Thomas Scalco, Vicenza (IT) 1987.
Specialization in visual arts, painting, at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice in 2014.
Lives and works in Vicenza and Venice.
Every painting is meant to push the viewer over the edge of the canvas and colors perceptible by the senses, to a reality, and then the paintings share with all the symbols in general to their fundamental ontological
characteristic – to be what they symbolize. But if the artist does not reach the goal – in general or to a specific viewer – and the work does not lead by itself anywhere, not even mentioned as a work of art …
P. A. Florenskij, The Royal Doors
Thomas Scalco’s artwork is born from a combination of randomness and control, self-oblivion and self-awareness, order and mystery, rationality and ascesis. Like the products of a chemical reaction brought back to synthesis, the different elements collide with one another in the artist’s practice – some carefully measured, others spontaneously watched as they grow – giving birth to obscure and enigmatic scenarios in which mysterious geometrical shapes appear and preserve the features of an epiphany or of an apparition from another universe.
These are works of art that, despite maintaining a firm abstraction, never stop providing new figurative cues that keep showing and denying themselves to the eye because of a natural tendency to oxymoron.
The ambiguity of the oracle-type language is taken as an ideal model in these works of art, the main value of which is their capability to shield themselves and to keep escaping a total cognitive discovery. In the tension of this never-ending and unresolved discovery, you are led to a hallucinated and arcane world, open to the spiritual dimension of transcendence.
It is hard to say where the majestic roads skilfully moulded by Scalco will lead to, although to traverse them, even just with the eyes, allows to experience, without exhausting it, the pulse of mystery.
I/ Your artworks are characterised by a constant synthesis of opposite elements, how do you get to such a harmonic balance between antithetical elements?
I’ve been working for a long time on the juxtaposition of opposite systems, in particular trying to highlight their internal connections, in order to create images in which the more distant elements end up penetrating each other and becoming, or returning, depending on how you think, different from themselves. Basically, what I am trying to do is to experiment how the categories we use to divide reality are mostly artificial, the result of our minds willing to classify and divide everything and deceived by a limited vision. The harmony, as far as the pictorial operation is concerned, is favoured by the transparencies: through thin veils of colour, the elements of the composition, little by little, under my eyes, come into contact, overlapping and emerging one in the other in a flow that blurs the mutual identities manifesting itself in a meeting point between the parts.
II/ Can we find in yourself this amount of oxymorons that is very present in your artworks?
“And within us, there is an identical thing: living and dead, and I wake him up and the dormant, and young and old: in fact, these things, once overturned, are those, and those on their part, once overturned, are these.“
The research of harmony, like the attention to the processes that act on different scales in us and in the world, arises from a need for clarity that is first of all personal but at the same time universal. Surely when you have a disparate range of interests as well as when you analyze the traits of your personality it is easy to find that some of them are in antithesis, but the discourse I aim to go beyond, as far as possible, what is my individuality. Often experiences, reflections or intuitions, before visually manifesting themselves in paintings, sculptures or drawings, act through internal channels, through more or less long processes of maceration and sedimentation. But it also happens that this happens in the very phase of execution of the work, as a sudden intuition, so I tend to give much importance to the process, with respect to which the work stands, in a sense, as a testimony.
III/ Is there any artist who really inspires you?
This question is always complex for me to deal with because I have noticed that influences have always reached me from several directions at the same time. I can’t even say to what extent this transpires in my work, but the greatest stimuli at this moment come to me equally from absolute suprematist and minimalist artists as from the romantic echoes of some nineteenth-century landscape painters, from the hieratic nature of the art of the first civilizations and at the same time from some minor artistic forms such as inlay; I find that every voice can give us stimuli, provided that we pay attention to them.
IV/ In your paintings we can feel a sort of mineral dimension, some connections,if we can say that, to a cosmic order. As a matter of fact, is there something in nature that inspires your artworks?
Nature is at the base of my practice, as a prime example of how everything is inserted in an endless process of concretions and dissolutions as part of the whole. Visually it returns to the works under various aspects, even though he does not draw inspiration directly from its manifestations, with the re-proposition of pre-existing images as much as from its processes, exploiting different methods of treatment of the pictorial material to make some of the aspects with which nature manifests itself as organic, inorganic, mineral.
Level 0 2018, winner for GAM Museum Verona, IT
Arteam Cup 2017, Officina delle zattere, Venice.
Linx Prize 2016, Lux art Gallery, Trieste. Winner of the painting section.
Arteam Cup 2015, Officina delle zattere, Venice. Winner of the Under 30 section.
Officine Green 2015, Villa Caldogno.
O.R.A. Prize 2015. Mentioned by the jury of curators.
Lissone Prize 2014, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lissone (MB) – Finalist.
Who art you?3 Cultural space of Ex-Fornace, Milan – Finalist for the painting section.
94th Young Artists Collective-Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa. Gallery B. La Masa, Venice – Finalist in the graphic work section.
Il decifrabile languore della trasparenza, Villa Contemporanea, Monza (I)
Ossimori, Banca Sistema, Milan (I)
Selected collective exhibitions:
Ricognizioni. Dai Bocs Art i linguaggi del contemporaneo”. A cura di Alberto Dambruoso. Museo Bocs di Cosenza. (I)
E la luce fu, San Fedele Prize gallery, Milan (I)
Arteam Cup 2016, Palace of Monferrato, Alessandria (I)
Lynx Prize 2nd Ed., Lux Art Gallery, Trieste (I)
No Place.Space/49th Suzzara prize, Suzzara Prize gallery, Suzzara (I)
Azonos Utakon, Italian Cultural Institute, Budapest, (H)
Azonos Utakon, Forràs Gallery, Budapest, (H)
Vizio di forma. 57°th Bugatti-Segantini Prize. Villa Vertua, Nova Milanese (I)
Arteam Cup 2015, Officina delle zattere, Venice(I)
Impatto 2.0, Este , Padova (I)
Officine Green 2015, Villa caldogno, Vicenza (I)
The importance of being Hans Ruedi, Peyer Fine Art Gallery, Zurich (CH)
Adriatica, Galleria Antichi forni, Macerata(I)
Lissone Prize 2014, Collective exibithion, Museum of contemporary art, Lissone (I)
Anticipazioni, Collective exhibition, Island of Burano, Venice (I)
L’acqua è maestra, Collective exibithion, Academy of fine arts of Venice, Venice (I)
Who art you?3, Collective exibithion, Cultural space of Ex-Fornace, Milan (I)
Introspezioni, Collective Exhibition at the youth project, Treviso (I)
So/stare, from a talk by Remo Salvadori and Alberto Zanchetta. Collective exhibition of students from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Brescia and Venice. Museum of contemporary art, Lissone,(I)
Architecture for a possible development. Tomori Pal Foiskola, Budapest, (H)