9 maggio 1994
"An importanl reappearance "
by Enrico Gariboldi

Personal Exibition
" Image"Gariboldi Art Contemporary

In a prestigious monthly magazine (Il Giornale dell'Arte) Aprii 1994, an article entitled, "We need a new drug" began with three questions: Which is chronologically the last work of art that really impressed you? Do you stili remember your last artistic orgasm? If you were asked, could'you state in three seconds the greatest artist of today? Then it continues with various other considerations, asking questions like: "Who has killed the new Art? Why doesn't she come to seduce or to ravish us anymore?" Ending with this piea: "A new drug is urgently required; we refuse to resign to this crisis of abstinence", I don't like to quote myself but in a letter-article (the age of Merchants) that I wrote for Flash Art, I underlined these same concepts with even more bluntness as I have done in many catalogue introductions, Besides it is difficult to ignore the fact that Art, in the last few years, has fallen into an almost meaningless dimension and it seems to have become a kind of gymnasium for researches, sometimes serius but more often useless. We need to look at the many reasons for this decline which is worrying in itself but which also stops new, promising artists from emerging, Up to some years ago Art belonged only to those gifted by God with artistic skill, people who could draw, who could easily reproduce what was seen with the eye and in some cases could interpret it through sensitivity creating unique works of artistic fantasy very different from those striving for realistic reproduction. Art originates in the craftsman's shop of the first centuries of the second millennium and for centuries has continued to require certain qualities, And it is in this context that genius like Piero della Francesca, Raffaello, Rembrandt & Co. were born. But in the last few years the idea of Art as originally known has been shaken by a number of facts. The technological era created Futurism, the desire to leave the Academy spawned Impressionism then Expressionism. Moreover, the great lesson of Malevic, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Cubism, Duchamp's provocations, Cobra's message, Andy Wahrol's Pop Art and Serial Art. Ali these movements, certainly important, have confused too many people and many experts now think (because of their ignorance or ill faith) that any expression, any scribble, any bronze's casting, must be considered as an "artistic expression". This is too easy, nothing but mindless stupidity. We have fallen into total confusion where everybody tells it the way he wants, We are now left with art galleries that are like deserts. People find themselves detached from things they cannot understand. Aiso the critics, certain critics who suffer from squinting eyes have played their role. Because, even if it is normal, even necessary, for an artist to move some years ahead of the rest of us, even if it is inevitable that many artists will be misunderstood by their contemporaries, nevertheless art critics should be able to distinguish between artists and pseudo-artists. Unfortunately for reasons often far from cultural, pseudo-artists have been praised, shown and sold at absurd prices. It has been a ti me in which mediocre showmen and imitators have produced ugly works, "clever" things taken from the experiences of others, useless works exclusively supported by unscrupulous experts for economic reasons, The result is in front of us: Art is in crisis. Art collectors have became fewer and fewer, thousands of art galleries are surviving as market-places rather than as exhibitors of culture and new artists don't know what to do because they have no chance to expose their works. Therefore, the reasons for this crisis should be easily identifiable. But it seems there is no will to do so. The crisis which accompanies a generai cultural degradation seems to be irreversible, Now that an important art magazine like the "Art Newspaper" has published an article on the front page proclaiming loudly: "We want
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true arti" instead 01 dedicating space to the "important" prices realised at New York's auctions or an "extraordinary interview" with the manager 01 the lamous auction, is a positive sign. _ Could it be THE signal? Are we beginning to think more about the true meaning 01 our work? Will we linally understand that it is essential to exhibit with more discernment? Will art critics go back to the real work 01 art criticism? It could be so easy! Pseudo-artists would lind other jobs, art galleries would stop being supermarkets 01 art and Art would go back to its originai natural position. We often make mistakes in good laith. I have made many mistakes mysell. I sometimes have been inlluenced more by the name 01 the artist than by the quality 01 his work. But the mistake doesn't lie here. The mistake is having delormed the image 01 Art, creating something unrecognizable by the experts. We haven't been serious lor many years, now it is time to stop with this sell destructive game, I am today personally carelul to choose what to exhibit. Big names olten swollen only by praise could interest me but could also leave me entirely indifferent. I only want true artists who produce true Works 01 Art,
An American musical group called "Spaceman 3" composes and plays timeless, rhythmless music which can be played at a dillerent speed without losing its lascination. Renzo Bergamo's art has much similarity with the music 01 this group because it can be looked at either vertically, horizontally, Irom right or lefl, without losing its magic power Furthermore, like the music 01 this group, it comes to us lrom the deepest, endless areas 01 space. Renzo Bergamo is a unique character. Born in the province 01 Venice in 1934 he Ilourished in the early years 01 the sixties as a prodigy 01 Italian art receiving high praise Irom the art critics. He exhibited lor many years in the best Italian and loreign art galleries in personal and collective exhibitions. He suddenly broke contacts with both art galleries and critics and retired to Sardegna to live in a house that he built himsell to work and experience on new techniques. The main reason lor this decision should be lound in the misunderstanding created around Art which lorced true artists to mix with pseudoartists that I mentioned belore. He kept working but at a lower rate 01 production (Renzo Bergamo is a perfectionist) selling to museum and art collectors, but he obstinately relused to exhibit his works. l've known Bergamo lor 20 years, I own only one 01 his works that I managed to buy years ago, I kept visiting his studio where I had the possibility 01 seeing the creations 01 his works and couldn't understand why they shouldn't be exhibited. It has been hard work but I am now proud to present an exhibition 01 this artist who I consider one 01 the best in Italy today. What is art? This is difficult to explain in words. The lirst thing to strike you is the extraordinary imagination, the rich energy, the tension. It is a Dionysian, ecstatic, energetic art, an art that reminds you 01 Eraclito and Heisenberg in terms 01 movements, but that also seems a modern synthesis 01 ancient discourses. A mysterious, piercing, all-enveloping light emerges Irom incredible lorms, Interactions between micro and macrocosm. The protozoa explodes and becomes a planet, or a state 01 mind, The amoeba slides on musical signs, the soul becomes substance. The colour rapes, then caresses then takes up the spaces. Mystical art which originates Irom a pantheistic religion in which God manilests himsell entirely. Hedonistic art, a cosmic dance, inexhaustible. It embraces time and space exploding in a pure impetus 01 joy, Birth and rebirth, past and luture. Monique Sartor in her criticai essay will certainly give an answer to this question, I can only say that Bergamo's paintings can be looked at without getting tired, because like a musical piece they Ilow with time lilled with sensations, discoveries, emotions, Here is indeed a (healthy) overdose 01 the Drug 01 Art.