In order to move others deeply we must deliberately allow ourselves to be carried away beyond the bounds of our normal sensibility. – Joseph Conrad

Bologna-based MAGMA gallery will be opening this Saturday April 22, Endless, a group show featuring the work of three talented European artists; Aris, Martina Merlini and Nelio.

Endless focuses on the concept of imagination as a liberating force when confronted with our limitations, either they are self-imposed or imposed by others. These limits or limitations restraining our dreams, desires and expectations, but imagination allows us to overcome this state by reinventing or recreating these limits so the very concept of boundary or border, loses its negative meaning, creating the conditions for a new, inexhaustible potential.

Endless: the ‘no end’, the inexhaustible, the infinite. That is probably what gathers together Aris, Martina Merlini and Nelio, the three artists involved in the new exhibition. Each artist develops an original and innovative language, looking for subtle compositional balances that seem to move in an apparently endless path. Thick textures, nuanced figures, and deceptive superimpositions of shapes, invite us to ‘go further’, not to indulge on what is ‘locked’ in the frame. The works suggest new imaginative spaces, encourage the audience to use its own imagination, to explore unknown territories, investigating the limitless hinges of reality’s weave.
Our existence is a paradox . On the one hand, we are aware and conscious of our limitations, on the other hand we are constantly trying to overcome them, to find alternative ways and free ourselves from predetermined trajectories.

In Martini Merlini’s research, the notion of the limit is investigated in a subtle and refined way. In her works, geometric abstraction becomes a fundamental expedient to investigate human nature, perpetually poised between the rational and the irrational. Dense and symmetrical pictorial traits are unexpectedly disjointed from the impulse of new,  instinctive and primordial forces.

About the artist
Martina Merlini (Bologna, 1986) lives and works in Milan.
From illustration to geometric abstraction; a path that leads the artist to experience and learn about herself through various expressive contexts such as, among others, street art and installations. Materials such as wax and varnishes, applied to poor media as paper and wood, best express the constant research of a quiet and powerful compositional balance. Thick and symmetrical pictorial lines  are suddenly disjointed by new forces and forms that seem to follow natural instincts and impulses. Numerous exhibition have been dedicated to her, both in Europe and in America. Among the various events and festivals she took part in, are Living Walls, the first festival of street art only for women held in Atlanta (USA) in 2012, and the prestigious Le Mur in Paris, in 2015.

In the case of the French artist Nelio, references to the idea of trespassing are constant. In his research, the artist finds abstraction the best way for creating imaginary shapes. Thanks to a continuous motion of perceptual illusions and reference games, the viewer is unwittingly involved in a further reality, where the background and figures constantly ‘veil’ and ‘unveil’.

About the artist
Nelio, who was born in 1982 in France, developed a unique artistic approach that combines symbols, letters, landscapes, and geometric shapes. Abstract experimentation brought forward by the artist creates imaginary shapes, bright colors and geometric elements, generating dense and complicated textures, continuous motion made of perceptual games, and flat and three-dimensional elements in which the viewer finds himself caught in a personal abstraction of form. He made a great number of public works in Europe and international exhibitions, in important galleries in San Francisco, Melbourne, Montreal, Berlin, Paris.

In Aris’ works, forms blend together, creating a hybrid and confusing dimension, similar to a oniric one. The Tuscan artist elaborates an incredibly personal figurative style, where the references to the phenomenal world are only vaguely evoked, being  ‘re-mixed’ in a surreal visual effect. The appearances are ductile, devoid of any rigor and constraint, and almost created to be modeled.

About the artist
Aris, born in 1978 in Tuscany, started his activity in 1993.
The walls of railway wagons offered him the opportunity to create and experiment, using iron or other poor materials as background to his works. He immediately developed a personal style of lettering from which he gradually moved, by looking his figure which later turned into an accumulation of shapes and forms, creating surreal and complex optical effects.
Travelling and the need to explore are fundamental parts of his life and work, leading him to paint in various countries, Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia and to realize several public works in spaces not traditionally voted to art.

Aris has been among the protagonists of the exhibition held at PAC in Milan, “Street Art, Sweet Art” in 2007, the first in Italy to officially legitimize, in a public museum institution, the street artists of Milanese and Bolognese scene.

Endless opens on Saturday April 22 and runs through June 24 at the gallery located on Via S. Stefano n. 164, Bologna – Italy.
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Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.