Aequilibrium – Galleria Russo, Rome
From May 25th to June 15th 2017
From the catalogue:
“If we agree that in every work of art there exists a real undeniable and a symbolic matter that expresses it, then Simafra’s last cycle of paintings openly connects one (the real) and the other (the symbolic matter).
Let us not be fooled: although these works are inspired by glaciers, seas, rivers, skies, clouds, craters, and tornadoes, that is to say, the four fundamental elements, air, earth, water and fire, in different states of their manifestations, and their becoming, it is not the elements or these phenomena that the painter wants to illustrate.
The point is that if we accept that painting is matter and that matter is the original and fundamental context within which transformations and the becoming of the elements take place, then this last cycle of Simafra wants to express a statement and not to paint an appearance. It wants to be the phenomenon, not its illustration nor the equivalent of its expressionism or symbolism, nor even its naturalistic manifestation.
The theme and the way Simafra paints are the same thing seen in two different moments. Moments that, in turn, mark different, phenomenologically pictorial times.
While the painter Simafra is in contact with matter on and off the canvas, the general view of the theme (crater, atoll, glacier, naked earth, etc) is prevented from him, without having the possibility to catch a glimpse of the whole image in his extreme limits, especially in the case of works that measure several meters wide. However, when he takes distance from the matter he finally has the overall picture, like a plane that, after almost touching the ground, climbs vertically to observe the bird’s eye landscape.
The beginning and end of the world hold in balance (Aequilibrium) the natural cycle and the totality of the universe deployed in its four fundamental elements.
It is, in certain ways, that even a painter can take an active part in this process of creation, which is always and often on the brink of defeat. This last cycle of works by Simafra tells us about a flourishing of life but also of its consumption, as if water, wind, fire and earth, which the artist painted in distinct groups, cannot help but invoke one another, tending to a sort of balance that the painter shows us in his becoming, in his happy uncertainty, in his splendor where gesture, dripping masses of paint and, the golden leaf sing the limbs of the world that run out and revive. ”
Marco Tonelli – Curator