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| As photographic
art of portrayng, unless lacking inctellectual partecipation or being
dully naturalistic, always reflects a style, it can be said that the style
in which Maurizio Valdarnini's originality is revealed is in his meditation,
his absorption, his appropriating the peculiarity of the character he portrays,
in a way that could exclude improvisation, though he himself doesn't lack
coup de foudre, discovery, encounter with unforeseen events. But his technique
usually does without instumental quickness - the same that for others
can be a representative, even poetic impulse; that instrumental quickness
is not a privileged moment in Maurizio Valdarnini's choice,
because it could most times hinder him for reflecting and betray,
in a sense, his own sensitivity. Valdarnini shows he likes better a meditated
and innermost preparation, a search for deeper motivation, a full understanding
of human essence and ambience, than a close sequence of flashes.
His search is of an anthropological kind: reasoning nearly assumes a scientific rigour, but for an artistic result. According to his rationally chosen method, Valdarnini contemplates the sudden shot, the instant-stealing one; a manner he's obviously forced to respect, but that could also be a hindrance from thinking. He is interested in catching immediate reality - which can also be influenced by chance - but chiefly in studying its innermost meaning, being led by his instinct, and always complying with a tecnique he has been sensibly mastering with the passing of the years. His "portrait" doesn't exclude experimentation. The character seized by his photographic eye is understood, hardly deprived of what is superfluous, is laid bare and absorbed. Thus his portaits of Balthus or Oren, of Lavia or Scalfari render their character to us, but not in the azard of an unexpected encounter; they reflect the autor's idea, based on his comprehension of the subject.
Moreover, we have his experimentation of "picture-motion", theorized by Gilles Deleuze and inspiring Valdarnini's portraits of Fabio Mauri, Pietro Consagra, Luigi Ontani. Here his research becomes almost of a cinematographic kind, but it doesn't consist of the photodynamics ranging from Marey to Bragaglia. It's actually the "slightest shift" of the picture, which is not then realized in a single shot recording and assembling a sequence of instants, but is serial, in progress, film-like, and unwilling to be a film. A photographic research somehow reminding that of a Kiarostami "photographer", which one day, why not, could become "cinema" itself.
Together with portraying the human being, Valdarnini made also original representation of objects which are more "still lives", and which indeed he considers as human-like phenomena. His approach is the same. It's light to distinguish and bring the object out, to make it a monument out of a minimal occasion, neither more nor less than a painter who studies and re-creates a still-life. Here Valdarnini's view is both classical and modern. His research on ligth ceaseless and comes from far away; but sometimes his attention to ligth, which is fundamental for him, materializes into a momentary encounter. It's possible then to talk about sudden intuition in his case too. He never lacks fortune which gives birth to "the rigth moment" almost magically. Fortune and chance share a lot of variables.
Ligth condition objects, enhances them, or else distort and mortifies them by virtue of its atmospheric wave but also of the hindrances due to distance. It renders the object's inner life and reveals its core. And as Valdarnini's touch in his portaits always avails itself of light, like a personal paint-brush, it happens likewise when he deals with ordinary objects become characters. Thus his round loaf on travertine, though remaining itself, becomes the portrait of an ancestral totem; his cloth is a sixteen-century figure's turban, as if it had painted by a master of the epoch. His egg looks like a ghosly face. His "big-pumpkin" is a mysterious heraldic seal. And his cauliflower head on a wooden box base is still a "head", perhaps of a mysterious, fantarchaeological, alien creature. Lighting must be balanced, because if it's excessive it become also a violence; but-Goethe wondered-because it can be against nature? Can't it surpass nature, after all?
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