Armando Marrocco, captivity and those lines on paper

The atelier/workshop of Armando Marrocco is a gigantic and wonderful space that contains his whole life. A long and intense life. Almost infinite traces of an artistic activity that has gone on for over fifty years are visible on workbenches, walls, shelves, hanging from ceilings or piled up in corridors. In that atelier there are the tools Marrocco shared his existence with: hammers, chisels, saws, drills, brushes, vises, pieces of wood, nails, paints, varnishes, glues, pieces of fabric, papers, plasters and more, much more. To keep Armando Marrocco away from his atelier, locked up in a house – however comfortable it can me – means to deprive him of oxygen. That’s what the coronavirus tried to do. Without success. In his beautiful house in central Milan, during the lockdown, Marrocco had only paper, china ink, graphite and crayons.

Labyrinthine circles that interpenetrate each other to represent the chaos and complexity of our lives as prisoners of the virus

However, he also had a strong will not to spend time as a prisoner who depletes his soul. That’s why he started drawing again. As he did sixty years ago, at the beginning of his artistic adventure. Then, his drawings were great gestural works – they were made of pure energy. Now – in lockdown captivity – thin, well-devised lines are traced on paper, like drafts of and plans for a future when we will no longer be prisoners of the pandemic. Most of the cases, these drawings are labyrinthine circles that interpenetrate each other, intertwining and knotting in order to outline the complexity and chaos of our lives. For Marrocco, these drawings are a pause, a way to catch his breath. And then start again.

Silvano Costanzo


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