Breathing by Luigia Martelloni : A diaphanous wall is layered with transparent sheets on which calligrams are inscribed, an intensely personal reflection of the artist, but one that everyone can feel. Breathing by Luigia Martelloni is made up of multiple images of a wide variety of tree species, run across over thirty years of roaming and wandering throughout the world, while their shadows are projected dynamically, cast off at some distance in the background.
Images of trees with thick foliage intertwining amid branches and shadows, in composited layers that overlap with neighboring trees, fragments abutting one another, creating a sense of both physical and formal assonance by the artist. They seem to almost function as “symbols”, as if the lungs of our planet, set against a fragile, highly evocative and poetic landscape.
This delicate expanse of arboreal imagery collected over time elegantly expresses the unique path of this artist, whose creative roots, while planted solidly in the poetry of the poverista movement, also convey with a documentary style her own experiences of the world. What is being described with this work is not a single episode or event, but a series of reflections on a theme which has compelled Luigia Martelloni to focus her attention consistently on nature, or specifically its landscapes and its elements, which then function as a kind of universal alphabet with stories to spell out that compel us to similar emotional responses.
While there are many methods used by today’s contemporary artists, in the case of Luigia Martelloni we find ourselves faced with a powerful drive toward the documentation of existence, and while it reflects her own, is also one we all share, and it is in this very search for reciprocity that the relation between the work and its audience knits together.
The artist frequently sets branches and pieces of wood of varying coarseness among snippets of photographs or painted images. Black and white photos printed on transparent paper play a significant role, and both the natural elements as well as the images elicited seem to be treated as objets d’affections sentimentales. Whether an image or a fragment of nature itself, the artist has re-appropriated it in order to imbue it with new life.
The result is literally a flood of symbols that individually and woven together create an extraordinary scene that communicates both mutable consistency and hints of coexistence, as if the artist insists that we understand, by offering us a landscape, which rather than being a subjective vision, with its own ductus operandi extends to and belongs to all of us. In this light, Breathing, like the cycle of life itself, delivers through its imagery and dynamic projections the crystallization and transferal of the sense of a true poetic experience.
About the artist. Luigia Martelloni received her MFA from the prestigious Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, in Rome, Italy. Here, she developed her unique visual aesthetic, which, rooted in the modern avant-garde, is largely ascribed by detachment from convention. Influenced by the direct experience of Arte Povera, her oeuvre is inspired by artistic freedoms liberated by Duchamp’s readymades, pioneered by the juxtaposed imagery of Max Ernst and framed by the literary and psychological rhetorics surrounding the Surrealist movement. Her artistic practice thus developed a focus on uncovering hidden layers of truth, exploring dimensions of collective unconscious and subjective interpretation.
Enlisting material as her narrator, Martelloni captures the ephemeral and affixes the transient into enduring works which transcend artistic subjectivity and find new meaning within a spectator. Aiming to achieve intimate reciprocity between artist and the viewer, she focuses on process and tactility, and is increasingly concerned with the relationship between object and space, and the richness of perceptual experience.
Acclaimed for her frame of concept and multidimensional expression, her work has been exhibted across the United States and Europe, ,among many: one person exhibition by Museo Laboratorio d'Arte Contemporanea, University of Rome La Sapienza. Spazio Italia Gallery at IIC Los Angeles. In group exhibition by Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica CA. Istituto Italiano di Cultura Los Angeles. XII Quadriennale Nazionale d'Arte di Roma, Italy. MOPLA Month of Photography in Los Angeles, The Loft at Liz's Los Angeles and featured at the “Italian Pavilion of the World” during the 54th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, 2011, in Venice, Italy.
Furthered by her post graduate training in Film and Photography, her multidimensional oeuvre encompasses performance, still images and video. With the cross-disciplinary reach, the artist’s repertoire includes creative collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola, Dean Tavoularis and Italian film director Luigi Comencini among