My portfolio

A selection of my work of the past few years

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Sometimes it’s the first sentence doing the trick. In ‘The only story’, the new novel by Julian Barnes, it goes like this: “Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question.” There you sit, then, in your cosy rocker, ready to take the first sip of a hot cinnamon tea. If you thought you were off for an evening of lazy reading: forget it, by bedtime the worrying will be knee-high. Painters often show more mercy: “As a child I had a little garden with roses and strawberries in it.” First sentence of Kurt Schwitters. That’s more like it. Your heart starts melting. It feels like home (that’s where your heart is supposed to melt). You can almost taste the strawberries. Or: “The blue tramway passed through the streets like the embodiment of a fairy breeze that makes breathing light and joyful.” (young Kandinsky, in Munich). . Home. I’ve always had this same homecoming feeling when looking at Vuillard’s interiors, and now I have it watching Anna Maria Vargiu’s paintings. It’s as if I’m roaming an ancestor’s house. I know for sure I’ve never been there, not in this life anyway, nor have I ever been in Anna Maria’s Warffum, and still: it feels as familiar as can be. I can try to analyze it, talk about palette or brushstroke and the composition of the interiors and still lives. But that’s not the point. The point is: you feel wrapped up, in a box full of roses and strawberries and afternoon tea and shivering aunts feeding homebaked biscuits. And yet… The counterpoint is in the selfportrait: a pur sang 21st century youth is, slightly accusatory, staring at you. And so, from the soft and hazy distances of the past, we’re back to Barnes and the deep, modern questions of existence. It’s all in Anna Maria Vargiu. I think it’s a brilliant path to go, and I’m curious for more.

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