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PAOLO CAMPOSTRINI

INVISIBLE CITIES

It is not that the 'invisible cities' cannot be seen. They exist, they stand in their place of old real cities, only you have to look at them in a certain way for them to begin to transfigure. It takes time and an eye. Then there they appear. They change colours, shift their architecture and begin to dream of being elsewhere. You don't need to read Calvino and his Invisible Cities, or you do. For example, Luca Dall'Olio , who has been painting and sculpting practically since he came into the world, illustrated one of the many wonderful books of the rampant baron of our literature, 'Marcovaldo'. And then he did many other things, starting from his home town of Chiari, near Brescia, and travelling the world. Like being called to the Biennale in Venice in 2011 or building the large 20-square-metre mosaic that illuminates the Roman underground station at Villa Bonelli. But he paints invisible cities, that's what he does above all. They are places of the soul, but not because they are inside us, on the contrary, they are outside us, but after being seen in a certain way they appear as we have all, at least once in our lives, imagined them to be. Thus Brescia becomes a cascade of churches and squares down the castle hill. And Bolzano a cathedral as it may appear after staring at the sun for too long, architecture so clear that it never seems to have spent cold nights. 

And Capri and our south, in his paintings, try to become what we have always believed the islands of the Phaeacians or Jason's landing places could be. So landscapes and cities that become dreams but only because Dall'Olio has actually seen them and has read and travelled so much and, in the end, what he paints is the world as it has passed through the regrets, loves and illusions of a lifetime.  His seemingly utopian architectures, with refined naive veins like the hieratic faces that accompany them, are his mark. Between colours without nuances and the contours of a Carthusian monk. He has been sculpting for some time. And photographs. Almost as if, with this latest experience, he wanted to reassure himself that what he sees is real and not just a dream. He graduated from Brera, Dall'Olio, and says he is inspired by the borderline expressionism of Ludwig Kirchner or the architecture of Hudertwasser. In reality, there is much more to his cobalt blues or the bright yellows and oranges of sunsets in who knows what dream. As if a life were playing cops and robbers with reality. (c.)

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