|acquired in the portfolio
|estimated current value in €
|consult the updated Price Table
|identification of the subject
|abstract painting/reconstructivist work
|materials and techniques
|oil on canvas/mixed media/material work
|measurements in centimeters cm
|80 x 60 x 1,8
|on the back/bottom/right
|issued at the same time as the sale
|no print issued
|state of conservation
|location of the work
|Rome · Italy
|© all rights reserved · global · S.I.A.E.
High definition image of the work (enlargeable)
Click on the image of the work to enlarge on the Flickr photographic platform (recommended viewing on a PC screen) ⚠️© Copyright: all rights reserved · S.I.A.E. · Any type of use is prohibited.
The image is watermarked with the site logo
Description of work
Portrait of Ilaria
This work by Valvo produces a bivalent reaction in us. At first glance we are almost disoriented by the presumed ease of visual approach. At the same time we perceive that there is more. Compared to other works by the same author, in fact, here, at first glance, it would seem to have already grasped the generic sense of the compositional structure. The overall sense. But we feel that there is something that still escapes us.
In the lower right quarter a structure of thin perpendicular segments develops upwards, in branches similar to those of a tree.
This element represents growth and, therefore, human age.
Among the “branches” of this stylized tree we see minute squares appear, complete or not, in white and purple. These elements are arranged uniformly from the base to the top of this branching and have different widths: In the lower part of the “tree” this sort of “fruits” are larger. At the top they tend to narrow. But the fruits of a tree are, as is known, of a more or less constant size. It would seem that the fruits of a tree are, more or less, all the same size. As indeed happens. So, what does the author want to suggest through this differentiation? It is clear that the artist generates, in a stylized way, a perspective illusion from bottom to top. We are therefore led to believe that we are observing this “arboreal” structure as we would in nature, under normal circumstances, consequently perceiving the scaling of its fruits as we raise our gaze towards the top.
The echo of the “fruit” elements spreads throughout the body of the work, where we find them positioned almost everywhere on the canvas.
These “fruits” now appear with an increased size. They are, so to speak, “available”. We can therefore grasp them clearly, with our gaze. The theme of the square fruit is presented in its entirety, as well as in a destructured, segmented, split, intertwined way. It is the diegesis of the work. The articulation of the theme of the subject itself.
But the painting is a portrait, as can be seen from its title. Therefore the protagonist of the work is she: Ilaria, who is “caught” in a specific phase of her existence. The time factor, in this work, is essential to decipher it.
The work shows therefore the space-time coordinates of a well-defined phase in the subject’s life. After all, every portrait necessarily requires its own contextual spatiality, as well as a very precise temporal contextualization.
This painting is permeated, in a functional way, with the conceptual and ideal mechanism of the portrait as such. The reconstructivist technique operates in this case in a visual and psychological sense, jointly.
A circular element appears prominently in the upper left quarter of the canvas. The circle is the symbol of perfection. A perfection which we strive for but which, naturally, we do not possess in life. A partial redundancy of the circle just described is present in the background, along the right rib of the canvas. It is the real perfection, opposed to the circle in the foreground, that represents the ideal and never achievable perfection. A yearning for improvement. The evolution of one’s existential condition. Setting aims. The human desire to reach a goal. Giving yourself a purpose.
“Portrait of Ilaria” is a work with strong psychological implications and its graphic structure exemplifies the interiority of the subject, not its external appearance. It is an introverted work. Enigmatic. How enigmatic are, more often than not, the impulses that lead us to act and choose between different paths that can be taken during the phases of our life.
Other images of the work
(selecting an image will open the photo gallery for this work)
Catalog of works
(Selecting an image will take you to the Catalog of works section)