Marco Tirelli, Untitled, 2021

In Peccioli, Marco Tirelli (Rome, 1956) created Untitled, a series of ceramic elements placed together to form a single work, making up a scene whose key element is perspective, the symbol par excellence of a Cartesian and rationalizing vision of reality. In the artist’s language, perspective becomes a threshold that leads the eye of the observer into a dimension diametrically opposite to the one of Renaissance. Space is no longer illusory and does not act as a mirror to the world; on the contrary, it turns labyrinthine and disquieting.  If Renaissance perspective is a method of representation, whose geometric and mathematical character reflected the desire to enclose the fragmentation of things in an all-embracing pictorial construction, the perspective in Tirelli’s work is the questioning of that philosophical vision.

While using a perspectival procedure and remaining within this symbolic structure, the artist’s compositions disrupt the system of construction that has supported Western painting for centuries. The lines that cross the surface of Tirelli’s work lead nowhere and refer to nothing; they seem to approach, but then move away, rising and falling along the surface without ever defining a scene with certainty: “I can only illuminate some fragments of the world with my attention in the attempt to embrace it in its entirety… art is a substitute for the insufficiency of the world. For me, art is something that has a character as a model, leading to new visions of the world and expanding the boundaries of knowledge. Art does not solve problems but it makes us better, more analytical, and it makes life more intense”.

Observing Marco Tirelli’s works, we get a sense of disorientation. Referring to the intrinsic quality of the artist’s work, critics have often used the term metaphysical to indicate the particular atmosphere that Tirelli is able to create. The images represented create a sense of disorientation because they elude an easy interpretation, whether they are geometric figures, or a detail of a spiral staircase or a portion of a wall or of a threshold illuminated from the back.

The space in which the depicted elements are set is for the most part invaded by rampant black color. It is impenetrable, abstract and impalpable. The objects inside seem to be immobilized in a dimension of dream and their compactness makes them detached from any contact with reality. The effect is alienating: the more the images are concrete and powerful, the more they seem to aim for the invisible and allude to another level of knowledge that goes beyond reality. Only by going beyond the superficiality of things and the banality of everyday existence, we can discover new expressive possibilities and we are able to get in touch with our deepest and truest dimension. The forms that inhabit Tirelli’s paintings are essential, like suspended, and not vulnerable to the passage of time.

Marco Tirelli, edited by Antonella Soldaini, Municipality of Peccioli, 2021

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