One of the elements that everyone knows about the world of art are the artistic groups. Historically artists from all eras come together under the roof of an idea, or a utopia to grow together on a journey that in the best of cases leads to an artistic current. For some years Mestre has been an incubator of artistic energy: spaces, projects or artistic groups are born almost every month. Here, in this zone that belongs to Venice but which has less and less to do with the lagoon city, there are collectives that work in spaces located in different areas and all these collectives should be visited and made known.
In the last months I have been peeping at Kadabra studio, the informal group that has its artistic residence in via Verdi 57 in Mestre and which has ten artists from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice as a staff. The studio was born from a former commercial space now rented to the collective, where as soon as you enter you can breathe the classic smell of painting, turpentine and freshly made coffee. Every time I go to visit the guys, the air you breathe is that of a creative space to the nth degree and having a chat with them is an experience not only for the eyes surrounded by such different works, but above all for the soul.
It’s nice to know that the new generations of artists are not so naïve and look at the world with more mature eyes than those of my generation. “We decided to get together because we are used to work in a group” is one of the important phrases I heard from them, as if the perfect equation to be able to grow up today is together and not alone.
The dozens and dozens of canvases around Kadabra studio identify many different styles and techniques; from figurative works to abstract art of large, medium and small dimensions, all works that narrate worlds and stories in a kaleidoscope of possibilities of reality and sensations. Each of the members of Kadabra has various national and international exhibitions under their belt, some of them have also taken part in the traveling group show curated by Luca Massimo Barbero entitled “Venice Time Case” currently ongoing in some European capitals such as Paris. Their personal stage is dotted with calls for competitions and experimental exhibitions everywhere: these guys get busy.
As I sip my umpteenth coffee while visiting them, I discover that some members of the original line-up are in residence at the Bevilacqua La Masa foundation in Venice and that their positions in the studio have been occupied by other guests. “This allows us to grow further by observing other interesting artists” is explained to me. The studio is a unique experience and the main purpose of this space has a double value: it is not only a space to create but also a showcase to show oneself to the public, to professionals and to collectors. This idea of space reminds me in some way of the studio of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg in NY in the 50s when everything was becoming history; it is no coincidence that important personalities such as the director of the MoMA Museum of Modern Art attended that studio before becoming the greatest gallery owner of his time: Leo Castelli.
There is so much quality painting in this studio that I wanted to close this article with a phrase said by David Hockney during an interview: “Drawing and painting will continue to exist, like song and dance, because people need it”. And in Kadabra I see all this.
Kadabra studio, via Verdi 57 Mestre (Venezia)
For all the images: Kadabra studio panoramica, courtesy Kadabra studio, 2021
Independent artist and curator. Founder of No Title Gallery in 2011. I observe, study, ask questions, take informations and live in contemporary art, a real stimulus for my research.