“With these works I wanted to represent the course of life with self-portraiture but not by realistically painting the features of the face and body but by painting reality in a different way, creating a trace-self-portrait. For the creation of these works I begin by creating ice sculptures of my body (water is the main component of the human body). The head, arms, hands, feet, the various elements that make up the man are represented in another form, and through a process of melting and filtering the color remains in the canvas while the water drains out and disappears, representing the mark, the energy we leave in society every day.” Mattia Novello.

Greece and Italy have an abundance of shared history; in fact the Venetians constructed the port of Chania in the 1300’s as a protection against invaders during their occupation in Crete. Years of wars and alliances between the two countries have resulted in significant architectural landmarks that can be witnessed in the landscape of the countries today. 

Upon looking at Mattia Novello’s blue portal shaped ‘Self Portrait’ painting we feel as though we are standing at the entrance of a doorway between the two countries; somehow transporting us to the magical Venice Canals whilst our feet stay placed firmly in the gallery in Chania. On one side of the room we see a myriad of blue white paintings, coming in all different shapes and sizes, each one a type of window to a bright blue sky. Amongst them stands a large round painting Novello created inspired by Chania and come to life during his time spent on the island as part of our RedD Gallery Art Residency Program. 

On the opposite wall we see pastel multicolored abstract paintings, ranging in sizes and depth of colors. The large paintings give us a feel of the Mediterranean landscape; when visiting the rural uncompromising nature in the South of Crete we can witness different shades of green, yellow, red, and blue in our surroundings. The longer you look at these large paintings, the more tones become visible, pinks and purples shades come alive immersing us in a calming pastel coloured world. Standing amongst these ‘Self Portraits’ we can feel their complexity, and the power of our connection with the earth as well as with each other. 

Words by Denia Kazakou

Owner & Director of The RedD Gallery

Source : www.redd-pr.com