Stream of unconsciousness.
The scheme is easily identified. In front of, there is a figure with increased dimensions, which is realistically painted even when it deals with essential gestures, letting most of the times that its transparency reveals an interrupted stream below, which limits to superimpose the figure like a transparent epiphany. On the background, as I have just said, there is a big stream, made of images and writings obtained from pieces of newspapers and assembled by collage, whose origins is very variegated, but mostly coming from the trash repertoire which used to belong to the “popular press” and now is part of press, television and internet without a solution of continuity. This stream shaped into collage gives all itself and it is at the right time mixed thanks to free brush strokes working like connection, as if they were an ensamble of floating wrecks, seing by a flying bird, suspended on the most stagnant and messy port water.
There is no doubt that Vincenzo Mascoli is aiming at the standard in order to let the adopted scheme be identified like his own stylistic code, following the most common trend of art mostly à la page of the second part of the 20th century, at which the artist from Puglia surely gazed (the Pop Art, of course, as it had been already noticed, but maybe more in the viewpoint of the poetics bricolière, the Nouveau Réalisme, in a revival of the Dada assemblages). Yet, I do not believe that ricurring to an easy identification, which ends up to function like trademark, finds in Mascoli the same incentive which became dominant in the 20th century-art source of inspiration for him. This incentive was the necessity of converting the research into the market demand, consuming the art de facto. In Mascoli the standard is the archetype of a more general condition, already announced by the Pop Art and Nouveau Réalisme, but become a trend in the exasperated sweeping of the media communication of our age, wherein nothing can give something outside itself. There is no more purity of spirit and expression, old romantic myth according to which it was still believed to be able of contemplating in the human nature the primordial genius; there is no more originality- and if it there was one- it would be probably useless. In the current world, everything has been already said or seen, everything is prepackaged, but it is repeated anyway, it must continue to show up in a no-stop performance, a big narration without a construct which is different to the automatism according to whihc it shows up, a parler pour parler, voyer pour voyer wherein true and false, important and useless, noble and vulgar, intelligen and idiot are mixed up in a casual way in the shifting sands of the same homogeneous molasses. And it does anymore deal with- like during the time of Warhol and Restany- a performance which is passively watched, or even with a sense of subjection, in front of the omnipotence of Orwell’s Big Brother appearing from a successful logo reproduced by advertisement or by television. Instead, it deals with a global system wherein everyone can have means, available for all. This system is able to make each spectator also an indipendent processor of a show which is input into the uniersal merge of the big stream, participating democratically to the claim of its absolute tyranny.
What have we become, considering the big stream currently widespread? I believe this is the question Vincenzo Mascoli asks to himself and around which he invites us to think about, recognizing in the art, in his art, a special prerogative: the capacity of locking up what would tend per sé to be a panta rei in a continuous movement and to leave signs always more evanescent in our consciousness, both single and collective. Are we really some transparencies, absorbed by an entity far bigger than us, information mixed with other information, traces among traces which do not recognize anymore precise distinctions between real and virtual, undermining at the basis the own meaning of our individuality? Can we recognize ourselves as a memory, in front of this big memory of the uncertain and the unstable which want to crumble all the other ones? Is this a status which must distress us, imposing an inevitable critical standpoint towards the degenerating factor, as Mascoli’s works seem to suggest, or, in the same way, a sweet sinking which can prelude a more tempting condition: an endless present wherein it happens the substantial dissociation from the order of material belongings, with their annexed and connected? The grueling verdict is up to Vincenzo Mascoli and to all of us.
Vittorio Sgarbi – Notes of lights
“Photography is an immediate action, drawing is a meditation moment”.
That is the idea of “Cartier-Bresson” about the difference existing between photography and drawing .
When an artist can handle together a photographic aptitude , while He is looking at the reality , and a fine artistic hand : at that precise moment , intense and significant artistic productions can be created.
That description suits perfectly the artist Vincenzo Mascoli , Who normally combine a fine pictorial meditation with advertising and photographic pics.
The artist is always trying to find iconic images from Our times , which are context and soundtrack of our lives and memories .
His paintings are a full repertoire of images coming from daily life.
His subjects are peaceful presences into a city caos, pieces of a big game of life .
In His paintings everything is going to create a sense of alienation from reality, an idealistic fire that going through the reality boundaries can survive forever, in a place where We are major subjects with our “child ego”
It is the concrete photographic oxymoron. It’s the moment that become eternity .
Images are frames of reality , that fixe and define the contemporary world, which as We know can ‘t be stopped.
Critical text: Michele Angelo Annese
A record of whispering old things, left aside and careless on one hand, on the other glued gestures and faces, which find it hard to become one only identity , these are the images represented by Mascoli in his paintings . The images seem to communicate cold stories as the ones that could be found in McLuhan, a mix of stories told aloud and of soft whisperings. It is as if each face would express the whole collectivity, caught in the daily appointment with its own soul, whose life is foolish and full of ambiguities. A deep and incomprehensible contrast between the daily life and the soul of each human being is the leitmotiv in Mascoli’s works, even though the names behind each face are well fixed on a chromatic whirling background.
Critical text: Roberto Lacarbonara
The precariousness of the human being in postmodernity. Impetuous polychromies and matter chaos represent the symbols of collective imagination, and form the background of scenes representing the common loss of sense regarding the existential human condition. Through a “superficial” aesthetic dimension, focused on the experience of perception, Vincenzo Mascoli’s poetical art penetrates the individualism into which postmodern man is pushed by a hyper-real society, where simulation dominates reality, as analyzed by Baudrillard in “A Perfect Murder”. The Apulian artist, therefore, paints the lack of reference points and the loss of the Nietzschean “delusion” of imagination in the post-modern man, who is immersed in hyper-reality and who risks becoming a monad among monads remaining, though, a zoon politikòn, that is a social animal. Man, anyway, participates to a common dimension which consists of signs and symbols referring to an intrinsic temporariness of the existing.
Critical text: Cecilia Pavone