braveART welcomes nine new paintings from Mateo Galvano.
In 2011 from her memoir entitled, Woolgathering, Patti Smith describes a field she used to look at as a child, into the night darkness, imagining a group of ghostly figures whom came to glean the field of it’s cotton wool, "On clear, peculiar nights I sometimes saw movement in the grasses. At first I thought it to be the swipe of the white owl or the great pale wings of a luna moth spreading and folding like a medieval habit. But it came to me one night that they were people like none I had ever seen, in strange archaic caps and dress. I used to think I could see the white of their bonnets and, at times, a hand, in the act of grasping, illuminated by the moon and stars or the light of a passing car”. She observed, "The music of the woolgatherers performing their task. Bending, extending, shaking out the air. Gathering what needs to be gathered. The discarded. The Adored. Bits of human spirit that somehow got away. Caught up in an apron. Plucked by a gloved hand.
From all this the cloud is formed. And the sky resembles the human opera.” (Woolgahtering©1992, 2011 Patti Smith, New Direction Books)
And so too Mateo Galvano paints with a sense of this gathering from memories of life and love, bringing to the present the act of applying layer upon layer of gesture, metaphorical recordings of ghostly past that become a landscape holding both the absence and the presence of memory and the human spirit.
Galvano speaks of his own work:
In my work, Conditions of absence and embodiment are investigated through strategies of abstraction and a practice of striving to depict the invisible. I’m exploring the conditions of being by working with systems of marks, colors and forms. It’s a practice of uncovering and finding my way by remaining open to the situations of the studio, being open to an idea or train of thought. The resultant images are translations of a series of actions, concerns and discoveries.
The absent human form is observed and commemorated as an atmospheric trace of gesture, like a mark or a stain left by a ghost. Its experiences are reflected in the landscape and the weather, reflected in the circumstances of constant change. Engaging the sensuality of landscape as a mirror to the spiritual component of the human figure, I aim to describe elemental qualities of the ephemeral, transient nature of existence.
- Mateo Galvano 2016