by Federica Flore
San Remo 27.05.2017
Any revolution ever occured in history stemmed from a unique historical background made of specific cultural, political and social contexts; but such dramatic changes are also the outcome of necessities that inherently drive their unfolding: are these necessities the one and only propelling force that leads individuals along the path towards the fulfillment of their creative talents? The evolutionary process concerning Maria Rita Vita artistic production is definitely affected by the variable of chance, as well, which plays a significant role in defining its overall structure.
Chance and historical progress both appear to bring their relevant contributions to the emergence of the artist unequivocally identifiable chromatic dynamics, which are easily detectable in all her painting on canvas. In a century when artists have almost unanimously got rid of all sorts of classic techniques, thus departing from nature as fundamental source of inspiration, Maria Rita Vita paintings got a new lease on life by virtue of a rebirth to renewed educational influences; tendencies which were soon meant to stay tuned to the rhythm and harmony of particular landscapes: the typical shapes and outlines of the natural sites Maria Rita Vita has been living in. They are locations which anyone would arguably yearn to live in.
In the artist’s intention to define the specific vantage points available in this territory, aside from the personal process of their internalization by her exuberant personality, the sea plays a pivotal role with the varying shades of its colours, its characteristic sound and with an even more effective element: the light reflected by its shimmering rippled surface. According to such interpretative codes, oil and acrylic paints applied by the Tuscan artist catch the beholders’ eye with a dazzling effect, while they get mesmerized by that world made of dots, dashes and lines, true to the spirit of the historical european avantguardes of the early nineteenth century.
Mentioning Jackson Pollock “dripping” technique is far too easy when it comes to comment on Maria Rita Vita way of painting. In fact, the artist hand movements skillfully let the tint-soaked paintbrush glide through her fingers and, with innovative lines, chart new trajectories never experienced before. So, the artist’s creative gestures are a phenomenological excuse for the intent to depict a cartography of her inner world, whose diverse facets are yet to be completely unveiled.
The artist’s voyage unfolds from the core-essence of the employed raw material. This is Maria Rita way of bringing into being her peculiar alchemic relationship with Nature or, in fact, with any sort of natural situation and context, and with her instinct, too. The form of arts Maria Rita is committed to are also an approriate channel through which she vents the need of expressing her creativity; it is an intent she has being harbouring all though her biography. It also turns out to be a sort of “flip side” of things, an unconvential alternative reading of figurative arts’ works; in other words, it consists in that kind of surrealistic feeling which is inherent to those artists who, riding the wave of their inborn enthusiasm, look at the world and, unexpectedly, are able to catch sight of new wonders each time. Maria Rita attention is constantly drawn by the characteristic infantile inquisitive approach of kids who use to “wonder why” on a regular basis. Bearing these premises in mind, we can appraciate the way Maria Rita artistic pusruit gives birth to a juxstaposition of bright colours which pertain, on the one hand, to the fully developed personality of the cosmos and, on the other hand, to the ambivalence of the vault oh Heaven which reveals both psychedelic features and traits of an orderly pattern.
The act of contemplating some particular realizations of the artist is tantamount to get in touch with elements of the contemporary Eastern World, whose ambience is no longer defined that much by the presence of odalisques, as it is nowadays by a surrealistic metaphysical style.
These works’ main characteristic is the strikingly high prevalence of natural implications. This is also the case for those works that, at a first glance, might only dispay artificial elements and structures. Whenever Maria Rita makes use of lacquers, colours’ application is much more adjustable, a prerequisite for rendering the unique shades the artist is capable of; we are dealing with glossy hues that only some precious stones’ texture boasts, provided their surface are finely sanded. This “embellished” subgroup of pictures is the outcome of the artist’s painstaking devotion to the tiniest detail; when this care for precision and neatness extends on a larger scale on the painting, as if it were magnified by a lens, it significantly affects the beholder’s perception: the observers can almost litterly become entomologists while admiring the iridescent specks of a thin layer of dust portrayed on Amazonian butterflies’ wings, or the metallic glares from some beetles’ unquestionably beautiful shells. Thus, the intrepid endeavour of the artist gets even more exacting, along with the attentive contemplation by the observers, who are pleasantly tempted to linger for some more time in front of her pictures. It would be fair to speak in terms of an “archeology of the image” by critics, and this is particularly the case for works on which a putty knife was employed. The “overlaying” technique developed by the artist through the application of paint, coat over coat, lends a genuine uncontaminated look to the canvas, which appear for what they are: three-dimentional pictorial pieces of art, reproducing sceneries where your mind might get lost wandering around. They offer natural shapes and outlines interpreted as manifestations of the powerful human synesthetic feeling when it’s moved to compassion. At times, this feeling is catalyzed in shapes looking more familiar, at a closer inspection: forms thet surprisingly resemble cone-like fossilised remains of died out animals, vortices, and Hippocampus’ tails. In this respect, the spiralling planes and volumes we have just mentioned add to those created by the depicted water currents and whirlpools; maybe Maria Rita Vita concern wasn’t to focus only on water’s apperances or, at least, was not interested in the sea water contours only; maybe the artist refers to water as a whole lot of liquid elements representing reality.
In this sense, the artist regularly addresses to a complementary connection between orderly layouts and chaos, between symmetry and discrepancy, living beings and inorganic matter, diverse inter-dimensional ratios and pure goal-oriented drive.
The artist paintings still preserve this power: that which creates an articulate well-conceived system whereby she tangibly envision voyages transcending ordinary space-time reality. This is what the artist achieves resorting to just the right amount of fantasy necessary to highlight unprecedented directions.
She spans a wide range of sceneries, from the universe to the sea: nocturnal constellations, elecrtically sparkling abysses, well aware of what the naked eye of men cannot grasp, so that the observer doesn’t get lost. The visual perspectives she depicts are sometimes creatures of our times, brought to public fruition by cutting-edge technology with its huge digital telescopes. We cannot help trusting in the opportunity of letting the universe vastness take our breath away, hoping that the power of a curious creativity will make good on its promises.
Arts undoubtedly serve the purpose of the aformantioned asymmetric relationship between forces: the one which is embodied in men, and the force of nature. In other words, art can push the boundaries beyond memories from the visible reality, it can lead to envision and pick out things that have not yet been discoveried, contents which have not yet revealed themselves clearly to our consciousness.
To describe the whole progress of Maria Rita Vita artistic pursuit, still ongoing to date, a honest, transparent and authentic approach is enough; a so-defined attitude is perfectly mirrored in the artist’s confident strokes of paintbrush on canvas. Sure enough, they bring about fundamental intervals into the narration of the subjects. Though this “figurative storytelling” is rather informal, it seems to be nonetheless accompanied by a sort of voice-over in the background, a non-intrusive “fil rouge” which does never prevail on the “staged acts”.
This voice can fairly be compared to that of story-tellers, emitted by those coloured record-players for children that were all the rage years ago, and helped kids’ falling asleep at bedtime; alternativly, this “voice-over” effects are comparable to those of reading a book, when you picture in your mind intangible avatars of the characters featured in its pages. It seems like they come to existence for real, despite their delusive nature. In a quite similar manner, Maria Rita Vita sets the observers’ imagination in motion, being able to garner their utter involvement in the context of her pictures. The evocative power inherent to the unique personality of every character in the artist’s works actually appears to be a living element; its reiterated representation significantly highlights its inherent value. The structure of graphical representations at the basis of informality traces back to the anticipatory productions pertaining to the design sector, with particular reference to the British movement called “Art&Craft”. A revival of this trend from the UK is appreciable in the chromatic and formal coordinations that Maria Rita Vita obtains and keeps introducing over and over again, sometimes in frantic reiterations, and less frequently some other time. By virtue of such strategies, she introduces innovative stylistic patterns on fabrics and wallpapers. Maria Rita Vita plays with her palette colours like a conductor with an orchestra; she inserts rhythmical rhymes by means of paintbrush strokes and of her putty knives. These entanglemnts of modules give birth to her “series”.
As a matter of fact, single oustanding works can hardly be picked out from Vitian collections; each piece of art is a part of integral wholes: consistent lots of items which add more value to the artist’s endeavours, if read from a comprehensive perspective. Such a vantage point allow the public to take in more accurately the artist’s personality and character; two elements which fators into the “blu-light shining woman” definition of Maria Rita Vita.
In this sense, we refer to her “Blu della speranza” (“The blue of hope”), definitely an astounding work, which is built upon a simple graphic element: “a kandiskijan dot”
In Maria Rita’s own words: “Here I am…right here! Just trust in life!”
So much enthusiastic drive in just one short assertion. True to the spirit of this message, the artist’s works inspire so many other meaningful words, as only a “poet by painting” can do, which Maria Rita Vita undoubtedly is.
While admiring her diverse and valuable artistic production, observers can see part of themselves mirrored not only in the colours musicailty and in the communion with an art leading to abstraction, but also in more traditional emotions and feelings conveyed by works such as. “Getsemani – Orto degli ulivi.” (“Gethsemane – Olive trees’ garden)
In this oil painting on canvas, blood is shed on an olive tree, so that the latter comes across as a plant embodied in the flesh. A participatory feeling of empathy exudes from this tree, which seems to share Jesus Christ’s fate. Nature itself is taking part to his suffering.
Thanks to Maria Rita Vita, a new onthology of the Olive tree is revealed: it becomes a symbol of a universally shared condition, manifesting itself right in between respect and love, survival and hope.
All this is displayed for the sake of our common Good.
Federica Fiore (1985) is a historian and art critic. Since 2012 she’s been working together with Sanremo Casino administration, on behalf of which she’s been the curator of several exhibitions, including those dedicated to Guttuso, Farfa, Baj, Balla, Sassu. She’s also been a contributor to many initiatives by Sanremo Municipality, being co-curator of “Tessuti d’artista” exhibition, designed on occasion of the opening of “Santa Tecla MITA” facilities. She supervises the overall critic/expository management at “Studio Archimania”. She is author of many publications and promoter of several conferences expounding the relationships between Art, History, Politics and Ethics. She collaborates with “Accademia della Pigna” and is lecturer of the course in Cultural and Environmental Heritage at Fine Arts Academy in Sanremo.