A COMPOSED DISORDER by Elisa Capitanio

That man
is without name, without hair, he wears round-framed glasses that conceal his gaze, he never smiles, once in a while he has a woman, impenetrable as an idol... That man  is always very busy, and there's no reason to spy on him because his presence is unabashed. He slips into dark corners, jumps, reacts with all his being to a noise or to a thought; he attempts to climb a monumental bookcase but the books come down all over him and in his fall he clutches at himself, betting his salvation on bites.

He was born about fifteen years ago, when David Dalla Venezia began to paint, together with Hiroshi Daikoku, some murales on the fences of building sites in Venice. At that time he wore a black-and-white checked gilet and, for those who still recall, pursued his adventures in wilder scenarios.

But from the very beginning he was that man. This is the mysterious hub of David Dalla Venezia's painting which, before being such, had no phase of figurative incubation but sprang from the powerful desire to "represent," applying a method and an order to the canvas that had already been worked out in his reflections. Art and philosophy gave structure to that man before he was born, and destined him less to an evolution that to a growth.

The preparation of the painting, the brush stroke and the formal composition have been refined over the years, with a slow technical exercise that places David Dalla Venezia among the those who carry on the modern figurative tradition. A careful observer can pick out a number of quotations of that tradition (for example Caravaggio in the painting no. 393) in the actions of that man - which, moreover, are those of every man; but even more evident is the classical framework of the painting's composition, from the niche of the saint, to the polyptych, to the gloomy background preluding a memento mori - all schemes inevitably shaken by the disorder but also by the irony of that man, whose face becomes deformed and is recomposed, with a decidedly contemporary élan, in expressions of return to order.

Even though refined references and symbolic elements constitute the most visible aspects of David Dalla Venezia's work, their interweaving is artfully concealed by a painting of a realistic kind and of immediate comprehension, where what is symbolic is rather the entire scene, in its capacity to elevate everyman's lived experience to the often unreal circumstances of the imagination. When Dalla Venezia writes "I think that pictorial language is essentially intuitive. Paintings are not puzzles or riddles to be solved," he expresses his faith in the capacity of art, once it has left the hands of its artificer, to possess identities as infinite as the eyes that will contemplate it.