The Whale


Questo è il mio mare, il mio mondo che sol di sogni vive: è il più bel mare del mondo.

The literary episode of the Old Testament that has inspired generations of artists talk about “a big fish” (only Matthew writes in 12:40 “whale”) that swallows the devotee and keeps him in the belly for three days and three nights . Only after an intense prayer the our, for a divine command, is thrown up on the beach where he can fulfill his mission as a preacher. The devotee is none but Jonah. Literary succession talk to us about Astolfo in the Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto in the belly of a whale, we will see the protagonist of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe boast of being swallowed by a fish and saved by fishermen, until the italian but international Collodi where Geppetto and Pinocchio will set up a comfortable cottage in the mammalian gut. According to Maori mythology, however, the whale is considered a guardian spirit watching over the population when it is at sea, but in the small territory of Whangara born the legend of Paikea, the whale rider landfalls on the animal’s back, giving rise over the centuries a descent that lasts to this day. This brief excursus helped me to find a foothold if only literary for the birth of a passion: that of Andrea Collesano for the whales and the underwater world. If I compare ours with the biblical Jonah, or the legendary Paikea Maori, I immediately evident a substantial difference. If Collesano had been in their shoes, he would make sure the reverse path. Would flee from any shore and took refuge at last on the back of beloved crossing every ocean and, if anything, on a cold winter day in the nice warm belly warm and spacious of the great mother. I say this because by observing the work of this latest collection, The Whales precisely, it is difficult to interpret who is a creature of whom. Were they figures released from the hidden world of the artist, or are we that looking at them perceive vaguely that do not belong to this trodden land and we feel transported to a suspended universe where the marine giants are the air hosts and we look puzzled but benevolent?

Are worlds turned upside down, where the sweetness of these creatures that travel in the air leaves us hanging. Hanging and restless. Undecided whether to get carried away by the surreal or sit calm beside the lighthouse enjoying the passage of air from whales like children when they were looking for – and found – all sorts of real in bizarre forms of unstable clouds. Or hope that the majestic mammals can be lenient with our human misery and can forgive(?) torment, blood, martyrdom we did to their ancestors. I’ve always wondered what lies behind this apparent calm – motionless – reigning in Collesano drawings.
It can not be simply a fairy tale world. It is not. In this parallel reality travel together nightmares, restlessness, kisses, caresses, messages, philosophical keys. Is a research. The Collesano whale leaves the known seas for another trip, beautiful but unknown, searching the Neverland. The frantic search for a lost love, of a traumatic, violent and unexpected abandonment. A replicated love, perfect ideal of peace.
The Collesano whale mother. Leave the known for finding the unknown known. It will find it sooner or later in some secluded beach. It will be a beach illuminated by a lighthouse. In the waves. Some lobsters wink insolent and mischievous. A heart button will mark the moment. The whale will listen to his song. Here it is. It was there. Where he had always been. The love of the father.
We can only hope that the long journey of the whale doesn’t end for a long time. So we continue to look at its adventures. Sharers. The perennial search – we too – of what is lacking because there is. Of what is not there because we do not find the key. We too with our prayer. We too on the back of freedom. We, too, we swallow and we are swallowed daily.
Also we looking for a ransom. We, too, with our sea in the drawer. On the most beautiful beach there.

Guglielmo Menconi