David Noro: where oxygen blooms

To experience the attraction towards the anomalous density of the air that creeps into the crevices of nocturnal consciousness is like breathing a block of breeze, hard as a diamond. It is sharp and cold, so the only ones capable of flying through it are our unconscious dreams that breathe their anomalous enigmas into it. This forces us to suppose that the only way to capture these unusual people of the air is to unravel it like a ball of constellations, laying it in the hands of the painter, the only one capable of extracting its soul. Hence, David Noro knows well how to capture the features of these bizarre beings, unfolding their works like cracks freely filled with everything the people live on, such as houses, human profiles, birds, blades of grass, boats, flowers, and cherished memories. Thus, understanding the disorder that reigns in these places, we will discover when, for you, David, art is happenstance, so that your work, acting without theories, doesn’t caress the eye of the beholder but rather stimulates an uneasy discomfort, where deformation opposes the real, contending with the truth.

David Noro, “Always already”, Galleria Richter Fine Art, ph. Credit Giorgio Benni, courtesy Galleria Richter Fine Art, Roma

So, working on a surface marked by sudden coarse accents that rely solely on chromatic substance as a deliberate act of impact and rebellion against its materiality, you favor a plastic image, most often suspended in levitation. In this way, the oxygen that nourishes the life of your figures is also breathed by you, feeding on an innocent imprudence, generating a painting of an imperfectly governed instinct that would disorient the minds of the purest observers. Indeed, looking at your characters, one experiences a seduction that can only be described by asking: by breathing the same oxygen, do I also become like them, are they truly meek and silent as they seem? No, they are not silent because, in an extreme paradox, their verbal expression is conveyed through taciturn faces. Thus, David, you demonstrate possessing an iconic wit, sometimes ironic, feeding on them whenever you deem it necessary, to feel the breath that emanates from the tonal battlefield where adherence and formal coherence are absent.

David Noro, “Always already”, Galleria Richter Fine Art, ph. Credit Giorgio Benni, courtesy Galleria Richter Fine Art, Roma

In this forest of images, there is a shining splendor, where there is no aesthetic beauty, because if there were, it would hide something rotten, but rather the stimulus to seduction to uncover them as identities with specific meanings, allusions and fantasies. And here is where what is fundamental for you, David, comes into play: finding a suitable space for them, one that contains them well. That’s why, for you, a free and indissoluble relationship exists, necessary and almost instinctive, with the various components of matter, be they linen fabrics, boards, and canvases, as visionary storytelling tools for your ability to generate wonder every time you come into contact. From here, it is natural to push the categorical limits of painting due to emotional overheating, so that the work can host and challenge the outline of a plot. This leads you to combine, without any expressive protocol but with imaginative and virtuous madness, secret and mnemonic hallucinations. And in addressing one subject, you inadvertently encompass others, such as the sense of belonging to a culture, the value of the cyclicity of life, private affections, collective duties, and the perception of the vicious daily monotony that you are determined to break at all costs.

David Noro, “Always already”, Galleria Richter Fine Art, ph. Credit Giorgio Benni, courtesy Galleria Richter Fine Art, Roma

Yet, from the very first encounter with your works, one aspect is clear to me: the infinite openness to creation as a narrative tool. Consequently, you decide to bring your devoted identity and generational story into your work like a small road that sometimes opens, and ultimately, you narrate every detail accompanied by the protagonists. Unexpectedly, you work against a linear time, so much so that you can feel it in the visual succession, an enigmatic network that both captivates and astonishes because it doesn’t nail down scenes but vaguely fixes them through overlays in an absurd geometric brawl. Thus, yours is a very well-executed visual and temporal neurosis, one that no therapist would want to touch, given its sophisticated, bizarre, and complex nature. And these deceptively silent subjects seem cold and harsh, but they are cheerful and active; they are faces and profiles blossoming from a warm afternoon, surrounded by abstract signs and clear scars of life and age.

David Noro, “Mona”, 2023, acrylic, ink on linen, 25 x 50 cm, 2024, ph. Credit Giorgio Benni, courtesy Galleria Richter Fine Art, Roma

But everyone has something powerful and intellectually terrible: your faces are not intended to be adored, as it usually is the case with other artists; rather, they want to be studied. Even though they have large eyes, they are inwardly blind, and they are aware of it. They tell their own stories and live only for themselves. So much so that for you, the face, and particularly the word grimace, whose lexical sound attracts you, is not at all a threatening space. On the contrary, it’s a breathable space where, along with them, you breathe the air. These eyes, so blind, looking closely at us with a subtle disinterest, now appear wide open, sometimes immersed in atmospherically charged environments. They have flowers in their gazes like air traceries. They are oriented to a wind that brings rain and sighs. They are a perch for memories, lovers of a vocation for slowness, a wise immobility as an attribute to the intention of fully experiencing the place and its rugged nature. All of them await action and in their silence, they contemplate each other. Moreover, when we return to look at them individually, we will notice that one stroke of color has been yielded to the other out of pure love for complicity.

David Noro, “Horizon notes”, variable dimensions, 2015 – 2024, ph. Credit Giorgio Benni, courtesy Galleria Richter Fine Art, Roma

So, your painting seems to be biform, where the sublime and the visionary intertwine, legitimizing the inseparability of daily experience, the weight of memory, the sense of remembering that cradles your cultural contribution. And if we believe in this madness of the air that oxygenates falsely blind and mute figures, as I believe it is, we must look for the reason in the absence of good form, from which the magnetism they emanate derives. For you, painting is a hidden place, a vision in which a dreamlike and sunny world coexists, so it would be unfair to attribute specific meanings to it, David. And thus, the legitimate suspicion arises that you have involuntarily devised an alchemical formula of oxygen that keeps everything alive in a kind of crack-work, a place full of humors and latent forces ready to boil, suddenly explode until they gather docilely, then close again in false silences and concealed views.


David Noro, Always already
Galleria Richter Fine Art, Vicolo del Curato, 3, 00186, Roma
23/1/ 2024 – 8/3/ 2024
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 3 pm to 7 pm, or by appointment


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