When Paul Gauguin was in Tahiti between 1896 and 1898, he described colour as “an expressive feature of painting in its own right”, and referred to “pure colour, colour alone as the language of the listening eye”.
Those thoughts apply so well to Aldo Cristofaro’s art.
His works are a fireworks display of vivid, bright and vibrant colours. It conveys vigour, ardour and sets the imagination free. The Berlin based-artist has created his own enigmatic language with a playful alphabet of symbols, mastering the poetic power of colours. Is this obsession in colours coming from his Italian upbringing and the influence of old masters? Is it a symbolist idea on the musical quality of painting?
Aldo loves music. He plays and teaches guitar and listens to music constantly. Indeed music is intrinsically linked to his search for harmony and rhythm. Sounds and tones are a source of inspiration for his art, be it in installations, videos and in this exhibition: paintings. Is he a genuine synesthete like Vassily Kandinsky? Or is synesthesy more of an intellectual stimulation for Aldo?
In any case, the outcome is powerful. He proves wrong those who see paintings as static and music as dynamic. He reconciles them both, expressing his emotions, investigating his inner feelings.
Still, composition is predominant in Aldo’s works. No wonder. He was trained by Rebecca Horn and described his years under her mentorship as a time when he learnt “how to see, to think and compose” in a room for an installation, or on a canvas for a painting.
The body of works presented in Zirkus Royale is a painted diary of the art world, its social games, its protagonists. All is suggested, never imposed: an invitation to let the eye wander and the imagination to delve into the shades and the forms.
Some works are more melancholic with a poetic tune and a subtle palette of colors: a call to meditate. Others are full of vitality, a whirlwind of movements orchestrated by nervous brushstrokes, creating a spirited atmosphere.
The texture is at times rather silky, soft and transparent as watercolor and at times thick and deep when the layers of paint are superimposed on the canvas.
Aldo Cristofaro has freed himself from the irrelevant debate of figuration and abstraction. The colours drive the forms. The forms are here with the strength of the lines, the rigour of the composition.
In Zircus Royale, fleeting moments of existence become an intense and colourful world of passion and insights.
Text©Virginie Puertolas-Syn for Aldo Cristofaro Exhibition catalogue