Luca Moscariello. Strategic modules to create misu...

Luca Moscariello. Strategic modules to create misunderstandings

Illusion is by its definition an elusive concept, it defines negatively what seems but is not and this is the only certainty that its recognition leads to. It is a chasm open on the abyss of the plural, it opens glimmers of insight into the unknowable while preserving its mystery, it grasps the truth for a moment by showing one of its possible facets in the form of a reflection to dive it back after a moment into the multitude of potentialities and co-presences. Illusion is sometimes more eloquent than any revelation in its deceptive essence, but at the same time paradoxically authentic in the process of deconstruction and analysis of appearance that it triggers in those who engage with it. These questions, which have always been fundamental in all reflections concerning the art of painting starting from its most ancient declinations such as the myth of the potter’s daughter Butade or that of Narcissus, are still extremely vital in contemporary artistic research, more than never put to the test today by the new illusory possibilities of digital media.

Luca Moscariello, Interno-pomeriggio (scena tra la polvere e la premura del procedere), 2019, enamel on panel, 120 x 150 cm

The artistic investigation by Luca Moscariello pertains to these themes, and in the exhibition Strategic modules to create misunderstandings at the Mercato cultural center of Argenta (FE) he presents the results of the last intense five years of work, in which he dedicated himself to the exploration of visual deception in painting. What animates the project is not the intention of developing a virtuosity aimed at surprising or challenging perceptive habits, but that of developing a varied armamentarium of stylistic and pictorial devices aimed at staging the illusion in its alternating creation and reveal. Each of his compositions, rigorously planned with dozens of preparatory drawings, traps the gaze in an intriguing mirror labyrinth, in whose fragmentary refractions all the artifices of painting are manifested. With an approach in some ways similar to the exploration carried out by Giulio Paolini of the speculative implications of the tools of a representation never made explicit but only evoked by enigmatic traces, Moscariello analyzes the processes of painting from within, elaborating what we could define as real conceptual scenography, designed to induce the observer to slow down to understand things more deeply.

Luca Moscariello, Abbacinato, 2016, oil on panel, 120 x 180cm

The exhibition path is divided into two parallel itineraries which, despite being composed of paintings that are stylistically very different at first glance, coincide in the aim of reasoning on the status of visual deception from complementary points of view. In the first room we find a series of works on panel in which pieces of reality decontextualized and deprived of the third dimension become patterns which, recomposed on the pictorial level, recreate ambiguous metaphysical settings through synthesis. In the second room, however, we see a large environmental installation of tables with a geometric layout in which a formal structuring of neoplastic origin illusionistically generates thicknesses, recesses and projections, each of which reveals itself as a skilful essay in trompe-l’œil painting. In both cases the relationship with the art history is very close, which is crossed synchronically to arrive at an eclectic language, but firmly calibrated by a direction that does not lose sight of the overall vision and the objective towards which this experimentation is aimed.

Luca Moscariello, Elogio delle fragilità 10, 2023, oil and enamel on panel, 50 x 50 cm

In the first artwork series we can identify echoes of Matisse’s backgrounds, of the rigid drapery of Italian “Novecento” style painting, but also of the bright simplifications of Pop Art, of Daniel Buren’s vertical bands, of the optical deceptions of Op Art, of the architectural grids by Peter Halley and many other references that invite the observers to mentally revisit their museum experiences and reflect on the intrinsic functionality of certain stylistic features, regardless of their original contextualization. In the works that make up the polyptych “Tale of the Shadow”, we are faced with a more essential language, which recalls, as already mentioned, the geometrising hermeticism of the neoplastic avant-garde. In each of these paintings we notice both the vocation of the work to be an autonomous object free from external referentialities, typical of the twentieth-century movement, and a narrative that emerges as the eye gradually identifies in the colored surfaces not only a set of interconnected parts distributed in progression logic and mathematics, but also an assemblage of monochrome pictorial supports within a real display. It is no coincidence that the title of the individual elements of the polyptych is “puzzle”, alluding not only to the game which consists in recomposing the fragments into which an image has been divided (equally pertinent), but also to the meaning of the English verb from which it derives, i.e. “disconcert” and “disorientate”.

Luca Moscariello, Puzzle n.39, 2022, oil and enamel on panel, 50 x 70 cm

Another aspect in common between the two series on display is their proceeding in modules. In the first case, these are patterns taken from reality or abstract that are used in an ostentatiously two-dimensional syntax, in which the eye gets lost and ends up projecting a figurative and narrative system that proceeds in space-time punctuated fifths. In the second, however, the idea of working within a mental grid regulated by precise relationships between proportions and colors makes a sculptural illusion vibrate, while the tender pictorial sensitivity of the oil glazes gives depth and softness to the adamantine enamel backgrounds below. Each work in each series activates a continuous process of osmosis between inside-outside, structure-surface, fiction-abstraction, detail-together which, passing seamlessly from one expressive binary to the other, causes the parallels to converge. The final question underlying each composition (and multiplied by the mutual references between the works) is how we can look at the possible misdirections of painting from within, grasping them in that liminal condition in which we are about to lose one awareness to acquire another opposite one. For Luca Moscariello, therefore, the truth lies neither in the moment in which the deception is planned nor in the moment in which it is discovered, but in the process of oscillation between one misunderstanding and another that painting induces in those who entrust their gaze to its dynamics.


Luca Moscariello. Moduli strategici per imbastire equivoci
27/01 – 10/03/2024
Mercato centro culturale
piazza Marconi 1 Argenta (FE)


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.