Interview: Marco Ronga
Luca Curci talks with Marco Ronga during OUT OF BALANCE, second appointment of CANVAS Art Fair 2020 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space in London, and during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2020 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello in Venice.
Architect by training, he teaches Design and History of Art, self-taught artist since adolescence. Since 1993 he has exhibited his artworks in Padua, Venice, Vicenza, Trieste, Rome, London etc. It has been a partner of LondonArt.co.uk for about twenty years.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Marco Ronga – Art is therapy for the salvation of the spirit, sublimation of the impulses and sufferings of life. I believe in the utopia that beauty can save the world. Art is a virtual space, without prejudices or conventions. The unconscious and involuntary dimension that reveals itself in my work continues to surprise me, both when it remains enigmatic and when it reveals the dark side of myself that I was unaware of.
LC – What is your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MR – I am an architect by training, I started painting as a self-taught in adolescence. I teach drawing and art history in a high school in Padua. The awareness that art was a reason for living and not just a hobby has consolidated over time, even in dramatic situations where it was the resource that allowed me to sublimate the difficulties.
LC – What role does the artist play in society? And contemporary art?
MR – The function of art and the role of the artist change with society. The spirit of the times can only be understood with historical distance. Today the epochal and sudden changes that society is experiencing, such as the pandemic, climate change, globalization and the economic crisis, make it particularly difficult to set the parameters in contemporary art. Certainly the art of the Biennials is not representative of the art of the moment, nor can the official art market guarantee the quality and representativeness of the works because the works are often chosen as an investment: based on the prestige of the signature of historical authors or for the speculation on the revaluation over time of works by underpaid beginners. Gallerists have lost their charisma and power to guide the public, they are self-referenced and very often end up considering painters as their clients, charging the artists with the expenses of exhibitions, rather than promoting them. I believe in the creativity and sensitivity of those contemporary artists who work like birds sing, and are many, silent and determined. I believe in the sensitivity of a few collectors, but also in the resources of humanity which in every period has had its artists and patrons. The world still needs an “artistic” interpretation of the present time. It is a physiological need in the human race, a cathartic, liberating, expressive and existential need, but also one of denunciation and provocation against silence or of rebellion against generalized homologation. A drop of this submerged production will survive the tam tam and banality of modern times, not necessarily the best, but it is what will be resilient.
LC – What is your creative process like?
MR – It is like falling in love, all-encompassing and irrational, and it has the urge to materialize. The starting point can be the expressiveness of a face, the human figure or the architecture of the city or landscape. Portraits of places, landscapes of bodies. The places are rendered with the “fauves” colors of an emotional relationship, full of Mediterranean light: the “genius loci” emerges in an unusual psychological portrait, far from conventional and oleographic images. Instead the bodies are volumes represented in moments of dreamlike abandonment, emotionally absent, as observed objects, not as active subjects. They build the space by themselves, in silent choreography, without the need to oppose the background of the landscape. At other times it is the face that hypnotizes and intrigues me: the intensity of the looks and the ambiguity of the expressions become a possible key to the soul.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MR – I have repeatedly returned to the themes of the paintings of my early youth. In those paintings I recognize the roots of current issues: what has grown is the mastery of the means and the personal maturation that allow me to better calibrate the contents and to seek greater effectiveness in visual communication, but the original imprinting still produces the its consequences. I went through and reworked different styles, from expressionism, divisionism, hyperrealism. I also experienced the limits of visual language, as in the case of interactive paintings, or in the case of paintings on wood, material and background of the composition, comparing myself with the masters of the twentieth century.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
MR – The common thread that won me over both in the London exhibition OUT OF BALANCE and in CONTEMPORARY VENICE is the precariousness and limits of human identity, both in the symbolic and physical dimensions. In London I presented two paintings:
”Corona Virum” (or crown of men), in which the picture represents six human beings free-falling into the void. It’s a metaphor for social strength which, thanks to human solidarity, is built to face the danger, metaphorically represented by the abyss of free fall.
”A(e)ntropy”, that talks about Entropy of anthropized space: an allegory inspired by fragility of environmental sustainability. Young humanity without a glance on the future, but also a darkened humanity that shows the wear and tear of occupying a body, a prisoner of one’s lifestyles as the animals of one’s cages: battery-raised poultry and buffaloes for the production of milk. Environment reduced to a fence shared by captive creatures: men and animals compete for space and air, arms up to capture light.
As regards CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2020, the picture presented is:
“Mutant Identities”, an interactive painting that wants to show how the face, the identity or the mask that hides us, escapes a definitive meaning that also varies according to the context and relationships with other faces. This perennial “ambiguity” offers inexhaustible interpretations. The interactive picture is made up of “open” materials: 49 faces and bodies on 30×30 cm modular and interchangeable panels that can take on different meanings depending on the user who decides their position and assembles them easily thanks to the magnets, contributing to the many possible ways of composition. Thus the aesthetic experience is shared by both the artist and the user. The panels can be mounted on wall or floor.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
MR – I was conquered by the power of the images, especially photographic works, which I saw on your site when the announcement was published, as well as by the courageous choices to promote Contemporary Art. I found the themes proposed in the festival very stimulating.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think of our services?
MR – I would say that you have brilliantly passed the test of the planetary pandemic. Although the historical circumstances were not particularly lucky, participation in the two exhibitions was very stimulating for me and I hope we can repeat further experiences, also trusting in the dissemination and promotion of images and my work with your channels on the web.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
MR – A challenge, an opportunity and a stimulus to move forward in the name of Contemporary Art.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MR – Yes and the wish is … that it doesn’t end here!