Visual Art


Larval Mysticism: The Art of Alessandro Sicioldr

The ethereal, uncanny paintings of Alessandro Sicioldr have an almost religious beauty. Mystical and intriguing, the melancholy languor of the somberly dressed figures that populate his strange, surreal, desolate dream-landscapes – those pallid, ascetic faces with their opaque and vaguely serene expressions, gentle enigmas all – sometimes partaking of the substance of nightmare with the disturbing contrast between black garb and death-white skin – evoke classical works, medieval spiritual richness and symbolism. Combining traditional techniques with modern aesthetics, these splendid paintings are technically realistic but have a haunting surreality and a high degree of dark imaginativeness.

There are translucent, cocoon-like souls in the skies, multitudes of faces looming titanically above the main subjects, milky luminous streams of souls or spirits, shrouded tiny figures of the seeming dead (or merely transfigured, in the sleep of metamorphosis), a plurality of eyes, faces above and below water… I think of those strange groups of diaphanous beings with opalescent flesh as larvae, an archaic term, larva meaning ghost-like or masked in Latin, which oddly fits due to their rather grub-like reminiscence. These are visionary and hallucinatory, their delicate foreboding, weaved of both gossamer and grave textures, itself a form of beauty. The sense of lostness of individuals in vast grim landscapes also reminds me of artists like Zdzisław Beksiński. Subtle but quite striking, Sicioldr’s work is of the type that is the most appealing to my imagination and so lingeringly lovely for me.