Matteo Casali (b. 1994) is an Italian artist based in Venice, where he’s currently completing his MA in Fine Art (Painting) at the Academy of Fine Arts. Casali has taken part in various group exhibitions, solo shows and workshops, and completed an art residency organised by the Magazzeno Art Gallery. His works are also featured in diverse publications and catalogues.
Matteo’s research, which he calls The Synthetic Reality, is based on the study of the human body inside of a non-place. The concept is of significant interest to the artist and was introduced by Marc Auge - a contemporary French anthropologist, who in his essay and book of the same title Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity coined the phrase non-place to refer to spaces where concerns of relationships, history and identity are erased. Examples of a non-place would be a motorway, a hotel room, an airport or a supermarket. Casali’s artworks focus on figures, confined or perhaps simply residing within the surface of the canvas. In his Orrizonte tra Quattro Mura we observe the figure, confined within the non-space, hopefully looking towards the horizon.
The space or rather a non-place in which the figures from the artist’s paintings are placed is synthetic and almost virtual; they lose their identities and are seeking a new one. Identifying with those figures comes naturally to me, as we all feel lonely and suspended in a kind of void sometimes due to various life circumstances; this feeling of loneliness and isolation acts as a basis for Matteo’s paintings.
When it comes to technical depiction, strong contrasts of colours, especially between the abstract background and the preliminary figure, forces it to blend with the entity it’s placed within and is, therefore, the visual manifestation of the concept that interests the artist. The scenes depicted in Casali’s paintings derive from his everyday life, with a prominent contrast between calmness and tension.
Text by Maria Myasnikova
Orizzonte tra quattro mura, 2020
Matteo Casali, Orizzonte tra quattro mura, 2020, Acrylic and oil paint on canvas, 120 x 100 cm