The Grizzanti's Iconism

by Gaetano Grizzanti

It is almost like imagining a tape recording of history wound back to the beginning, demagnetised, and put away in a drawer for future oblivion. After centuries of extenuating attempts by man to pile up word upon word in order to justify theses, bring up new ideas, and resolve verbal controversies, the distinctive feature of our increasingly rapid contemporary communications appears to have returned to the fundamental need for an indissoluble and immediate mutual bond between thought and image.

Technology and digital media, and all that underpins global data communications, inevitably demands gradual simplification of verbal processes and decisions, restoring importance and dignity to the interaction between symbols and their direct practical and conceptual correlation. Gaetano Grizzanti reflects on the interactions that these mechanisms bring about in art in general, and in figurative representation in particular.

And, through a recapitulatory stylisation of the image, he promotes a form of conceptual facilitation. Drawing on the experience he has gained as a teacher of brand design, and having already made a name for himself as a designer of famous logos, he bases his pictorial work on a rational approach that never ignores the concept that the work intends to convey.

This is an entirely cognitive process and it is one in which hypotheses of complex technical and aesthetic formulations need to be suspended in favour of a methodological study that, to the greatest degree possible, brings together and keeps both container and contained in direct and succinct relation one to the other. Everything becomes simultaneous within the confines of the painting, for the various moments and movements of tension -of both image and thought- are gradually assembled, juxtaposed, and compared. Lastly, they are turned into a formal principle that turns simultaneity into the underlying structure of the unity brought about by the painting.

These are not simply allegorical associations or representations, but the result of mutually related empirical visualisations. They are qualified by absolute space and absolute time, without which we would fail to detect the syntactical simultaneity that progresses from image to image, and indeed that itself feeds on images. The convergence and reciprocal illustration between the painted subject and the title of the work turn the painting into an autonomous and accomplished language with a powerful internal structure.

The artistic outcome shifts from the synthetic to the synaesthetic. What was put on a par and brought together in the original intention of creating a hypothesis of linguistic expression turns out to be perfectly understandable to the observer. It is true to a communicative logic that never disperses its own practical, concrete functionality.

Grizzanti thus interprets Iconismo -the artistic movement that he himself launched in 2000- with a desire to capture one or more meanings within the same painted image/signifier: the aseptic nature of the backgrounds, the clarity of colour, and the straightforwardness and simplicity of form all contribute to the achievement of direct and non-mediated communication. The essentiality of the concept is none other than a lapse of time holding its breath.

The linguistic model formulated by Grizzanti is the expression of a contemporaneity that leads back to a symbolic origin inherent in communication of the third millennium. It is one that has become of everyday practical use throughout the world: it is the symbolism used on computers, cell phones, and all technological products in general.

Grizzanti’s iconist icon acquires and interprets the stratification of yet more diverse intellective circuits, and of an ambiguous mix of multiple interweavings and superimpositions. It becomes the clear-speaking, other-directed image per se: an authentic ideogram that not only describes but contributes to the creation of a concrete, practicable modern alphabet. It is the figurative summation of a contemporaneity that, in an seething plurality of thoughts, never ceases to satisfy the essential, natural need for total and simultaneous unity.

Olivia Spatola