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Claudio Strinati / 2008

From "Giancarlo Flati, Intersections of Time" - Matteo Editore, 2008

(...) Flati is an artist endowed with great awareness. The balance he displays between the spontaneous flow of inspiration and the capacity to reflect on the work produced is a quality seldom found. While he has already been active for a good many years, there can be no doubt about the fact that his work fits in perfectly with the renewal of this new millennium. The master has in fact succeeded over the years in developing a highly personal style, deriving in part also from his specific experiences both in art and in science, to the point of bringing wholly spontaneous impulse into line with the results of intense reflection involving a convergence of psychological, metaphysical, technical and spiritual themes. Flati paints works that always have very precise titles but are not tied down to all-out figuration. He is, however, a figurative painter in the most precise sense of the term. While he has no interest in abstraction understood as deliberate refusal to represent the concrete substance of reality, his possible idea of "the real" has nothing to do with verisimilitude or the reproduction of everyday perceptions. His painting is a probe inserted into an idea of reality deriving from a process of progressive penetration within a hypothesis as to the structure of things, which are in fact both inside and outside us, rightly definable as very concrete realities but needing to be revealed because, even though they influence our thoughts and feelings, they are not immediately perceptible.
What we see in Flati's works is a sort of vortex or abyss of molten rock that attracts the eye like a whirlwind whose turbulence is subject to the artist's vigilant guidance. The viewers he takes with him as he sets off into the distance are ready to follow without asking for too many explanations, overawed by the complexity of an approach that conflates different materials, mixing everything together with a demiurgic power that forces overall acceptance of a context in which everything appears to be necessary and throbbing with authentic passion.
The critics taking an interest in Flati's work so far have highlighted elements that are unquestionably indispensable if we are to approach his world suitably equipped. Flati has described himself as "shipwrecked by a freak wave of history", and this metaphorical image of the wave and shipwreck already says a great deal about the artist's deep and agonized longing to form part of an implicit dynamism whereby art can and indeed must take on the character of the turbulence and uncontrollable energy unleashed by a storm at sea. And it is precisely the theme of energy that constantly underpins his work. According to a thesis that the artist wholeheartedly espouses and seeks to assert concretely in his work as a painter, this is a dimension that sweeps through all the arts. Attention has thus been drawn to the presence in his oeuvre as a whole of a propulsive force that seems to spring from the primal origin of things, prompting him to think and formulate a kind of "biogenetic landscape" (as Duccio Trombadori describes it) produced by a sort of inner fire that reminds the artist of the poetic world of Mario Luzi. Rightly and repeatedly echoed and cited in his work, what Sandro Dell'Orco aptly calls this "Hermetic-Orphic" world is one that Flati feels so deeply as to make it the substance of his form of artistic expression.
Luzi also possessed this extraordinary combination of down-to-earth wisdom and striving for the sublime, which gave rise in his case to one of the 20th century's most important poetic experiences. Flati has the soul of a true poet, seeing figuration as a "system" capable of generating lofty thoughts and subtle emotions. Hence his impassioned works with titles designed to guide the viewer to what is essential. The discourse is thus about the world and time, abysses and chasms, residues and destiny, with allusions to the algebraic and quantum-theoretical dimension for a possible interpretation of the universe, as though his painting were intrinsically impelled to anchor itself to certain keywords capable of providing guidance in deciphering the pictorial whole and effectively serving to make this very particular experience something that closely affects and involves each of us. The viewer is then left the greatest freedom of approach within this possible framework of interpretation. Flati's art is like a journey in outer space, where the voyager observes the universe opening up before him with a mixture of concern and excitement, fear and enthusiasm. While he does not and cannot understand it completely, he does realize what the container of all knowledge is actually like, given the possibility of moving from the macrocosm to the microcosm in the same way. There is in actual fact no real difference but rather a continuous and fascinating system of correspondences. Looking at Flati's works is like carrying out manoeuvres to approach or move away from heavenly bodies that appear and disappear, kaleidoscopic shapes that constantly come together and fall apart, prompting us to see or feel fire and water, heavens and immeasurable expanses of space, lights and shadows beyond the immediate surface of things.
In short, Flati is a creator of forms within which we glimpse connections that are deeper and yet clearly perceptible because they arise coherently from a single principle of identification, where age-old wisdom and a futuristic probing of new possibilities meet and meld with no friction and no incomprehension.