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Small Paintings

I like small paintings. It might be because I used to collect stamps when I was a child, and I first saw the Masters (the Annunciata by Antonello da Messina is one of my earliest memories about art) inside a little serrated square of paper. Or maybe because a few years later I would start buying records, often judging them in advance based on their 12x12 inch covers that introduced me to the likes of Gerhard Richter and Raymond Pettibon. I can also remember that my father used to tell me that, had he lived in the Middle Ages, he would have been a miniaturist.

There is indeed something religious about being bent over a small canvas, trying to produce something which hopefully makes sense to someone. You can handle it, rotate it, or turn it upside-down to check if the perspective is right—you don’t need a mirror or a mobile phone camera for that. I like the dynamics you can create by placing a small painting beside a big one, the sort of narrative or unpredictable meaning the juxtaposition might suggest.

Sometimes, like with this new one, there are both an element of reduction and a larger-than-life side to them. This painting is based on a picture I took of a fake feathe fallen to the ground from a carnival costume, a sort of baroque element inside a minimalist space. Only after I was finished I realized that, had the feather been a real one, I wouldn’t have been interested in painting it. Since I don’t like my work to be ornamental or symbolic of something else, I think I feel more comfortable with simulacra, that must be why.



This work is available. If you are interested, click on v.murri@inwind.it



Most of the Attention Was Paid to Lower Things (Fake Feather), 2023. Oil on linen, 30x25 cm.


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