Archaeologist of his paintings
by NICOLE VITRIER
translated by GLENN D. CLAVIER
The canvas is very smooth, as if glossy. It radiates light, but it does not shine. Quite the opposite: it is soft both to eye and touch. It is a rock, polished by time, eroded by wind, sea and rain. Nature gives it its colours, primarily by depositing sediments in (seemingly) imperfect successive layers. In reality, the process is so long and complex that it defies analysis. And who really wants to understand? Matter is laid upon matter, even as erosion begins, in a movement that is not opposite but complementary.
Ricardo Camarano draws both his inspiration and his technique from this natural phenomenon to create his canvases representing ìthe images we see in things,î as he so simply puts it.
He, too, covers his canvas with increasingly rich matter, matter that must then disappear to leave only the signs of its passage. It is a long-term project done over a long time, a dialogue between dense matter and smooth memory, between what came before, already deeply buried, and that which will come, soon to be recognized, without ever really having been known, except as a fleeting intuition on the edge of consciousness.
It is the thing that hides the thing. The painter becomes archeologist. He digs and reveals, as if searching for an ancient city. He extracts his work from the matter. He continuously hides his canvas, first adding to then subtracting from it. And as he strips the canvas, he reclaims the matter removed, which, as in nature, is not lost but becomes something else.
The painting thus becomes a sculpture. It takes life in a new form, and with it, beside it on the periphery, it continues to play a role in the collective work.
The only task remaining for the artist to completely disappear. He carefully erases all traces of his passage, leaving only a painting that barely rises from the canvas. The work of no one. Supreme ambition.