Collesano, new Bocklin

If I should’nt be alive / When the Robins come,
Give the one in Red Cravat, / A Memorial crumb
If I could’nt thank you, / Being fast asleep,
You will know I’m trying / With my Granite lip!

                 Emily Dickinson

Few in the life are the encounters with extraordinary beings and even less the chance of sharing with them the everyday life. The first time I met Collesano I felt – a kind of vibration such as that of the sweetheart in front of the beloved good – that it was one of those rare moments.We are used to plug the artist in a series of cliches, trawl a romantic-rock culture that depicts him in the best melancholic and at worst addicted to crack and suicidal. Collesano, on the contrary, is pure joy, lightness, grace and strength. A gentle force, never vulgar, and at the same time steady and unruffled, like an oak or a cricket watching you, precisely. Luckily, I also had the pleasure to observe Collesano during the creative process. Get out of the mind the thousands of cigarettes smoked, the corrucciate wrinkles on the forehead, the nth failed attempts, none of that. His study is a reminiscent of a small shop of a noble country craftsman, on a simple – for this extraordinary – antique wooden desk you can find just his bent, his papers (wet of earth and already, empty, full of symbols to come ) and small stacks of books. Every kind of music resonates in that room, and while he’s drawing (or rather, he becomes the same pattern, like an old child – a child’s eyes, eyes of centuries – protagonist of a fairytale perhaps green colored) he whispers his favorite songs, he says, that to me sometimes they seem abstruse forgotten formulas of ancient magic rites. I mean, nothing tragic, everything is natural, everything is instinct. I’ve said it, he becomes what he does as a lioness suckling her cubs or like a hedgehog who steals the croquettes to his cats in the garden, like an animal, in fact

Because Collesano draws animals. Creatures. “Children of fur” he loves to call them innocently. Under and over the sea.
His works, so minutely engraved with the skill of a Flemish miniaturist, are not simple “reproduction” as in a medieval bestiary. His works conceal – silent secrets of an ocean floor – dreams. Hide and reveal his world, his poetry. Repeated endlessly, dotted with chessboards, key, whales flying over lights, jellyfish flirting with crabs hanging in the air, messages in bottles carried here and there by a new Mercury often in an enigmatic hippocampus guise. Then, perhaps, here is unveiling the drama, the pain, the artist tearing that we so invoke.
Collesano gives the animals his own dignity. It makes them silent participants – of a lost language (to us) – of our destiny. He reminds us that They observe our lives, those tragic life, and seem to admonish us – always with a poignant grace like the peacock in the snow in the famous Amarcord sequence of Fellini – about what we have lost. “I fear that animals see the man as a being so equalsto them but who lost so extremely dangerously the healthy animal intellect: they see in him the frenzied animal, the animal that laughs, the animal cries, the unhappy animal.” (cit. Friedrick Nietzsche) .

Collesano, new Bocklin – his beloved master – with his hands, his features, his eyes, his dreams and his beloved fur child, gives us “pictures for dreaming” or, for us poor mortals, his dramas. Even if on tiptoe and with the knowing smile of one who loves.

Guglielmo Menconi