Sebastiano Sofia

Gli alberi muoiono in piedi (The trees die standing

Project Info

  • 💙 Emerge Project Space - Pescara (IT)
  • 💚 EMERGE Project Space
  • 🖤 Sebastiano Sofia
  • 💜 Maurizio Vicerè
  • 💛 Pierluigi Fabrizio - Giorgio Liddo. Courtesy EMERGE, the artist, Parallel Comunicazione Visiva

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Sebastiano Sofia (Verona, 1986) next to the work “Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). 2023
Sebastiano Sofia (Verona, 1986) next to the work “Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Exhibition view, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Exhibition view, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Ember, charcoal and tempera on plasterboard, aluminum frame. 360 x 270 x 9 cm. 2023 (front side).
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Ember, charcoal and tempera on plasterboard, aluminum frame. 360 x 270 x 9 cm. 2023 (front side).
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
Exhibition view, 2023
Exhibition view, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Exhibition view, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Exhibition view, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Ember, charcoal and tempera on plasterboard, aluminum frame. 360 x 270 x 9 cm. 2023 (back side).
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Ember, charcoal and tempera on plasterboard, aluminum frame. 360 x 270 x 9 cm. 2023 (back side).
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
“Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing). Detail, 2023
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain. 21 x 29,7 cm. (framed) 2023
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain. 21 x 29,7 cm. (framed) 2023
Exhibition view, 2023
Exhibition view, 2023
Exhibition view, 2023
Exhibition view, 2023
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain, nails. 21 x 29,7 cm. 2023
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain, nails. 21 x 29,7 cm. 2023
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain, nails. 21 x 29,7 cm. 2023
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain, nails. 21 x 29,7 cm. 2023
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain, nails. 21 x 29,7 cm. 2023
Self Portrait. Oil pastel on watercolor paper, coarse grain, nails. 21 x 29,7 cm. 2023
EMERGE Project Space is pleased to present the new work “Gli alberi muoiono in piedi” (The trees die standing) by the artist Sebastiano Sofia (Verona, 1986). The monumental dimensions artwork has been created in the main room and will be open to people from 25 November 2023 to 14 January 2024. Some paper-works will be presented to accompany the work in the project room. In 1879, some rock paintings were found by Homines Sapientis in a cave in Altamira, in North-West Spain. Those first signs of man dating back to the Upper Paleolithic (36,000 – 10,500 B.C.), are recognized today as the most archaic forms of visual communication. This brief introduction serves to present the work: “The trees die standing”, made by the artist Sebastiano Sofia (Verona, 1986). It is easy to imagine, lingering on the threshold, the entrance of a cave or, more precisely, a portion of it located in an exhibition hall. Alone and unadorned, the work expands in space like a two-faced monolith. It’s required of us: movement, vertigo and multiple changes of perspective; you need to get closer, get lost in the details, follow the nervous traces to begin to distinguish the shapes. Its surface exists to be penetrated visually and physically, developing upwardly, until our horizontal orientation perfectly coincides with the compositional rhythm. We recognize a forest of solemn trunks, a not very forgiving nature to most, but in which the artist seems to find a sense of protection and inner peace. Sofia wants to show us another idea of world not to escape the real one, but rather as an act of courage and awareness, managing to merge with the environment represented, even if He does not explicitly withdraw. The artist uses almost exclusively coal, whether embers for the backgrounds or fragments of charcoal for the details. Layers upon layers of dust overlap, filling the available area with an ashy black, alternating with moments of milky paint, holes, rips and breakages. From above and almost everywhere you can see whitish figures. Some seem to fall happily, gliding like feathers. Others, however, observe us hidden, playing an innocent yet bizarre hide and seek game, until the human merges into the grotesque. On the faces of these hominids, with fleeting smiles, however, are the eyes to speak, through the emptiness of silence. The artist tries to concretely represent the void, digging the panels in correspondence with the eyeballs, to suggest the link with the other large painting on the back. We therefore discover a work of equal value, similar in size but opposite in tonal inversion and composition: the white has now taken on greater vigor while the features have become more nervous. If it was above all the stratification of signs and physical elements that welcomed us, it is in her face that Sofia acts by subtraction, to the point of blurring at the edges. The eyes of the human become the eyes of the beast which for the artist can only be the same. No solution of continuity therefore, yet the doubt of belonging to one or the other remains. Sofia intends to exclude any way out for us, suggesting deep reflection. Upon closer inspection, there are in fact at least two key points that deserve greater attention: the smile of the men, on the front side, and the hallucinated growl of the beasts, on the back. At first glance it should be precisely the teeth shown by the latter that terrify, Sofia however seems to warn us that a smile can often hide far greater ambiguities and dangers, unlike the beasts which send an instinctive defense signal, the message of which is clear: don't - dare - any further. We conclude this short text with a final reflection about the Sofia’s trees, through the providential words of the German painter Paul Klee: «Several times, in a forest, I felt that it was not me looking at the forest. Some days I felt that the trees were looking at me, talking to me... I was there, listening... I believe that the painter must let himself be penetrated by the universe and not want to penetrate it...".
Maurizio Vicerè

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