“My source of inspiration is my greatest fear: blindness. That is why I learn things by touching them, creating them, giving them surfaces and shapes to discover and know”.
Just as matter mutates, taking on different and varied forms which, in turn, will mutate into other different and varied forms, so the Artist and his Art are in constant transformation. The road travelled by Flavio Tiberio Petricca is a road in which every achieved goal represents the starting point for a new challenge: the aesthetic obsession with surfaces and their decoding through tactile experience represent for the artist the drive to experiment, discover and shape new forms of expression and the opportunity to interact with the public in an attempt to generate always unexpected emotions through the stimulation of different sensory channels. The artwork is something that Petricca carries within himself, deeply rooted: “to be able to see it I have to work it with my hands. Then I can see it, look at it and understand it: I give it a name, a value and finally I reunite it with a feeling, an emotion, a word that I didn’t know existed before”.
Through the use of building and industrial materials, such as dacron and polyurethane, resins and enamels, but above all silicone, lastly experimenting with pongo, Petricca embraces new horizons of research, develops shapes and images, new and different meanings, but all of them always referable to something physically tangible and statuesque plasticity. The tactile value of the work of art represents the fil rouge of his artistic discourse, along which all his work unfolds and from which he moves his continuous and spasmodic search for a direct connection between the spirit of an idea and its specific weight, also in relation to its specificity and organicity, with the intention of making tangible, through the ductility of matter, what would otherwise only be tangible to the eyes. Matter stands as a mediator between the user and the precise expressive message of the artist, who rediscovers the objectivity of art.
Modeling represents the creative action of Petricca who, recalling an intrinsically poetic concept, is constantly engaged in a strenuous and morbid labor limae that goes beyond the capillary and meticulous search for pure aesthetic perfection as an end in itself: his is a continuous technical effort towards the formal accuracy of the material shaped with meaningful poetic and objective meanings. The majestic tactile body of Petricca’s artwork gives back the proteiform figures of the clouds that the fantasy of the wind makes them take on, the ripple of the sea waves that the breeze lifts as it passes and the sensual colors of the flowers with which the light sculpts their petals. Because the experiential synthesis between the tangible only at sight and the perceptible at touch also passes through the strong contrasts of light and shadow and the vivid tactile plasticity of the color that at touch will result in a different porosity in the areas of light compared to the areas in shadow, so as to make the overwhelming play of light and shadow a livable experience also through touch and no longer only through the eyes.
Touch and sight are two different channels of perception, characterized by aspects that are not comparable, but which share the same goal: aesthetic experience, direct knowledge of the work of art. The tactile reading of a work of art, in fact, allows us to approach it in a very complete way: the fingertips of the fingers of the hands slowly and meticulously scan the surface of the artwork, so that the tactile image is first discovered in detail and only then, as the field of exploration widens, its grandiose entirety. The monumental aesthetic beauty of the artwork seems to be born right under the hands and it is precisely through this personal physical, hedonistic approach, with the artwork that the message contained in the shaped matter and worked by the artist’s hands can be collected. The color then, so bright, intense, vivid and sensual, matter superimposed on matter, promotes the tactile pleasure that comes from direct contact with the artwork, because the knowledge of Petricca’s plastic art is not full if the eyesight is not completed by touch.
One discovers the artwork as a physical entity, within which the artist’s feelings, passion, anxieties and fears are contained. The tactile exploration must, of necessity, be conducted physically, with the Viewer facing the artwork: in this way a deep empathic relationship is established with the artwork and its matter. The consistency, temperature and type of surface, a particular smell, a sound emitted perhaps by the materials used to create the artwork certainly influence the sensory and aesthetic experience: they are all determining factors in order to create the tactile image that, immersed in a skillful play of light and shadow, will allow the audience to live a synesthetic sensory experience.
Matter can be seen, felt, touched, it lives just as matter, both when it is brilliant and when it is opaque, porous or compact. And its ductility facilitates the excavations, the swirls of shadow and the sensuality of the form. From matter the figures untangle and they give rise not only to a tactile image of nature, but also to a rich plastic network of deeper meanings that are the key elements of a universal introspective tale. And as a great narrator in plastic forms, Petricca never loses the sense of storytelling: material and polychrome artworks, simple and comprehensible images, skillful play of light and shadow, dreams of matter, thoughts fused in chromatic silicone and pongo, anxieties and unconscious fears that emerge from the ductile matter dug out. Thus, the act of digging becomes the most suitable medium to crystallize an experienced moment of life, a thought, a feeling and shows the natural inclination of the artist towards a work aimed at probing the most hidden recesses of matter in search of that emotion that leads us to knowledge and true awareness of ourselves.
Flavio Tiberio Petricca, “Scavando”, 50 x 40 x 14cm, mix Pongo su cassa, 2020
Flavio Tiberio Petricca, “Nuvola Bianca”, 35 x 50 x 15 cm, acrilico su tela, 2020
Flavio Tiberio Petricca, “Nuvola Rossa”, 60 x 70 x 14 cm, silicone termico su cornice, 2020