A homogeneous journey in the light: Alessandro Lupi

by Alessandro Trabucco

I looked at one work by Alessandro Lupi for the first time in 1999, at the Vecchio Mattatoio (Former Slaughterhouse/Abattoir) in Rome, in the occasion of the Biennale dei giovani Artisti dell’Europa e del Mediterraneo (Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean Biennale Festival). A record very far in time, but well impressed in my memory. Especially the feelings I had in looking at a human form immersed in a dark space and compound by luminous threads only, seemingly incandescent, as well as the warning hand-written by the artist asking neither to get closer nor to touch them, to avoid burning. An obsessive and disturbing sound emphasized that perception of precariousness and danger. Many years after I met Alessandro Lupi and he confessed it was just an expedient to protect during the time a work actually absolutely innocuous, very delicate and vulnerable without a constant presence to protect it from the visitors’ curiosity.
That statuesque work, actually three-dimensional, was done only with normal threads painted with photosensitive colour and illuminated by Wood’s lamp (Black Light). No incandescence and no danger in touching them.
All works created in this way belong to a series called by the Artist Densità Fluorescente (Fluorescent Density).
The homogeneous journey of Alessandro Lupi began therefore around the end of Nineties to find out today, after more than fifteen years, a surprising evolution, devoid of the repetition of cliché and comfortable formulas already consolidated.
It is the unceasing experimentation that has led him to conceive and create always works of great emotional impact. One of these was Space Specific, at the Castello di Apricale (Apricale Castle) in Liguria, fulfilled in 2012 during an Artist-in-Residence. A dead tree, a Pittosporum variegated flushed out during some walks thereabouts, was transformed in a sort of Cosmic Space, a Universe.
The artist depicted its extremities with fluorescent pigments, with little chromatic points, and hung it on a very slow motor located in the tank of the castle.
What distinguishes Lupi’s work, compared to other artists using the light as specific medium through the exclusive use of advanced technologies, it is the craftsmanship and processuality of his achievements, with the use of coloured pigment, of painting and the craft construction of his works, equally obtaining surprisingly suggestive outcomes, that make the observer forget this type of approach, one might say, traditional.
With his work Antiego Mirror of 2013, the artist proposed an own thought on the general trend to overestimating one’s own presence in a determined social context. This work was born in an environment already well consolidated in the artist’s life, that is the city of Berlin, where he has lived for many years till now. The specific characteristics of this city have therefore pressed him to think over the identity and the possibility to watch first of all outside oneself, finding out the sense of sharing and considering the other from oneself.
Actually, it is a reflecting surface where it is impossible to be mirrored, since the face in movement is continuously covered by plenty of luminous dots that accurately follow every movement of it. The main question is just given by this visual impossibility, while in the same time the reflecting subject can watch the mirrored faces of other people around.
With the series of works called Shadow series, introduced at the last edition of Arte Fiera (Art Fair) in Bologna, Alessandro Lupi reached a top achievement of his luminous experimentation, creating works of great poetical suggestion.
First of all, the observer wonders from where the spot of warm light comes, illuminating every little object placed on the basis of wooden boxes: a snail obtained from the overturned metal part of a normal light bulb, a box with some broken rungs, a little tree without leafs. There are no external luminous sources, it is impossible to intercept the ray of light with a hand and make a second shadow. What is more, the shadow created by this light, whose origin is unknown, seems to complete the physical portion of those objects. The magic of the artistic creation, its alchemy, stands right here, leaving in the observer that halo of mystery looming on the work, making everyone sharing an involving and extremely profound aesthetic and emotional experience.

Photo credits:
Reference Gallery: Guidi&Schoen Arte Contemporanea, Genoa

1 | A. Lupi – Albero-2015, photo by Maddalena Arosio
2 | A. Lupi – Albero, 2009
3 | A. Lupi – Space Specific, 2012, 01
4 | A. Lupi – Space Specific, 2012, 02
5 | A. Lupi – Identity-Antiego mirror, 2013
6 | A. Lupi – UFFIZI – laboratorio-novecento, 2013
7 | A. Lupi, Lum-aca (slow shadow) 2016
8 | A. Lupi, Scala, 2014
9 | A. Lupi, BLU, densità fluorescente-fosforescente, 1999
10 | A. Lupi, SOGNO, densità fluorescente-photo by Romano Lodde

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