ROBERTO BARAVALLE - Under the skin

On the subject of a recent exhibition in Milano of the works of Aldo Rota, Luciano Caprole elaborated on the characteristics of his painting such as the absolute freedom of expression that is not linked to models or movements, the use of clear, bright colours, the cultural nomadism insinuated by the chosen subjects. An internationally- recognised art critic and curator such as Victor De Circasia, in this same publication, will highlight- certainly better than I am able to- further characteristic aspects of the work of this remarkable artist, who has been out of the public eye for a number of years and whose works are now being featured in this extensive collection at the Galleria II Prisma. What more is there to say? Everyone, at their own discretion, can endeavour to find the conscious and subconscious connections with other art that the artist may have been familiar with and admired or with which he may have had the briefest of encounters, because art takes us on a unique journey that involves and overwhelms everything, a river that will wet the feet of those that believe they can keep dry. But this is not the point. The point is to see whether the works of an artist trigger that something, that component, that only quality knows how to. In the case of Rota, yes: we can safely say that the loop closes and the audience feels that electrifying sensation, that emotion that only real art knows how to give. I therefore think that the usual title of Sottopelle (under the skin), given to this exhibition, is very appropriate. Not only because art, for Rota, is obviously the most authentic expression of his persona, what he really feels he is, beyond the roles, the labels and the conventions, but also because when looking at one of Rota's works, the audience experiences that burst of energy, that cultural adrenaline, that stimulus under the skin, that - I repeat only real art knows how to give. All of this takes, place before and beyond Rota's character that, nonetheless- and it is no trifling matter- transmits the sensation of a composed refinement, of extreme cultural open-mindedness, of a broad experience combined with the inexhaustible joy of discovering that is really one of the characteristics of a great mind. He looks straight into the eyes of his audience, and through his paintings portrays his enthusiastic approach to his life, his enthusiasm for new encounters and for adventure, that are certainly part of the reason for their appeal. Coming into contact with the art of Aldo Rota is like discovering a precious jewel that has been kept hidden away all these years. I am convinced that the visitors to this exhibition will be able to appreciate its value.