Italy - Marilena Vita

When there’s meaning in a photo, it’s right to take it. Then it is a success. At the same time the work may involve the emotional sphere (it captures your attention) or the aesthetic field (a beauty that at first glance needs no comments, just pure enjoyment); it may touch your mind (intriguing you as to the expression and message, and you want to understand its composition and technique), and in this case it is something really special. Could it be research? Of course. But not experimenting just for the sake of experimentation. It is not a hypothesis but a thesis, that is an idea to which a lot of thought has been given. Without delay: such an operative and creative responsibility does not occur very often. Legs is a good example of such a case. Here a warning is required. It isn’t a recipe, but the awareness of the problems of our time. (Il faut être de son temps, said Manet). Fundamentalist concepts? No. Inflexible aniconic concepts? No. Self-referencing intimist notions? No. Once you have understood this (and felt it), go where your heart takes you, lover of your own mind. You have beauty there inside you, anyone will confirm it. With these expressive features and topical forms of behaviour, Vita presents her philosophy of life and art, a necessary skill for acting responsibly in our time. She both states and denies (contradicts). The “thesis” of the legs extended in the foreground is almost anamorphically altered by the distortion of perspective that results from their being reflected in the mirror. An empathetic relationship is established between the levels of representation and the “icons” or forms that rest there. Apparently solitary legs, detached from the rest of the body which is replaced by even more legs, in an optical illusion. It is not surreality or even surrealism. This is confirmed by the black clothing that isolates the two parts of fl esh (one large, the other smaller, in the reflection) which play aesthetically with the broad green lawn. The dark varnish on the toenails of the feet in the foreground and their reflection present elements of colour enhanced by the black mass. This is a most important expressive device. But this analysis seems to be contradicted by the general flavour and the atmosphere which is extremely simple and natural.


Text by
Carmelo Strano