beautifully present day
– will it rend for us
with a beat of drunken wings (...)
Stéphane Mallarmé, Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujoud'hui
Like every morning, crumpled from the night yet still seduced by light, I scroll through the editorial emails that have arrived: press releases, newsletters, service announcements. This is something different this time. I perceive this straight away, by pure intuition. Something’s going to happen in my life.
The text reads: “Good Morning, I am a 73 year old painter and sculptor. I have lived fifteen years in Monterchi, Piero’s town. I was much impressed by the editorial in the last issue of Valley Life. If the editor had the desire to come and visit me I would receive him with much pleasure in my studio.”
I do not think twice. I reply and the next day I am with him in the silent and suspended Monterchi countryside. It’s a beautiful sunny day. The light is blinding. The stone walls are red-hot and dry as dust, the gateway to another world: nature drops her veil and resonates with the ineffable.
At the door a panel with a quotation from Mallarme: Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujoud'hui
Va-t-il nous déchirer avec un coup d'aile ivre
This is absolute and timeless poesy, a frank exhortation to escape the misery and meanness of everyday life. I’ve always loved Mallarmes Le Cygne [The Swan] the irreparable and impossible vision of a creature that, like the poet, has lost all hope for the present and whose attempt to take off in the impetus of its own purity is doomed to failure and self-loathing.
At this moment, with these thoughts in mind, I shake the hand of Michelangelo Modica.
We do nothing but talk. Surprised to be able to understand each other: “You are the only people I've encountered in many years of living here. The last ONES? A pair of policemen who stopped intrigued by my work and who on leaving said: - Now we must go back to time – ”.
Together we celebrate the last gasps of the inner world, A macabre fetish marching to modernity’s great nowhere. ART itself has been lost, become a petty, vulgar imitation or worse THE faked hyperbole of an army of alleged artists. Everything in the end is materialism; effect, interest or pleasure. nature is the devil’s theatre. There is nothing left but all this beauty in a desert.
Recommended listening. Indian Summer, The Doors