By Paola Zanchi – 2012
With the simplicity and honesty of a child, Piero Leonardi takes you by the hand and guides you, step by step, along the path of his narration, whose stages are a bit like those of Alice when, chasing White Rabbit, she finds herself in an upside-down world, where big is small, small is big and where the party is “unbirthday”. This is, in Carroll’s words: an adventure where everything is pursued under the impetus of “curiosity” and imagination, where “inside the mirror” is the story and the reflected image is the thought.
It’s a question of “look”. And what does Piero Leonardi look at? Not a detail… or the detail, able to call the unconscious attention of the viewer – as Roland Barthes claims in La Camera Chiara defining the photographic punctum – but the perception of something that takes shape in the photographer’s mind.
Footprints, traces, residual elements are composed and re-composed in new relationships where the material gives back all its archaic expressiveness and where the light, with its vibrations, writes evocative landscapes.
Perhaps there is something primordial in this return to the matter crystallized by time, or perhaps something sur-real that pushes the imagination beyond the boundary of the traced forms, to see, to transcribe signs of an alphabet that only sensitivity can recognize.
What matter? The simplest, apparently the most indistinct.
And yet there is something extraordinarily contemporary in this graffiti made of light-shadows, minimal signs written on pages of neutral sand; in this treatment of material surfaces as expressions of a language that is abstract-organic at the same time.
The shadow that duplicates. Light that moulds.
A bit “Rural Art, a bit of Land Art, a bit of spatialism, definitely conceptual art.
Leonardi-Alice, with gigantic glasses, more powerful and more penetrating than ever, helps us to see in depth, in things, beyond things, in an unboundedness where the elements of nature find their own new dimension: near-far, high-low, above-below, everywhere? And again: cloud or snow? matter or light? fluid or solid? (Purgatory)
Piero Leonardi’s visual handwriting adopts minimal elements, residual sediments, traces engraved in the empty-white. The artist concentrates on the interaction between light and shadow, sometimes on their rhythm, forms in counter-movement, plastic effects, eversions, micro-macros. (Graphics)
His investigation digs into the earth and time.
Under his gaze everything is transformed, in a combinatory game of perceptions, revelations, recoveries.
Leonardi-Alice’s journey is a search, an astonishment, a selection of hidden signs of a “visual calligraphy” made of wonder.
And of light. A lot of light.