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IVO PRANDIN

In order to enter franco beraldo's painting it is necessary - but perhaps it is, in general, necessary for painting - to face and cross an invisible threshold. because his secret way, which is his truest reality, the one expressed in painting, lies in an unspecified but comprehensible beyond. and, in effect, a kind of middle ground, an intermediate place that, let it be said at once, is very close to the places of our experience, culture or sensitivity. but it is a fabulous land, a nest of myths and mysteries, and can be reached by following a compulsory route that is both cultural and emotional.


A sign shows us the way: the domestic pine, or Mediterranean pine par excellence, which we find even in the popular mythologies of our time - just think of the picture postcards, stereotypical but linked by an umbilical cord to the crucible that in antiquity elaborated the great stores of gods and men, of thought and human impulses. dante recalls the great pine forest of ravenna as the divine thick and living forest; beraldo, on the other hand, paints the pines as people, as individualities charged, to the point of bursting, with a current and hidden meaning.


Beraldo is a painter who inhabits classical places, he is immersed in classicism to which he invites us as a discovery, because in fact there is - and it belongs to us - a dimension or heritage within which it is still possible to feel emotions that our time would like to liquidate: wonder, enchantment, the sense of a certain otherness, of hours suspended because not stolen by the clock, and also the enjoyment - through the serene beauty of the images - of places where the sea and the rocks, the pines and the divine spirits are not fantasy or fixation but living reality.


What Beraldo paints, if we think about it, is also a dream, totally dominated by a light and a magnetism that are alien to our era, perhaps because they are memories. in alberto savinio - Greek by origin and Mediterranean by title - this operation by Beraldo perhaps finds its justification. art grasps the spectrum of things," reads savinio, "and fixes it forever. art surprises nature in its state of madness." that forever indicates the absence of the linear time in which we live, of which, however, we can find obscure traces in the present. beraldo's great discourse on time. according to modern physics, time stops under certain conditions, for example at the surface of black holes, and the so-called arrow of time becomes devoid of a target.


Whether time slows down, or runs faster, the painter doesn't care so much (poets are of the same nature as he is), he is only interested in one thing: the possibility of being like glass, of allowing our passage from a here to a there, which is mythological scenography. He himself is the threshold: once we have crossed it, the world that welcomes us is no longer remote, buried, nor is it exotic or metaphysical. the light that gives him and us a complete and complex world is the archaic light, that of the beginnings and of all time, which Beraldo calls the inner light of things.


In the distorted space of our days, in the background noise that deafens us, the clear landscapes of the Venetian artist and their silent breathing in the absence of motion transmit to our sophisticated antennae a magical communication, made up of divine whispers and impulses that only man, the man of all time, can experience. after crossing a certain threshold, the hercolean columns of our arrogance.

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