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Marco's Satirical Paintings (Sabrina Falzone)


Critical review

Written by Sabrina Falzone


Like poems of solidarity between biting illustrated satire and new intentional metaphors, the canvases of Marco give voice to passionate songs of socio-political protest that flows through the medium of oil paintings.

Institutions and law systems often are the primary target of his pictorial protests, as witnessed by his works named Il cappellino di Sua Tristezza Reale (The Little Hat of Her Royal Tristesse) and G7 or Gi_otto? Just Bush it!

Externally Marco witnesses the tragedy of omertà and of human indifference, but he does not accept passively these subtle mechanisms, because internally, with his extraordinary satirical painting, he shouts the holy word of love, against so much existing war ferocity.

The author is conscious of not being able to cure a society by now profoundly corrupt and decadent, but his paintings, full of moral messages, induce us to ponder our choices which, on the one hand may be limited to a "stop" of remission and passive acceptance and on the other hand may find the courage to go further and pass the forbidden gates of reflection in order to regain our critical mind. Marco exposed himself choosing this second way, more inconvinient but, at the same time, more cathartic.

Through his painting, the artist matures in this context the necessity of an internal renovation that he beholds in fides and in Imago Dei, where warm and exotic colors expand and, as well as in Crucifix, their dazzling blond and golden light caresses a true religious feeling in a suggestive appeasement of formal synthesis, from where emerges with melliflous voice an intercultural goddess; the theological emphasis tends to subside instead in the more tenuous gradations of E fu Luce! (And there was Light!).

Althou Marco rarely uses dark colors, he employs them exceptionally for the painting representing the memory of the Twin Towers of New York, Twin Towers for ever!, which appear as dreary architectonical skeletons on an leaden, oppressive background, the same leaden background that encloses Hiroshima: il buio, la morte, La Speranza (Hiroshima: darkness, death, The Hope).

Multiple colors instead, animate the painting named Made in China, Mosaic and Il ratto della Sabina (The kidnapping of the Sabine) afferent to more gentle themes. It is incredible to notice the variety of the pictorial modalities of Marco: he passes with ease from the nuanced, light and delicate brushstrokes of ModAmare (SeaLove Fashion) and of Sogni: studio monocromatico (Dreaming: Monocromatic Study) where he engages in pastel shades, up to a free experimentation with intense colors and the use of tonal exuberance sometimes mushy, as in Il paese delle favole (Fairy Tale Town).

Behind all this there is a symbolism of colors, sometimes meditated, sometimes spontaneous, which poses the trichromasies of the paintings with high political, historical and social topic, as Moda colombiana (Colombian Fashion), Violenza (Violence), L'albero della fratellanza (Fraternity Tree), Twin Towers for ever! e Hiroshima: il buio, la morte, La Speranza (Hiroshima: darkness, death, The Hope), whereas the monochromatic studies concentrate on works having a more airy content: Che musica, maestro! (What a music, Maestro!), ModAmare (SeaLove Fashion), Swinging New York: Liberty, Sogni: studio monocromatico (Dreaming: monochromatic study) and Una nuova vita: studio monocromatico (A New Life: Monochromatic Study).

The stylistic pecularity of the painter really is not so much a chromatic stylization, but rather semiotic - visible in the essentiality of an almost minimal feature, devoid of ornamental figures - and volumetric, revealed in the breath of two-dimentionality that inevitably undermines the Cartesian conception of space; it is a stylization that leaves on the surface of the canvas - and at the same time conceals in a wily way - clues of a deeper articulation of the mallamacensis thought.

Gestural renunciations and absent anectodes characterize in fact many paintings of Marco: see the narrative silence of Aurora, immersed in a sacral atmosphere, that becomes a place of meditation in a theoretical evanescence of its introspective analysis. No narrative, but listening, soliloquy of cosmic energy, mystical listening of an ethics perhaps obsolete, but now more than ever necessary for the complex reality in which we live.

In the stasis of the iconic tissue of Marco's paintings, everything lies below the atavistic silence of the Absolute. It is the ancestral kingdom of the soul, which opens up, returning the ethical thickness that is now so elusive and so far.

L'albero della fratellanza (Fraternity Tree) represents the vexillum of the mallamacensis ideology, symbolically interpreted by an anthropomorphic vegetal depicted in perfect balance and symmetry.

At last, Mosaic appears as a self-portrait of the personality of Marco, the cosmopolitan and rebellious alter ego, which indirectly recalls the visual memory of Farbstudie Quadrate of Wassily Kandinsky.

     Sabrina Falzone

Critic and Art Historian


This article has been translated from Italian to English by Ms. Marleen Roelofs



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