The restlessness of VICI.
by Rolando Culluccini – April 2012
translated by Anthony Lombardi
“… Great facades with small windows, flying light white rectangles and a big moon piercing the bottom of rough but pulsating ocher earth and a small sign that says: Winter has arrived to these clear and barren streets …”.
Or … “On a light pearl gray, the mast from the hull, outlined and upset by the gray and white storm, raises its flag, where it darkens the green blue-silver wave …”.
And again: “The gliding dolphins carved out on celestial cardboard intersect and disappear into the gray sea …”.
These are three attempts to describe, certainly with inadequate words, the inspirations derived from some works of Chryssis Vici, the period of which could be defined as Arte Povera, stressed rather than proposed by their essence, because we can say, every work of this artist, doesn’t give us rest but pushes us with a tender insistence to the realization of a formula that is possibly the most communicative and descriptive of that which suggests with a tireless will of fulfillment. But as soon as the formula to place this creativity in a theme that is useful is grasped, that is “we know what we are talking about …”, Vici’s natural and inexhaustible research forces us to forget each structural set-up, to reveal or suggest to us other worlds, other fantasies, other chimeras, to chase, to protect, and to interpret.
Therefore the overcoming of each technique to appropriate the next, perhaps in programs that can be considered more suitable for expressing the inner urgent soul and mind, who for their pain or fortune have the will to reveal themselves.
Recently while peeking at a group of paintings in his studio, I found some finished and unfinished paintings dedicated to the large and difficult theme of the figure. I understood, after extensive questioning, why Vici doesn’t easily talk about his work, that for some time now, has fulfilled his commitment of daily research on the human figure peacefully resolving the combinations of shape and color and the flash of controlled intuition. Therefore not new, but available, a complementary if not primary path, is used from time to time when it is necessary. Or compelling.
And since we know well Vici’s raids to plunder glittering landscapes, made tender by a mass of colors that are sometimes terse and sometimes thick and material, signs and lines that build realistic depth in a light of a narrative fulfilling capacity. We take advantage of these transits without problems or fears. These steps come from anxiety, I suppose. Of course if this were so, we would be at ease, because we know anxiety is the spring of all suffering expression of an artist, and we can expect in the future to be able to enjoy works that are finished and sincere. The change in the paintings of Vici is inevitable in his ever-continuing research and the constraints of his graphic construction to give strength to the power of the colors, leaving the limitations of physical reality and exploding in a freedom of which some works are appropriated in the constructive gesture and in the simple consent of the applied material, solving very well the perils of disharmony without any residual fear or obligation. On the point of nostalgia for the passions of time in the recent or more distant past, he returns to attend the courses of Pedro Cano, within the area and use of watercolor as a language that offers him the opportunity to explore new insights in the shadow of a much-loved Master. And this experience has inevitably given more strength and security to his considerable research on the human body of which over Vici’s last creative periods have expressed this predominant theme in its expressive reality. In fact, from the initial sketches of watercolour to a severity of tones that is a prelude to necessary full-bodiness, up to the next step, that is, the use of traditional oil painting, using gained familiarity. And these heavy and carved nudes bear the signs of painful reflections, possible rewritings with a masterfully absorbed preparation.
Recently invited to visit China for an internship of contacts with the eastern figurative realities that tend towards the new openings of a fascinating world, Vici assimilates atmospheres and schemes of which are quickly appropriated and externalized later with great charm in a series of paintings of great quality . And this new experience is more and more a part of his expressive enriched baggage, as it was for the commitment in his studies of engraving and lithography, which he practiced for a long time extracting elements for which he used in a variety of ineffable engravings.
He is, therefore, a complete artist; happy in the serenity of his conviction, even and especially when the area that houses it proves difficult and impenetrable.