For more than 50 years I have followed the first signs, then the drawings of children and grandchildren with the awareness of having in front of me the enigma of the origin. For me, even a goal. To understand thoughts, theorems, systems of the highest nature, I have to start from what I share on a daily basis with the people I have been with and if they have come into the world recently, it’s even better.
To get to them I go backwards like the prawns. And here I am in their field of action, a white sheet and a small black pencil. Together with them I share chaos. Yes, chaos, circular black signs without uncertainty narrate the path around nothingness. Not a nephew but all the newborn living beings. After placing their settlement in this world, children feel a strong desire to tell what exists and resists there, outside of us. It is our way of entertaining ourselves, of remembering, of bridging the emptiness of losses. The most exciting signs and designs start from eleven months up to three years when there is no awareness of representing anything. The first anthropomorphic drawings arrive at this age. And here I could stop because then we draw things that are part of everyday life, but even here miracles happen. There is the narration of an inner state that takes the details out of reality, then transforms and bends it to the pleasure of the creative gesture. Unaware. I believe the difference lies here.
We read often that the artist is a like a child and that what saves us is the child in us. But we, as artists, must not always take another step to go and look back at that unconscious emotional relaxation. On the contrary, we must go through other paths: in addition to all those known, all those unknown also. We must rediscover ancestors, predecessors, precursors and encounter knowledge with the conscience, the hand and the mind and the history of our truths. Finally achieve the blind truth of the child that live in us. The path we have to travel is long and bumpy and we may also get lost and not be able to find the child or the child in us. Conversely, they are always present to themselves, their hand moves directs steers the pencil in the space of the blank sheet purely for necessity. They must not perform dangerous sprays.
I'll take the last born. Allegra is left-handed and she had to put in place some slightly more complex strategies because everything was going the other way. She trained herself for a long time then, suddenly, among all the things that daily enrich her life, it happens that her fast and sure hand has chosen a thinking heart. That "thinking" may not seem clear because in reality no design is devoid of thought. Children's work comes before speech and does not make mistakes.
Allegra lives in a beautiful house: sofas, chairs, armchairs, bookcases, large TV sets, furniture. Sacks, baskets full of toys. But the only table she uses is the "dining table". Before I intervened in vain then finally I took a small table, now already too small, and as happens in our homes in a short time it was filled of useless things. I tell these things because Allegra’s heart needed to find space. I like to think that what I'm admiring now is the first one. The red pencil has drawn intense and sure outlines. In the inside, this heart has a face, then there are arms pointing upwards and long legs but the sign here is almost imperceptible.
Above, a trail of intense azure and her name built with letters flying like birds in space. There is all the essentiality of the masterpiece. Some works by Osvaldo Licini, by Giosetta Fioroni, come to mind. These are the two artists who have made their journey backwards and stopped in Allegra's residence: she has always been there and when her gaze of oriental moons embraces what she sees and passes over, there she is and she becomes witness and memory of places unknown to us. The hearts then multiplied, they acquired matter and color. They have become subjects to explore.
In these first five years of her life, the old age has arrived for me and so I cannot play with her as I used to do with her brothers. From these distances I observe her young life and I would like to convince her that one thing can be certain; she made me happy. Seeing her in action, with that look that embraces what she sees and passes beyond, in territories unknown to us, I feel that children understand too much and better and much deeper than us adults. I see her as a tireless experimenter traveling to conquer new spaces with insatiable passion. Her hands illuminate my opaque life like stars.
Allegra has a personality, both powerful and kind, and there are many memorable phrases, now I remember this. We are in the terrace, in front of the sea, I brought watercolors, brushes and white sheets and explain what she has to do to paint with watercolor. She bears patience, listens to me and after a while she says "Grandma, do we put the brush in the water before evening?"
Translation by Renzo Pasini