Critical Texts


Isabella Del Guerra


Let's try to make a journey, a virtual one in this case: let's take a distance from our frantic life, often centred on the desire to appear, on the greed for possession, torn between the frenzy of producing and consuming, even the superfluous; for just one moment, let’s make the desire for a respite from all this push us to cross a river, let's try to venture into the silence of a forest, let's try to walk in the quiet that slowly helps us to cleanse and nourish our soul, that reaccustoms us to perceive new smells and the scents of grass, leaves, moss…, the scents of nature.
Manuel Felisi tries to lead us into this universe, his universe, where man is beyond doubt a privileged guest. A world where time is still, everything is still, there is no rush of wind. It is the moment when, lying down, we lose ourselves in that magical glimpse where the fronds of the trees merge with the sky. Felisi’s trees have no leaves or branches, they are alive but, naked and severe, they enfold us and, wrapped in their majestic magic, we do not feel sadness or loneliness, but rather serenity and harmony.
The forest Felisi invites us to enter is a place of recollection, of reassuring acceptance that embraces us and perhaps even conceals and protects us. If the sharp tangle of black branches, the informal coloured background also symbolically represents our dimension, everything in the woods still has an escape route: the one towards the sky, where we can try to find time for ourselves while imagining other better dimensions of the elsewhere.
It's like starting to flee..., towards life.
The works of Manuel Felisi are complex; they are the product of multiple pictorial, material and photographic passages that require long execution times: the canvases are approached using the technique of the brush, the spatula, the wall decoration roller, after which light layers of coloured fabric, paper, gauze and resin are applied.
Then the artist, with the skill of an expert photographer, projects his digital images on the small canvases arranged one next to the other. Finally, he outlines and pictorially redefines the intertwining of trunks, branches and twigs.
The focal point of Felisi’s works are the trees, which over time have come to symbolise various meanings, but always remain the universal symbol of life, energy, and time.
The works are entitled “Vertigine” (Vertigo), as if to call to mind a feeling of awe-involvement that takes our breath away and that we experience, helpless, when confronted with the majesty and nobility of nature.
Isabella Del Guerra, 2022
Galleria Gagliardi-2022: solo exhibition by Manuel Felisi "Al di là del fiume, tra gli albericurated by Stefano Gagliardi