because it comes from within, it is subjective, yes. But it also has to communicate, to touch the other”. Nowadays, De Maria evolves in the same spirit, and abandonment to painting as before. Even though his work changed, conveying a message whose content is almost the idea of the message itself, awkwardly closed up in its own resolving of emotion and sensibility, De Maria’s attitude is still the one Oliva has pinpointed in the eighties: “I consider myself avant-garde”. From the outside, as a silent and much younger spectator, one is tempted to reckon that the aforementioned avant-garde is now part of the past. What is it, after all, this stretching of time, or surpassing of time through a much idealised and forclosed art of painting? It seems, firstly, to extract itself from time, it does not lean towards the future nor towards the past. It maintains itself beyond time, in an ethereal eternalness, pointing to the painter’s inner world while demonstrating it through beauty. When asked what he usually reads, De Maria paused, “no, I do not read that much fiction. The Essays by Montaigne is the most beautiful book ever. I read poetry, sometimes. Patricia Cavalli is a very good author. I never read art magazines, I do not understand what they try to convey”. The title of the exhibition was O Vita, Nell’Arte Mantieni Intatto Il Tuo Mistero, something as Oh Life, in Art Your Mystery Remains Intact. Painting’s scientific research would be to retrace this unattainable mystery, through beauty, through inspiration. Through work. When we were saying goodbye, I confessed that lately my main priority over openings had been working at home; Nicola De Maria replied to my confession: “When I tell people that working is the most important thing, they do not believe me. But it is so important.” *Joana Neves is an independent art critic and curator.
Communicazioni celeste, 1999-2000. Courtesy: Galerie Lelong © Photo: Fabrice Gibert
ARTECONTEXTO · 61
Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006