Bastard Exhibition - A woman, painting, a personal matter is Antonio Conte's solo exhibition curated by Susanna Crispino. It inaugurated (the last 26th of November) painter's studio in vico Santa Maria a Lanzati 23.
The exhibition get together his latest works, namely the canvases and sketches made for the series I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone, and represents a new creative phase and marks the transition from his attention to social issues to a more intimate research, stimulated by the long isolation due to the pandemic.
The subject of the artworks is obsession: in the paintings a blonde woman plays the role of Ophelia, Medea, Giuditta, Salomè, Antigone. Her face is that of a fictional character, namely Francesca Valletta (played by Andreina Buccino), the daughter of a boss who must marry the scion of a rival family and is the object of a secret obsession by her future brother-in-law.
Beyond of the scenic fiction, Conte's obsession is not about the morbid attraction towards a woman, but it is the constant and passionate practice of art and painting.
The exhibited artworks mark the arrival point of his path: the links to his education are evident in the reference of each canvas to a classic painting, which is reinterpreted in the light of his research. The result is an original synthesis, in which the distinctive character of the artist, his use of modern materials and the bright chromatism descended from a Pop matrix converge in a contemporary representation of history of art classic subjects.
The core of Mostra Bastarda is Ophelia, a tragic Shakespearean heroine, painted suspended in the water, surrounded by plants and flowers. Although inspired by the famous painting by John Everett Millais, Conte's modern Ophelia does not possess the hieratic and contemplative gaze of the nineteenth-century canvas, but looks towards a point that cannot be seen by the living and leaves something unspoken on the lips.
From the critical text accompanying the exhibition: "Born as a representation of an obsession and inspired by paintings realized by the masters of art history, Pizzofalcone's canvases are the means through which Conte's research path changes direction and turns from the outside to the inside while until now has gone from internal to external with an open gaze on the world and its social and communicative dynamics.
Through Ophelia and the other women, the author meets himself, his most hidden and deep self, built through his strongly desired artistic studies, the constant practice of drawing and painting, the experimentation of techniques and materials, the mirror of his passions, fears and weaknesses. A dimension that the artist wants to share by exhibiting for the first time the works of I Bastardi di Pizzofalcone and opening the doors of his studio - the most sacred space for an artist - to the city ". (Susanna Crispino)