A virginal icon

There are some people who are not afraid to bare their soul. Rare, but they exist. In a world where the mask is more considered above face-value, the candour of Raffaella Calcagnini could seem anachronistic, even counterproductive. But her personality is authentic; she has chosen to wander the trails in the sky, rather than run on the deceiving roads of the earth. An obligatory transition takes place which brings her to express herself with a lyrical language through the method of painting, decisively original, released by the manners and suggestion of militant art. Above all it underlines the discovery of sincerity, the urgency to communicate what lies within the soul – intention, affronts – are told directly without pretence in a kind of search for a paradise lost, with pure values.
It transpires to retrace the origin of home, the good left behind, lost in the oblivion of the conscience, which certainly lives in the heights of surrealism, which powerfully echoes in the pool of archetypes. Raffaella’s eyes and her thoughts peer towards the sky, at the immense artwork in the ever-changing azure colours, the whites, the greys and the night-time blacks; at the presences, shaped and without, hiding from provisory vision. But the emotions, of great depths, belong to that deep and dark world from which the painter draws, whether knowingly or not. Therefore her work is not radiant and solar, but rather something enigmatic. It is fruit of the compromise between shadow and light, between hope and desperation. She is a lunar and melancholy artist, tender and pained like a virginal icon. The free expressivity of her work does not know the bounds between abstract and figure, and not by scholarly choice but for the inherited knowledge of the “continuum” which links everything together in a Pleroma without beginning nor end. Therefore consistency does not suffer. It can be no other way, at least as long as there’s search and inspiration which convey emotion; to her it shall always be that immense object over us, mutable and never repetitive, but unique and without fractures, infinite.

Arianna Piermattei – art critic