiarity of a oblique gaze, infected by the virus of the contemporary age, reconverted in the codices and imaginings of a complex construction that has been transmitted, by typology and belonging, in a transitive but blossoming cultural phenomenon.

Comments are closed.