|"Together (No. 9)," 30" x 40", acrylic mixed media on panel|
From the write-up on my website:
The series considers what it means to reinvigorate public space and be a proper citizen. It comes out of reading and thinking about such big heads as the urbanist Jane Jacobs, the sociologist Richard Sennett, the philosopher/novelist Iris Murdoch, and the psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. The common thread that links these folks is a concern for civility, for uniting the head and hands in work, and for beauty as vital to the life lived well, even when times are tough.
More personally, the series represents an aspiration of mine to embrace—as opportunity, cooperation, fellowship—the human throng found in public venues, rather than to flee from the clamour and confusion and bury my head in the ground, my more natural tendency.
As coping mechanisms, the series attempts to make inherent virtues such as grace and sprezzatura, the Renaissance term meaning lightness of manner and indirectness of communication. It considers "unselfing" rather than rugged individualism as an alternative path to freedom.
Visually, Stephan Andrews, especially in the use of CMYK colours and effort to make art that's both aesthetically sophisticated and thought provoking, is ingrained in the work. The feel of street life in Italy, where I lived in 2015-16 and whose chaotic outdoor culture I struggled to navigate, especially with two young children and no car and even if my own background is Italian, has also slipped in.
You can pick through the images I've completed so far at www.ivanostocco.com/together.php. I'd love to hear your thoughts, even if they're impolite.