Nights vanitas is a pop-up show by Brazilian artist
Matheus Chiaratti comprising a new body of works with paintings, ceramics, and fabrics.
In the show, there are three round paintings: a still life (Vanitas);
a portrait of artist and poet Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), and a large round canvas that looks like a tabletop with elements from an ordinary artist's studio: book pages, scissors, tape, pencil markings, everyday objects in a sort of archeology, which brings a presence and suggest a narrative.
In one of the round paintings, the portrait of Jean Cocteau, an image of a handwritten letter is on a small orange table.
The viewers can not read it as the letter is in a hasty, barely decipherable scrawl. The original one is present in the show, though: it is a 1958 letter by Cocteau from the artist collection in which, in a lyric and delicate way, Cocteau underlines: "[A poem] has to be felt – just like the mysteries of nature which amaze us and which are not made to amaze – but whose real necessity escapes us”. Cocteau assumes a spectral, phantasmagoric presence, and his letter seems to guide the viewer in this intricate (even spooky) journey through Chiaratti's works.
As usual in the artist's research, multiple references
(from Art history, Literature, and Mythology) are depicted in the works as a construction of a porous world permeated by imaginations, memories, and anecdotes.
It is the same in the ceramics, whose organic shapes, sometimes crooked boards, have on their surface loose inscriptions, and symbols in order to build a small labyrinth with elements that are not always decipherable.
Lastly, in a Youtube video called Cocteau speaks to the year 2000 (1962), Cocteau addresses: "and a poet tries to lay out his night upon the table". Nights vanitas is a poetic license that brings together my night on a table.
Opening: 13 May 2022
Largo Francesco Richini, 4, Milano
©2022 by Matheus Chiaratti.