Critical essays

The dialogue between painting and poetry

You could not find a better porch to celebrate the paintings of Antonio Corbo than to go through the reading of his poems. Because, said at the beginning, Corbo is a painter with a poetic vision and a poet with the eyes of a painter. And we say so symbolizing his personal “imaginary museum” to which he assigns the unprecedented (and rare) role of enlightening the two art forms mutually.
Therefore he is an artist who goes in two directions of meaning, connected and complementary, on the eternal trail of affinity or, better, of a dialogue between the arts documented since the dictum of Simonides picturam esse poesim tacentem, poesim picturam loquentem and then the Horace’s one ut pictura poesis, to reach that ecfrastic function adopted by the poet in order to describe recreate a picture describing it in verse, with its own means of expression.
So the painting and the poetry in the work of Corbo are presented as a creation of a deliberate con-fusione of floating forms from an artistic space to another, a hybrid connective tissue of mental footsteps, of plastics and poetic images that move between a cosmic distance and a personal existential intimate in an eclectic and inextricable syncretism in which the exchange of fragments between poetry and painting finally restore their common intrinsic and timeless design.
A process that in the entirety of works hinges, into the two operating levels, many semantic correspondences: on one side, a pictorial imaginary immersed in a sidereal space with dimensions of unusual originality. As if, playing with the space, Corbo alluded to an outcome emotionally chaotic. On the other side, conversely, in a factual interpenetration of levels, a poetic puzzling “I” that breaks in natural environments to connect the inner vibration of their moods to the cosmic primordial silence (but also to the noise, to the dynamic tension, to the plastic aggression of images)…


Gianni Spallone
University professor of Spanish literature
in Rome “La Sapienza” and in Naples “L’Orientale”

 Aldilà d’ogni limite

Come fionda impazzita

violerò ogni silenzio

di stelle o di luna

di sole

o di ogni astro dell’universo

(come in Astro I e II, Alba cosmica I e II)


Echi di stelle

Germi di luce filtrano

proiettando linee taglienti parallele

fra gli sterminati ammassi stellari

(come in Riflessi di luna I, II e III, Aloni, Orizzonte stellato)



E mentre al cielo alla terra ora

si toglie le foglie

di colori verdi danno in dono

il velo, gialli d’ocra e d’oro,

scoprendo azzurri e cerchi larghi

e turchesi, di rossi vermigli.

(come in Betulle, Visione)


E, per finire, non c’è chi non riconosca in tutte queste correlazioni il presupposto di un altro dictum oraziano, quel delectare in base al quale pittura e poesia coincidono definitivamente nel loro comune, intrinseco e atemporale progetto di cui Antonio Corbo è ammirevole esecutore: l’identità ermeneutica del gioco originario.

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