Vania Comoretti develops portraits from photograph taken by her self, mainly of friends and fellow students at the Accademia di Belle Arti. These are then translated into paintings (or, strictly speaking, into large drawings, since their medium is pastel, gouache and ink on paper). Unflattering, almost monochromatic except for a slight blue or sepia hue, the faces and details of bodies recall, at first, forensic photographs; especially as each work often comprises a sequence of three or four pieces: full face, profile, back of the head. In spite of the unforgiving formula, the results are surprisingly sympathetic. These paintings are, in fact, deceptively objective; keen observation and a superb technical virtuosity push them where photography, even scientific photography, does not usually reach.
One discovers how different in structure hair can be from person to person, and how expressive of health and mood, even when arranged in the most casual way. The skin of each individual becomes a thrilling landscape: hair, pores and worry lines, seen from close up with the clear enlargement of a lens, become landmarks of an alien and rather scary land, discovered at enthralling slow motion.
In the past decade, the fascination with forensic and documentary approaches has inspired striking photographic work, such as Rosangela Renno's "Vulgo" series of 1998, or Rineke Dijkstra's Israeli men and woman soldiers from 1999-2000. Looking for similar worlds in painting, Comoretti goes to the core of the relationship between the two media with a conceptual clarity unparalleled since Chuck Close's ironic self-portraits of the mid-sixties. Promotion of young art is a recognised weak spot in the Italian art system but, in the case of Vania Comoretti , a burgeoning mechanism for the promotional of young art seems to have been successfully triggered, promoting her in a couple of years from the Accademia to the first steps of a promising career.
Gloria Vallese, Professor of Art History at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice.
Pour en savoir plus: http://www.vaniacomoretti.com