Claudio Rizzi

Seeking the cause of things

Benvenuto Guerra finds the Mantuan painter has " an approach to art conceived as an epiphany, or better, an unveiling moment. " A significant prelude to further understand Giuseppe Billoni's art work. Unveiling as a process means to ritually remove the veil that conceils an all so evasive truth , therefore going beyond deceptive aspects of things so to gain a moment of insight.

This approach is fundamental to read Billoni's works: an intermediate stage after a deep interpretation process and yet also incipit of a new transition.

A refined expert of both pictoric and engraving techniques, thorough conosseur of materials, seeking subtle balance in daring uses, Billoni literally carves out matter, be it an engraving plate or canvas. He's carving out and unveiling, disclosing his peculiar language and territories: And then again, sounding out his self-portrait, his inner dialogue, yet far from being a monologue with its statement-like tones, this is indeed more of a conversation where questions and answers may be clearly perceived. A wonderous dialouge and a self-portrait in an unremitting effort towards insight. Questions the author conveys toward the centre of the world intended as the inner world, that secret box hiding an occult truth concealed within mystery and secrets.Billoni states "Art is never for art's sake, but one with our thirst for knowledge about ourselves and the world..." hence his distinctive feature: painting as a way to investigate further into matters. Research becomes a "jump into the void", a " descent into the underworld". Most of his art works originate in an esoteric context then Billoni's noetic space shifts towards philosophy. This is alwayss an extremely meticolous process, totally devoid of any playful attitude nor ever slipping into the world of mere science fiction. Billoni combines the esoteric heritage and the results of his burdensome research. Billoni's artistic path, now a few decade span , characterized by opposite themes within defined sequences. From his first works produced in the Seventies, already originated from criptic symbols, concealed and mysterious, consonant with the esoteric pattern, come his "Ruote Cosmiche" (Astral Wheels), microcosms studded with plays of alchemic associations. Then come "Barche Labirinto" (Labirynth Boats) apparently a surreal work characterized by duplicities and ambivalence of matter, a fluctuacting pattern which anticipates the relationship between solids and voids, the elusive only slightly perceivable reality, such a a criptic dimension is expected to be . Consistently with his evolution "Cieli stratificati" (Stratified skies) and "Frammenti di Cielo" (Fragments of Sky) feature gasiform athmospheres turning physical density therefore capsizing all rules.

And to unveil that matter, incumbent in a mysterious way on us, sapiently guided by alchemy in Billoni's panting, the artist reveals layers of the sky, only to get to the last one where mystery is. Creatures, not human beings in a conventional way, yet simply individuals often appear in Billoni's works, together with symbols, part taking with the macro-microcosm debate. In "Figure oltre la soglia" (Figures beyond the threshold) The threshold could be that final layer of matter removed to unveil the figure at last. Or the opposite could likewise be true. The ethereal figure stands out against a dark background. The figure is therefore passed the threshold, sinuous filament of energy. "Beyond" is a passage through matter. The artist, in his process of erosion and immersion, is indeed not interested in single details as the truth he seeks includes all without exception. Open to an intense dialogue, aiming to the very core of things. Giuseppe Billoni as a painter represents the sober independence of a world free from restraints, beyond the conventions. Billoni and his macro-microcosm.

02 February 2005