During the last few years the artistic research of Leonardo Greco has been focusing on a series of works which embraces different techniques, bringing them together in a whole, organic and complete – yet ongoing – project.
This collection of works, entitled Take me to the stars, stems from the artist’s love for art history, philosophy and archeology. The series includes photography, drawing and painting on different materials, as well as plaster and ceramic sculptures. The amount of languages and techniques might almost seem overwhelming at first, but after a while it’s possible to recognise several details and signs, almost like whispers calling the spectator from one work to the other. Recurring stylistic elements, as well as a certain romantic atmosphere, permeate the whole body of works giving it a coherent direction.
The title of the project refers to the artist’s tension towards the sublime and the divine. They tell us something about the desire, the search for supernatural and mundane love.
The photographic landscapes portray anonymous natural landscapes with a search for unconventional elements of beauty, and a strong feeling of empathy with nature. The artist wanders around abandoned archeological sites, encounters trees covered in dust and depicts the human intervention in otherwise immaculate landscapes, in search for an access to the supernatural, as if those elements, which he calls doors, could lead him to the divine and the unknown.
The photos are printed only in one copy, in one format and on a single material. This allows the artist to establish a direct connection between the photographic and the the painting techniques and makes these works unique art pieces rather than multiple copies. The photos do not present the viewer with a formal composition and there is no postproduction – in fact they often contain a certain disturbing or wrong element, which represents the casual and unintentional intervention of chance in the artist’s work.
The texture of this images is often full of tangled lines and dense natural shapes, and these elements come back in the paintings and drawings of Leonardo Greco. They represent some sort of recurring alphabet, obtained with different techniques but still recognisable from one work to the other, as if the artist was bringing back to his studio the same images he found in the countryside. The lines and shapes are transferred onto transparent paper as colored abstract elements. These paintings and drawings often involve words – excerpts from the artist’s own poems which he translates into English and includes together with the composition on paper. This series of works represents stripped landscapes, like the portrait of a naked body which reveals the true essence of a person, or in this case, a place.
Research for the realisation of the series “Take me to the stars” started four years ago, and was not only related to the many disciplines that this project involves, but also to the techniques, which all require a certain rhythm and discipline in working, as if the artist had to listen to the materials and go along with their pulse.
The series involves small plaster and ceramic sculptures, which complete the paintings on metal sheets, narrating the artist’s origins. These characters refer to the votive sculptures used by Etruscan people and represent elements that people buried in order to express gratitude or send requests to the gods. These figures interact with the landscape in an almost ironic way, as a small constellation of desires and questions that the artist presents to his own personal divinity.