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Nunzio Zago

I have been knowing Biagio Schembari for a long time and I thought he was by now away from the vice of painting, as one who has left behind, without remorse, certain juvenile temptations up to lead, despite the regular studies at the Art Institute and Academy, to  a more "profane" concrete activity.

Here I am, instead, after the unexpected and promising Schembari’s exhibit, viewed just a year ago, at the Cultural Services Centre of Comiso, to say something about another of  his shows, which confirms the seriousness of' a choice, of a newfound vocation.

It is likely that the reasons of the heart and instinct prevail, in this choice, on those of the technical and formal experimentation and that, from Schembari’s point of view, painting is above all a way to defend the outrageous banality of the routine. Not missing, however, in his works, a close dialogue, sometimes discovered, with some of the main artistic experiences of the twentieth century, from which he has learned to be wary of the photographic reproducibility of reality, rendering now the rather substantial ambiguity through a continuous game of decomposition and recomposition, thanks to the metaphysical alienation of a solemn repertoire of archaic and Mediterranean myths.


This way, a familiar Ragusa landscape acquires zoomorphic or anthropomorphic traits whose numinous and archaic aura works with the most typical signs of our religious imagery to restore value and meaning to things; and that, viceversa, a female figure and maternal indeed turns into natural architecture, stone oracle or fantastic island, able to accommodate in her womb glimpses of rural idyll. Among ancestral calling and visionary shooting, Schembari has begun to draw, hence, an ideal space, more authentic and intact, which already reveals a modern and restless figure and indicates an interesting research direction.


Nunzio Zago

January, 1994