The poetics

Alberto Bertoldi’s Poetry

 

“A painting is above all a self-portrait”
(M. Foucault)

 

Boundless space to tell a story

An endless, American plain, a solitary desert a straight road vanishing in the distance. It is the cover image of an old vinyl record and for Alberto Bertoldi, who is only 14, it is something evocative and meaningful. It is an emotion which turns into a simple spontaneous gesture, the first brushstroke on the canvas. Bertoldi approaches art in this way, to tell us the wonder of nature which he percieves as a transfiguation of man’s feelings and ideas. The mountains and their clear skies become the mirror of the soul and of its vibrations impalpably set among immense clouds.

 

Representing nature in a contemporary way

Bertoldi has devoted himself to technique for a long time. He is fascinated by El Greco and Hieronimus Bosch and he studied them with passion, especially in the Seventies, when he attended the Brera Nude School. In the Eighties, on numerous visits to Euroean museums, he admired the great Flemish, English and German landscape masters, Friederich – a beacon for him –, as far as the Hudson River School. On these grounds Bertoldi increasingly feels the need to represent nature in a contemporary way.

 

The soul through the looking-glass

As time goes by, Bertoldi’s perception takes a clear-cut aspect: his earth brush-strokes are vibrant, and his skies go beyond reality, transfiguring it. It is an emotional vibration, an idea which is set little by little and progressively among the clouds.

Bertoldi’s skies are more human than the earthly world. Thus, his clouds gradually erode the line of the horizon. The artist’s choices turn the clouds, the emotions into the main composition elements, while the other details of his work become mere context. His sky looks mighty, as if it was a watcher rather than watched, the guardian of the power of the sacred. In this way Bertoldi’s paintings turn into windows, allowing a humanized nature to reveal itself. His symbols are as deep and powerful as the formal rigour of his language.

 

Motionless and fleeting

The clouds are but a representation of human life, of its continuity becoming an eternal present. Bertoldi’s works are timeless, motionless even though they express anxieties, vibrations, crossings, emotions. This is why it would not be correct to talk about hyperrealism in his work: there is no reproduction of nature, because it is re-invented, re-interpreted and transfigured. It is the spirit of man which expresses itself, the soul moved by emotions, capable of telling joy, sorrow, anxieties, love in human terms. The result is a measureless self-portrait of man, a man who watches a “traveller” going along a road and watching a painting.