The hospitality of pictures. The painted sky

“My art, my paintings, are born from the instinctive work of the soul in which the intense language of the sky becomes an eternal divine language that blends with the image of the Most Sacred Thing that we know: Life.” R. Calcagnini
The paintings of Raffaella Calcagnini lead us and invite us to observe this world. And, just like looking at the clouds, we try to discern a figure in our vision, a shape that we see, and even in front of this “window in the sky”, the eye tracks a line, a familiar sign that searching for image:

“Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish,
A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
A towered citadel, a pendant rock,
A forkèd mountain or blue promontory
With trees upon ’t that nod unto the world
And mock our eyes with air.”
(Shakespeare, Anthony and e Cleopatra).

However, standing in front of this artwork, in searching for ourselves, in the end we find the shape which the painter has sealed into her paintings, sometimes in obvious ways and sometimes not. Once you have individuated the profile of an angel or Christ on the cross amongst the vapour of painted clouds, it is an image which shall never leave you: the pictorial mark stops in the moment in which the observer identifies the image. This is the game between the painter and the observer, who in a certain way scrutinizes the painting and empirically traces the creative process of the artist who has gazed upon the “overwhelming and stunning performances which the sky offers us, as it passes from day to night, from clouds to serene skies, from storms to rainbows, from sunrises to sunsets, and from moon to stars.”

Tiziana Fuligna – contemporary art historian