POEMA ORIZZONTALE

POEMA ORIZZONTALE
mixed techniques on paper, 105x165cm - 2015


Babbo, facciamo che tu disegni e io coloro? 
Facciamo che tu tracci le linee con le penne, 
ed io coloro dentro gli spazi con le matite 
che voglio, senza che tu mi dica nulla? 









HORIZONTAL POEM
by Giusi Affronti

Angelo Sturiale worked hard for a year on his "great fresco of sign", between Sicily (at Zafferana Etnea, where he lives) and the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico, in the USA. Starting from the manual practice of writing on a pentagram, the artist composes, decomposes and recomposes geography, architecture and inner microcosms, wisely woven into tangles and forms that could potentially expand without borders: an “all-over” of graphemes, meanings and sounds that multiplies endlessly.
The suggestion comes from the Sicilian printer Angelo Buscema: a large format drawing on paper for engraving, where the use of pencils and ink pens is combined with acrylics. This is the first time that color has appeared in Angelo Sturiale's ten-year graphic production. The choice of colors, their sequences and their shapes is calculated, in the space of the white paper, according to procedures that derive from the techniques of dodecaphonic serializations in music: this rational and mathematical procedure deprives the adult artist of the faculty to discern and select them instinctively, at will, thus yielding to an anarchic variety, "natural" and, for this reason, childish.

Like a continuous flow, his drawings vibrate on paper, alternating empty and full spaces, backgrounds of darkness and polychrome morphologies. They are swirling staves of the soul, sophisticated organisms that branch out and dialogue incessantly. As only art can make art, as only in life does it happen.
The obsessive graphic crowding that characterizes the artist's drawing is propagated by the richness of words and the hypothetic overabundance of a text - taken from his book "Tempeste di te" (2015, Algra Editore) - that recounts the complexity of the parental relationship between father and son. As if it were a stream of consciousness noted at the margin between one interval and the next, with pencils still, he explains the “Horizontal Poem”: this must be covered with the eye - and with the fingers, if possible - as you do with an atlas, a map, a tapestry, a code, a vocabulary. A passionate dialogue in two voices, a four-handed composition: pens, black ink and the rational rigor of the adult-father meet and clash with the expressive universe of the child-son, made up of pencils, colors and anarchic freedom.

Angelo Sturiale is a multifaceted artist, a composer with ink on his fingertips, an omnivorous researcher of harmonies. He graduated in classical piano at the Conservatory, but music entered his life as a child, thanks to his father.
Bach, Xenakis, Cage, Kagel, Stockhausen: his research is characterized by an untiring experimentation on the relationship between sign and sound. Sturiale's aesthetics develops like a texture composed of rhythmic contrasts of full and empty, symbols of notations invented from scratch by the author, which sometimes even emancipate from the musical performance. The "seibutsu" and the graphic maps are born from the imaginary transcoding from the formal sequentiality of a musical composition to the multiplicity of observation times of a two-dimensional representation.
"It is not possible to explain in words or describe in a list of things or acts the sequence that leads to the recognition of the beginning and the end of a drawing. It is a combination of factors, of synergies, of logical and irrational elements, of inner and outer temperatures, of moods, of randomness, of extreme calculation and muscular mechanics that make sure a set of traits very ordered to the sight, take shape on a paper surface. It is a question of system, chemistry, physico-chemistry, a perfect combination of paper and pen, ink and color, curves and straight lines, meditation and mental chaos, precision and abandonment, instinct and rigor".


In “Horizontal Poem” there is no center, according to the Oriental lesson. To be in front of a white surface with pens and pencils in our hands, is a gesture of abandonment, a visceral action of mania: to design a universe that collects another, lying on a sheet of paper, the dense whirlwind of thoughts and desires, memories and dreams that shake awkwardly and lyrically within each of us. The “individual mythology” of an artist, paraphrasing Harald Szeemann, is a spiritual and exclusive place where the individual places those signs, symbols and signals that mean the world to him: an attempt to oppose the great disorder of the world his own imaginary order, which always arises from an obsession, from a compulsive need to create at the service of an inner journey.

“Horizontal poem” is an open, non-linear, analog and universal work. It brings the spectators together, without any hierarchical order, around a table: that of art, that of the family, that of life.








Dad, what about if you draw and I color?
What about if you trace the lines with the pens,
and I color inside the spaces with the pencils I want,
without you saying anything?


And the exact and precise black of the contours and borders between the forms and sections of this great fresco of sign, makes itself metaphor to contain the abandonments of the infant-me-baby, the irrational gestures of the many colors-pleasures at will or random, that at home disclose and waste among distractions and sudden headfirst trips, among the imaginations and the fantasy delineating and consecrating spaces and paragraphs, at random geographies, immature maps, among the most anarchist and most ancient postcards and handwritings...

And the verbalism that here you read it is therefore mature, the writing and the thoughts around it actions and facts of old wise men, elderly philosophers or flatterers. And the immature child that is mine through instinct and uncontrolled line, reveals himself to the eyes and heart of whom listens and to ears and souls of whom observes or glimpses a sea of signs or rivers of sketches.

And yes, still the innocent myself as little creature following with the fearless pencil and scratched by multiple uses and few years of life - three or maybe four - before the unconscious perimeter of dreams and figures of rainbows and kites, of bowels and vipers among endless spaces and circumscribed areas of suspension and reason and calculation, between the precipices and the abysses of void and black, of nets and trapezes with which the circus of the life feeds and slaps him of passion and anarchy. And it is made of gold this precious portion of paper in which I mirror and color by myself as a baby.

And with your black mature ink, dad, you guide and contain me, you hold me, you channel me the uncontrollable joy of the lines and my only instinct that I can’t read or describe by myself yet, the incomplete curves or the incapable and distracted segments make for me automatic poetry that jokes alone and laugh at and gets tired too fast. Colors as toys: once taken one of them, it immediately annoys us: another one and still another one. Or as figurines to be stuck lopsided or inverted on the albums of the mythical heroes or on the shutters of the bicolored lockers!

And your straight-half straight lines relax me, dad, they protect me, they destroy in me in just one second dreads and fears, gone crazy rudders. Because you are my ship, the lighthouse, you are my keeper, even if I have never known you or you have gone away, even if you have made fun of me or refused, even if you have disappeared or have already gone.

Because if I fall, if I bleach or slobber the contours, true or imagined dad, you bring me inside the boat of my life for ideal constitution, you fish out from the ocean of the chaos in which I grew up with no help or guide, because I remember that your only semen among the chaos of the oceans and maternal liquids has chosen me anyway…

And the circles-semicircles, the thin, smooth or curly lines split apart in the drawing as broken hair, torn by the boat of the danger from which I often risked to fall, the shoelaces of the tiny boots that thanks to you I learned to knot, and the arabesques or transparent cobwebs that the drivels and humors between mouth and nose have dirtied with sweet, natural and inevitable tenderness the space around us.

And I always playing with the risk, dad, throwing the pencils and their points from the balcony of the gardens of my existence, indifferent, only when I want it, when I have desire of it, when I laugh or cry for only one instant, during the equinox or the solstice of a transitory planet.

And what will ever be these little objects and hints of figures? These sketches and squirts everywhere? These splinters and sprays without rhyme? These little things looking like plants or flowers, these unpleasant signs and ugliness that seem mops? Where will ever bring these irregular lines, these garish maps, this chaotic system in which there is everything and there is nothing, in which I undress and dress myself again, feeling so naked but also so awake? Where do the measures and the figures of these symbols get lost? And these psychedelic constellations of color? And these outlined tastes in which foods and childish ingredients are smeared between tables and serviettes, between bedspreads and forearms, a stain of color in the face dried with dirtied palms and backhanders?

The attempts of writing, the awkward symbols, the impossible figures and the unlikely numbers confused between pride and exhibitionism, between the narcissism of the egotist myself, adult or child it doesn’t matter right now. Because among these liquids layouts with the sweat of the time and these wound stones as secrets and diadems between so many signs and words, there are the baby that I believe to have been and the dad that I will never be, between myself as infant of the memoirs transfigured by the time and the dreams-desires delineated by the verb of an ideal and decadent paternity.

A birth in continuous negation, dad, a death that affirms itself whenever nothing or nobody is not seen around me, every time that dies or a project-danger collapses, a challenge or a perverse symptom, that an idea makes it static or withers a form of life and thought still in genesis: that's why the thousand lines as thousand feet traced at random between the irrational fist and the hoard of colored pencils. And the white and black forms that wind them up, define them, underline them among semen and polychrome segments, among the so many trips and the autumn afternoons waiting that I fell asleep between the arms of the forgetfulness and the silence.

Children-colors and light-dark adults, mad-colors and wise-black colors, psychotic colors and sidereal charcoals, colors without rules and inks between so much rigor and colors in disorder and invisible darkened cuttlefishes, by orders, by equilibriums, by mathematical universal symbiosis. That's why the drawing that you see here as a whole, makes itself all together like a baby with funny and twisted legs, with the yellow and strong square and the immature nursery rhyme, a proverb outlined between joke and sneer, the tired and loud repeated motto among the grey colors or the senile whites, between the breath and the sweat of an old man or grandfather and of his affectionate embrace to the approach of a sunset.

And the blackened underground paths, among the life roads and the social worms as perennial garbage between lotus flowers and delicate buds, between the admired orchids and the rare birch trees, between the luxuriant peonies and the ritual chrysanthemums, the blackened paths by confinements and florid grounds, by an absolute, shiny, compact black.

And the lateral volcano, its leaves and flames, with its colors shot by eruptions and lavas, by shakes and paroxysms, egoisms, sirens and snakes, languages of fire and wild mouths: the mountain, dad, your rage and anger, your uncontrollable vigor and your hormones, the libido that never withdraws to anything, not even to your rigor.

And also myself, dad, with my incorrigible volcano of amazement and disorder, between notebooks and pencils, little soldiers and dolls, combs and guns, syntagms and constructions, poems and distractions. All that gold, all that money, all that time of your time working for giving me and pay me life, the school, the hot dog, the robots and the constructions! Gold covered by black, gold covered by mud, gold and tears, gold and smiles, projects, utopias. And me as a little child to dirty, to stain, to tear the thin veil of your breath or worry on me, dad. And you watching over - even if without strengths anymore -, that nothing upset my sleep and my background mentioned to the life and the inevitable loneliness of our existences. This is the drawing of a whole life as a cycle that determines the exact dimension of a comet, this is a talk between us in a secret code, a nonexistent language to the others and invisible to everybody, because we understand each other only in the impossibility to openly communicate our eternal conflicts and precious discords, beloved dad.

And it doesn't matter whether or not you have been an hero, an hated or beloved dad, it doesn't matter whether or not you have been able to protect or sustain me with legs or money: these lines and isosceles, these quadrilaterals of the soul, these pentagons of love and pain that we have provoked to each other, you as father and me as a child, will never belong anymore to our union in the moment in which you will stop existing on this transitory and precarious earth.

To nothing the cries that I will pour on you will be worth among the winds and the void of your death or trip to the other world, the same cries that you used to address me instead, when I worried you, disobedient and fearless, and you became deeply rabid without delays. And these colors that can be seen and glimpsed among the sharp net of deformations and chromatic lacerations, are not but metaphors of errors and horrors of a war that in a true field or among the boundaries of a house, have forged my inner reality, dad, have given form to my obsessions and pleasures, have given a perimeter to traumas and dreams, to violence and needs.

And the wheels of life, their bicycles, the pedals. And for so many meters or tiles to be wrong and to fall and to revert and to rise again to appear strong in front of you, not to surrender for an instant to the void of life, you that used to take in hand my anxieties, myself upsetting my desires on you. And competing even if it was not needed, because our fights of adults, of equals, of males, of men, were always games anyway, projections of those struggles-plays that as a child I used to watch on the TV and wanted to imitate together with you, dad. And therefore you were only a model to follow, an exercise, a puppet or manikin with whom to train for the many and necessary fists and kicks that life would have afterwards reserved me. But I didn't know yet, dad, I was still a kid.

And the forms or contours of kids, of adults, of animals, of colored objects of experiences, among the letters of an universal alphabet and the rough figures between the chromatic contrasts and the pearls. And the lines and the curves among the tunnels, that stamp on levels and overlap senses with concepts, meanings with contradictions, reflections with chaotic and unfathomable astronomies in which meeting and clash happen, in which we can embrace or reject us, or chained dad. So difficult to determine how much really true is there in this wild plot of inks, thickened over the time by words and disputes, quarrels and dilemmas, struggles and claims.

Even more difficult to ignore the pushes toward the heart, the affections and the tenderness, the moments spent touching us between the silences and the breaks, the mouthfuls of air and the voids, the emotions and the multiple whys. There is a white and a black in everything, dad. A yin and a yang of the soul, an open notebook, a confused and unorganised diary, an anthology of doubts and perplexity of us and among us. 

But us, still here tying us and being wrong, cancelling the portions of sign and the inevitable discomforts, the perimeters of the many creative spaces among the embarrassing uneasiness, between the distances and the words, the drawings and the intentions. And therefore, dad, let's open and close within ourselves, right now: there is no other way, no other time. The night already descend upon us.