2010 - Marina Corona

“The esoteric garden”

This is where the moon was born
pale and radiant girl,
on wall edges
on treetops
on a house window
on leafy peaks
she rested her eyes,
the silver spider web
flowing from her fingers,
the shimmers of her tiny nails
of her shiny lips,
this is where the moon was born,
in this garden,
Eastern bells have been ringing
now they are silent
in the courtyard they spread silence
and this is why the tree
has sensual, supple motions
like an Oriental dancer
swaying her hips, floating in her shining vest
in shadow laces,
this garden is the home
of the newly born moon
everything is set
so she can grow and become a stellar queen
things vibrate for astral birth
they are silent
they let themselves be persuaded in the white light
be caressed, be inflamed
from the inside by the white light.

This poem was written while watching one of Enrico Lombardi’s painting called “Esoteric garden” from the year 2008  and it symbolically represents a crucial part of his work. What is so typical of his paintings is that, at first sight, they are extremely simple: the images from the last few years are trees, houses, walls, chastely painted according to their simplest lines, almost elementary, but it is exactly this simplicity that contains pure fire, a fire we could call “the mystical fire of chastity”. This could easily be an experience of extreme poverty, but it could also be the crucible of a higher sense, shimmer of extremely powerful perceptions because purified by an accurate hearing, bothered by nothing. This is what happens in Lombardi’s paintings; these maritime cypresses, these squared buildings with tiny windows, witnesses of the life of tiny individuals compared to a world which is simple and rough, but at the same time noble in its atmosphere; are imbued in a strongly revealing whispering.
What is it then that makes his paintings so pregnant of atmosphere, so loaded with a meaning which goes beyond the mere painted strokes, as to involve the entire painting in a solitary cloud of sense, so isolated and profoundly meaningful? I would say that it is the dialogue the painter entertains with his canvas, a dialogue in which, by painting the chiaroscuro, the shadows, the ogives, the solid treetops, the lean trunks, the painter becomes intimate. He leaves on the canvas his deep sensitivity: light after light, detail after detail, he tells you his story, his feeling, his rapt dialogue with himself and the world, he traces impressions, passions and memories. But how? This is exactly the work of the painter, an unstably balanced border, a strongly dominating chiaroscuro, a confined colour, a shadow slightly lighter than expected and here it is, the painting traces the inner world of his master, step by step, stroke by stroke. Paintings, like in a gallery of perceptions, loyally record what we feel, a series of pictures of our inner world, which are at first precise perceptions of the painter only but later become perceptions of whom looks at them and finds in them the same chastely powerful atmosphere of one’s own dreams, of one’s own wonders and most remote and secret feelings, in short the atmosphere of those intimate moments we share with ourselves.
Because nothing is easy in Lombardi’s painting: everything bows into a deep state of feeling, a sub-limit which goes beyond the usual and enters in an extreme and profound intimacy. Very slowly what it’s known acquires a fascination that reaches a state of enchantment and magic and the spectator is thrown into a world at the same time extremely familiar, because tightly bound to what we feel with our heart, known since childhood, and perfectly new because these confined, rarefied sensations, led on the canvas in a gesture of separation, open the door to a silent, subtle but also powerful wonder.
There is a primigenial wonder that opens up, as if, in that magical world, among the trees and the houses, the courtyards and the flat rooftops we witnessed the birth of a girl-moon. The canvases are therefore, on the one hand, both soul of the artist and the observer and on the other hand a world like a secret chest, a multi-faceted diamond, the voice of the wind, the nuances of dawn, hours in which reality reveals its most secret backstage.
The union of these two perspectives gives the paintings a metaphysical dimension, whose titles are the voice, the only one allowed in this reign of the unreachable.
Lombardi has also been practicing yoga for a very long time. How much does this experience; one that leads to a core of essential feeling, taken out from time and space in which one truly opens oneself to a relationship with that part of oneself in touch with the universe; play a role in his paintings? These landscapes with precious and rarefied atmospheres, myths but full of meaning, are landscapes reverberating of a way of feeling which goes beyond casualness, aiming to the secret heart of the world and they are essential and sober like some Oriental paintings while keeping a dynamic game wholly Westerner.
This is why they talk to everyone willing to pay a little attention in listening because the moon rises for everyone.

Marina Corona