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Alessandro Casagrande – LILAC

Exhibition by Alessandro Casagrande
Curated by Clemente Tivioli
Photography by Alessandro Saletta – Dsl Studio

On the occasion of its re-opening Galera San Soda is pleased to present Lilac, the first exhibition in Milan by the painter and photographer Alessandro Casagrande.

Alessandro Casagrande was born in Caracas in 1987. He grew up between Pescara and Milan. For the last six years Casagrande has lived and worked in Los Angeles.

The hiatus from ordinary life that the world experienced in the last year prompted Casagrande to start experimenting again with oil pastels, creating a new series composed of 16 large scale works,and 12 smaller works on paper.

Hazy sceneries of surreal domesticity become the vivid backgrounds for a series of enticing nude portraits. Vibrant frames that capture and translate the intimate and melancholic nature of evocative memories: a yearning for softness and innocence that rebukes objectification and chooses day dreams.

This body of work stems its roots from the hidden symbologies of Lilac: a flower with an intoxicating scent, a reminder of old love for few and a token of new hope for many, it is the base that the artist has chosen for most chromatic combinations when using oil pastels.
The versatile nature of this pigment encompasses a delicate metaphor about the relationship between desire and action, gesture and canvas.

Lilac is a radiant homage to the warmth confinement of self-care, where the subconscious meets daylight and the interior meets the exterior.

– Salotto Studio

Lilac is one of the basic pigments present in the color combinations of oil pastels used by Alessandro Casagrande. This is where the journey of an artist begins who knows how to start from the basic emotions of mankind and transform them through color into something deeper, more visceral.

This series of paintings was born in a period in which the days have lost their typical routine, forcing us to change our habits and to confront (or even get used to) ourselves in a new context. A historical moment full of apathy due to the lack of external stimuli that can serve as inspiration for one’s artistic creativity and thought. It is here that Casagrande instead manages to discover a new energy that will lead him to the creation of this series of paintings.

“The world is within us, not outside”. Starting from this assumption, moments of limited domesticity allow you to travel with the mind and escape both inside and outside of oneself, all accompanied by daily automatisms that delude us that we are doing something, but, in reality, it is the mind that travels and keeps us busy. A bit like when, while we are busy doing something ordinary, like brushing our hair, we realize that in the meantime we are thinking about something else entirely, like a vacation or a pain that we cannot overcome. You don’t need to physically move to travel or discover new things.

Do you remember Jack London’s “The Star Rover”? A prisoner in solitary confinement for years learns the art of introspective travel, which allows him to escape from the walls where he is imprisoned and go wherever he pleases, using only the strength of the mind and imagination. Here, Casagrande is our wanderer, who shows us through his paintings how to escape from the home to get out of the outside and enter the inside.

In these paintings, you can see profuse subjects at different times of the day: morning or afternoon scenarios that merge into nights without any solution of continuity, without temporal distinctions. Moments marked only by the rhythms and daily gestures. Subjects lulled by their lounges and boudoirs who want to indulge in introspection, in the contemplation of their own intimacy. Distracted poses that go to evade that state of captivity in which we found ourselves due to force majeure. Nudes whose shapes do not want to evoke the now known effects of a forced break from sociality; but who rather seek lightness in those elusive and solitary moments of serenity, in learning to keep company.

The paintings in Lilac are a manifesto of domestic pleasure, of the beauty of everyday life, of the little things that make us happy in our hearts, that make us ourselves. Long waits that invite us not to contemplate nothing but instead force us to look inside ourselves, for better or for worse. We get lost in the paintings as a mirror of our subconscious, of those solitary moments in which we lose ourselves in the silence that surrounds us, which embraces us and lets us reflect on what our soul asks of us only in the most intimate of circumstances. This exhibition is an invitation to look within.

– Clemente Tivioli

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