Intimism, levity, belonging, a contemporary antiquity. All this is presented to us with extreme simplicity and parsimony in Jacopo Naccarato‘s “Bellies of stone” – almost a sculptural oxymoron; portions of sandstone that are subtracted in favor of a poetic operation, lying and suspended on layered fabrics, as a memory that folds in the presence of a single salvific center – that of the abdomen – nerve center, erotic, telluric, with a sacral aura crowned by a small touch of a chisel, a navel that goes to seal the stasis of an eternal dream.
The female and male “Stone bellies” portray with vigorous humility fragments of an embodied, possessed body that belonged to territories that the artist visited. The encounter with nature and origin takes place in the urgent and necessary search for Naccarato to better experience the materials, the very bodies of the work that will subsequently be created. But the artist’s intervention here is minimal, almost a breath, a breath, a trace in the trace, which microscopically alters a nature that is already symbolic and rich in meaning.
A light smoothing, a touch of a chisel – respect for the pure, original form is sacred, of Brancusian matrix; the essence becomes distilled only supported in its heaviness by the vibrant cradle of fabrics, honey-colored, or even stained with paint – crumpled, curled up, collected. Those same fabrics that accompany us throughout the life cycle, from birth to death, as an essential material constant. From protection to decoration.
In the “Bellies of stone”, as I previously defined fragments of incarnate bodies, we find a harmonic “pierfrancescanian” contrast, in fact I remember the fifteenth-century fresco “Madonna del Parto” (about 1455-1465) where immobility, the rigidity, the monolithic presence of Piero della Francesca’s figures, so imposing, fixed, almost petrified in their being a figure, especially in the case of the pregnant Virgin – manifests itself in all its beauty from the opening and the space dictated by the fabrics of the curtain, prospectively turgid, swollen, but also mild. Immobility and lightness, stone and fabric, metaphorically united under the sign of an embodied body.
The “Stone Bellies” can bring us back to many iconic fragments of the history of art, from the symbolic simplicity of the forms of the Venus of Willendorf (23,000-19,000 BC), to the use of ancient materials such as stone in the first civilizations, to the sensual abdomens discoveries of sculptural and pictorial Aphrodites or Venuses – from Praxiteles (Aphrodite Cnidia, 360 BC) to Titian (Venus of Urbino, 1538); to get to the pictorially sculpted male abdomens of martyrs such as San Sebastiano or Cristi, from the first crucifixes such as that of Cimabue or Giotto (Crucifix of Santa Croce, about 1272-1280) and (Crucifix of Santa Maria Novella, about 1290-1295), to Andrea Mantegna (San Sebastiano, around 1480-1481) and Bramante (Christ at the column, around 1490).
The “Stone Bellies” are fragments of both natural and cultural archeology, epicenters of a pure, primitive, natural sensitivity, deposits of a deep and articulated imagination – rooted in both personal and collective history. The “Stone Bellies” are yours, mine, in the depths of the day; they are those of Venus and Martyrs elected for eternity.
Jacopo Naccarato. Pance di Pietra
a cura di Federica Fiumelli
30 ottobre 2020 – 10 Gennaio 2021
Sala della terra, Centro di Cultura Paolo Guidotti
Via Aldo Moro, 32
40035 Castiglione dei Pepoli (BO)
For all the images: Jacopo Naccarato, Pancia in pietra, pietra arenaria, tessuti, 2020 Ph. Giulia Ballotti