Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti
…There are several works, especially those created after 1975, in which the sensation of being before the fragments of the world’s big shipwreck, is almost physical. These fragments, gradually acquiring a definite, architectonical shape from their former lifeless passiveness, even reassemble themselves in distinct figures as if caught among gestations and sutures whose precariousness or unceirtanty is underlined by incidents, divarications, overlappings, sudden meetings and clashes, self-moved outlines in inexhaustible presentations.
When I firstly met Francesco Vaccarone and his works four years ago, I noticed several contradictions. The first impression you get from the man and his works was a sense of lightness and irony, as if he was “over the time” , but speaking with him you could think that his intellectual and pictorial worries were strongly grounded to the concreteness of the ground, his ground…The second and more technical one, it was that of a very good painter of whom I immediately appreciated the way he organized the space and the big blobs of colour. I personally had evidence of this : a quick elegant stroke, at the borders of sophistication, not intuitable at a first rapid analysis of his works.
Enzo Di Martino
It’s by this way that the artist from La Spezia reaches what has been called ‘metaphysical abstraction’ but I like to define as ‘metaphysical investigation’; this because Vaccarone’s works interrogate themselves without receiving answers, suggesting a meeting that is basically a silent listening. It’s almost incredible realising how all the critics who have been interested in Francesco Vaccarone’s activity, although sensing the fundamental openings of his works, have never mentioned Max Ernst, mentioning on the contrary other names. In fact, it was Ernst the one who seems to be the real great point of historical reference for Vaccarone’s imaginative concept.
Vaccarone is the son of an epoch characterised by continuous and progressive upheavals. The loss of certainty and confidence in human existence are in fact the background for the creation of this artist’s images that are strongly related to Kafka’s poetics and Jean Paul Sartre’s philosophy of existence.
What I’m more interested in is the use of shapes’ fragments which, in their original way of arranging themselves (very similar to a ‘collage’), suggest a dreamy image not belonging to the typical dreamy imagery. These shapes order themselves, or are ready to be ordered, as the pieces of a future work. I mean that the image’s core is already contained in their open order. In this game, the premises of a cosmic vision are magically ricomposed, and it seems to me that they give even more frequently evidence of the presence of objects and human being. Thus, a double phenomenon (simultaneously developing on the same picture or sheet of drawing paper) can be observed in Vaccarone’s painting and drawings: the shapes spread and aggregate themselves .
On my opinion, this is due to the fact that each aspect and suggestion from the external world, once filtered and transfigured by the artist’s sensitiveness and fancy, becomes part of his own personal story. It also reproduces his inner travail which, once it has drawed the terms belonging to a conventional lexicon of his own from the deepness of his soul, gives shape and fits it to the various circumstances and meaningful occasions.
Vaccarone licks these desert beaches belonging to the 20th Century artistic production, coloured with the colours of sky and ochre. He fixes them in his memory; he follows them, as he wants to conform the expression to the refinement of shapes. He tries to cancel the internal drawing, with technique and mind, he does all he can in order to extinguish naturalistic references, in order to reduce to a visual formula the prototypical idea (from prototype to shape; from the shape to the casual and serial repetition; “simila similibus curantur”. But it is also certain that in Nature nothing is similar to itself.)
Vaccarone works on emblematic analogy. He builds emblematic structures of analogical value. Vaccarone’s painting realizes a strong psychological mediation. And these emblematic structures are a sort of “tests” able to psychical reactivity. His painting is not an optical one. The “visual-perceptive” mediation does not interest him. He does not tell, he does not report, he does not describe, he does not suggest, he meets. His painting has been expressed concretely in construction of formal structures offering for a twofold collation. Of the painter himself, in comparison to their reached objectification (and to the course to reach it); and of the spectator, of the reader, in comparison with he same objectivity in which the painter is set free. But also behind the one, where he hides himself.
…Things happen in a Vaccarone painting or drawing, but it’s not often obvious what’s exactly happening, or how, or why. There is an eventfulness to Vaccarone’s pictures that is bigger than the events themselves; he has used art – his vision, his skill – to make universal the experience of events and conditions even as he makes such experience surprising and often unpredictable…