VISIONARY REVUE

Gérard Di-Maccio

      Beginning in 1979, he exhibited his work at Hervé Sérane's Galerie Râ along with Sibylle Ruppert, Yves Thomas, Klaus Dietrich and Alain Margotton - forming one of the most recognized groups of loosely-associated Visionaries in Paris. This trend lasted for two decades, culminating in a large and well-attended exhibition of the Visionaries in Japan. But, in 1998 the association collapsed and Galerie Râ folded.
      Since then, Di-Maccio has made his home in Tunisia while exhibiting his works internationally - including 'the largest canvas in the world' (27 m x 9m) in Carthage and Geneva). He also continues to teach in Carthage, where he opened a cultural space for exhibitions and events in 1998. He still exhibits in Paris and, to date, his latest exhibition was held in February of 2002 at Galerie Jardin des Arts.
      Di-Maccio's more classical Visionary works manifest a timeless world inhabited by floating enigmatic figures: weightless, hairless, nude, with black unseeing eyes and expansive Blake-like gestures. Meanwhile, their bodies are overgrown or tatooed with strange organic and skeletal forms - undersea growths, seashell motifs, even precious stones.
      In Di-Maccio's own words, "These beings constitute the epitome of our humanity. That's why they may be imagined without hair, almost like cybernetics. They exist in the border-world between life and death, naturally frozen into certain positions, with gazes that conjure up our distant memories." (26)



 
 
 


PARIS - FALL 2004

Gérard Di-Maccio

      The growth-forms accruing to Di-Maccio's figures also extend to the surrounding architecture, which has a Moorish complexity, full of designs, arabesques and esoteric patterns. Indeed, the surroundings may also become mechanical, giving rise to darker feelings, such as the modern fear of imprisonment in an endless machine. Yet, his architecture denies all placement in a recognizable style or epoch:
      "When I create my figures, I try to avoid situating them in any definite time or space. That way the things of everyday life cannot intervene, or situate them in any distinctive epoch." (27)
      And he goes on to admit: "The beings that appear in my imagination are naked and timeless. Yet, I have to give them a certain identity and situate them in a civilization." (28)
      Most consistent and unusual in his work are the falling fragments of stone or plaster, which complete the composition, adding counterbalance and movement. The artist has a preference for faint and hazy colours - sepia, ochre, or azur blue - and tends more towards symmetry in his otherwise dynamic compositions. Most of all, his work may be characterized by its energy, which appears equally as fluid or stilled.
      As Di-Maccio says, "Certain archetypes definitely exist - there are certain universal forces. To this extent, a certain equilibrium should be established in the painting, to evoke a deeper sense of tranquililty." (29)

 
 
 


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