‘A Dream Novel’ by Ilaria Del Monte
Artist: Ilaria Del Monte
Title: ‘A Dream Novel’
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 39.4″ x 39.4″ x 1.5″
Year of Creation: 2020
About the Artwork:
What Ilaria Del Monte paints about is not real but realistic. She aims for iconographic creations of intangible phenomena which plunge their roots into the imagination of the artist and her emotional experience.
The process of creating her pictorial universe is, in fact, similar to that of surrealists such as René Magritte and Paul Delvaux, who were influenced by De Chirico’s Metaphisics, and therefore more inclined to represent the enigmatic essence of existence using a mimetical and illusionistic technique.
At the centre of Ilaria Del Monte’s vision, in the suffused balance of light and shadow, the female figure stands out, a sort of modern version of the enraptured Victorian heroine, intent on celebrating mysterious magical rituals and dark propitiatory rites.
The stage for these apparitions is the home, the hearth, at the same time a box whit uncertain perspectives and scenary flat, into which the entire surreal imaginary of the artist collapses, compressing itself. It is a cloisatered place, strangely permeable to germionation and natural inflorescence, a space of rhizomatic grafts and savage incursions, which render the boundary between the genres of landscape and the bourgeoisie interior transient. The home has always been an achitectonic symbol of family ties, a metaphor for emotional security, which may however, turn into an emotional prison or a fortress of loneliness.
Such paintings by Ilaria Del Monte are mostly bare houses with flaking walls, peeling wallpaper, cracked bricks and they are abandoned places overrun by vegetation. In the artist’s paintings the house is a physical extension of the domain of our interior battle, the battlefield for the conquering of a vital space, which, in the dream, lit up by a symbolist twilight. This is the case in A DreamNovel ,the definitive epilogue of every conflict: a “picture to dream over”, to use a definition dear to Arnold Böcklin.
About the Artist:
Ilaria Del Monte (Italy, 1985) Apulian by birth but of Lucanian origin, she attended artistic high school in Matera and graduated in painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. In 2020 the French television programme Med in Arte devoted a documentary set in Milan to her. Ilaria Del Monte’s drawings and paintings are narrations told with a wise hand and a mature and transversal conceptual intelligence. Del Monte’s signs in pencil on paper and oil brushstrokes represent worlds constructed with an apparent classicism borrowed from the 20th-century painting tradition, but they are ineluctably revealed, beneath the remains traced by the hand, to be organisms of cerebral conjectures that are developed as an attempt to break up consolidated equilibriums, to play on the unforeseen and the unpredictable, to open a mental window aiming towards fantasy and hope. Her poetics are in a situationist mould with a Nietzschean derivation, in the meaning given by the German philosopher to art, which takes on the value of man’s liberation from the oppression of rationality, allowing the individual to express their creativity – and therefore their irrationality – in a world that tends to destroy it. Hence reflections and metaphors are generated, surreal volleys in which the above becomes the below, dream-like lucubrations constructed with eyes open and nerves tense, passages in which women walk on trees and floors no longer exist, while the softness of the gesture sinks in the cold or warm temperature of the narration. Among her solo exhibitions we may recall: The Window’s Tales, Roberta Lietti Arte Contemporanea, Como, 2011; Boarding pass, VBM 20.10, Berlino, 2012; P.G.R. Per Grazia Ricevuta, Riva Arte Contemporanea, Lecce, 2012; Quando Teresa si arrabbiò con Dio, Scatolabianca e Roberta Lietti Arte Contemporanea, Milano, 2013; Out of this world, Antonio Colombo Arte, Milano, 2014; Sussurri, Galleria Punto sull’Arte, Varese, 2015; Spazio Vitale, Momart Gallery, Matera, 2019. She lives and works in Milan.