Caradonna on Caradonna (2004)
I have always wanted to talk to people about people. My work acts as a metaphorical mirror, a painting where you can see revealed, or discover, a part of yourself. Sometimes it can be beautiful, sometimes ugly or even painful - all the varied facets of ourselves. Since 1990 my work has matured and ripened - whereas I previously worked with dark or earthy colour tones, I now choose to work with vivid colours while endeavouring ever more to present the 'essence'. During the actual 'painting' a moment arises where the artist no longer decides but simply does as he is.
Nicola Bozzi on Caradonna (2013)
Roberto Caradonna's aesthetics are well travelled, just like the man himself. When comparing his photo today and one taken some 20 years ago - when he was among the pygmies - the only difference seems to be that his hair has become whiter,. The focus of his art has shifted immensely: from the exotic continents of Asia and Africa to a far more rarified dimension, that of our daily experience. Caradonna's Eternal Odyssey is an ongoing journey through an uneasy, collective self, ignoring the Pinocchios of history and religion, and searching through his own personal voids. His symbolism of hearts and roses, metaphysical mannequins and primitivist bowls, though, has in recent years coagulated into monochromatic backgrounds, solid and no longer crossed by aphorisms. Those color fields highlight the solitary figures that populate them, finally reaching their inner silence. Man remains an obsession for the artist: a primitive blueprint, an archetype of all things human whose body is fluid, or walled, slender but occasionally split or, again, prisoner of a safe. But the void is there. Caradonna's meandering characters float in the metaphysical vastness of his monochromatic backgrounds, rich in indistinguishable shades. They're frozen – or rather trapped – in everyday gestures: some paralyzed in front of a shopping choice, others lazily and nonchalantly dwelling in that suspension, smoking a cigarette. Banal encounters happen, slowed down to a still and presenting us a moment of sociality, stripped bare and isolated in vitro. The artist's voids are like deserts, but it's those spaces, those empty canvases that Caradonna wishes to explore, without losing contact with the people lost in them. Knots of figurative expression wrapped inside an abstract dimension. Rather than exploring the concept of
communication between subjects through metaphors, allegories and diagrams, Caradonna's new works exemplify the evidence of such unexpressed potential, depicting it as a palpable element.