Malafonte, Nicola Samorì's first solo exhibition at Galerie EIGEN + ART Berlin, is influenced by an artistic period during which the emotional expression of fear has been ubiquitous. Between 1520 and 1600, the artists of Mannerism directly coped with tragedies such as Sacco di Roma, a violent depredation of the city of Rome. Works like Il serpente di bronzo by the Fiorentine artist Agnolo Bronzino were influenced by the pain the artist experienced. Fear was a condition of Mannerism. To Samorì, we are living in Manneristic times again.
The influence by Mannerism in Malafonte is not only restricted to a state of mind. The serpentine figure of the human body, a characteristic of Mannerism, is a consistent subject of the works: Valle Umana (Malafonte), the large-scale fresco covering the entire back wall of the gallery visualises this in the battle between the snake and the human body.
By working with materials like stone, sand, lime and earth, Samorì breaks with painting's tradition of using elastic, corpulent oil to depict the body. From a distance, the works seem to have been part of an act of vandalism. It is the contrary: Samorì does not create works in order to demolish them. Instead, it is the flaw, the stone's hole, the 'mala fonte' that is the starting point of the works shown in the exhibition. The mineral wound is the beginning.
Press release courtesy Galerie Eigen + Art.