Man is no longer the one with whom day and night alternate or proximity and distance are measured. He now finds himself as a thing among things, infinitely alone. Everything that brings people and things together has withdrawn into a common depth from which the roots of everything that grows are nourished.
Rainer Maria Rilke
A series of recently produced works by Micaela Legnaioli under the title “Presenze” (Presences) propose a path that leads her to operate in the space between art and life. The artist moves in a sphere in which the poverty of the material used evolves into a refined richness of emotional expression but clear in the labyrinths of memory. An attempt to describe a living and real image of people, whose profiles interpret the possible inner situations of the individuals themselves. In the artist’s intention, the metal plates oxidised with acids and salt and sculpted are intended to give an idea of the possible spiritual state deposited in each of us as a result of the events of daily life, and in particular the recent events that people have had to endure as a result of the recent pandemic.
The individual consolidates the main acquisitions that each of us experiences in life, each work is a symbol enclosed in the profile which is the image we know least about ourselves, yet which represents us unequivocally. The artist says < A face in profile is a strong, essential, recognisable sign and is the only one that can be drawn with a single continuous line. These works say that, despite the enormous differences that separate us from each other, there is a common root in these lives. And the common root is art itself, which brings order, harmony and balance to what may seem to be the height of disorder and chaos – life outside of being. >.
The indefinite engraving style of the slabs enhances the function of presence, of humanity, even if not defined. But also no longer susceptible to change by recording who we are at a given instant of “time”.
The technique used by the artist, known as circumductio umbrae, inextricably links the work to the idea of reproducing reality, and the portrait’s function is to recreate the physical human presence. These profiles are directly linked to one of the most ancient myths on the birth of painting, in which Pliny the Elder traces the origins of art to that distant day when the daughter of a potter in Corinth, in order to preserve in her memory the figure of her beloved, traced on the wall the outline of the shadow cast by the light. The surrounding space, on the other hand, represents the spirituality of the person interacting with the rest of the world. Observing these works as a whole, a sense of humanity and of an intense and suffered feeling takes shape in which the silence sent back by the “Presences” recalls us to our memory and our thoughts.