SEDIMENTS – preface by Sandra Benvenuti
Milan is the city where Franco Donaggio lives and works.
It is the metropolis that has given him the liberty of growing both intellectually and professionally for over fourty years; yet, he feels caged in now.
He misses the perfume of the sea, the clear sky, the echoes of past time.
This desire has represented for Donaggio the change towards a new start: coming back home.
He returns to Chioggia – his town of birth – more and more often, he retraces the path of recollection with the experience of a mature man armed with his inseparable camera; he observes colored houses reflecting on the water of the canals, disused shipyards and abandoned strings of mussels; he walks along beaches only inhabited by shabby objects transported by the sea.
The silence, the sharp smell of shallow waters, the aura of abandoned things on desolate water edges, all this removes the veil of time and brings to life again fragments of past experienced life.
Sediments is the example of how the artist’s versatility knows no limits. With this work Donaggio starts a new visual voyage. The object, rather than the human figure, is the core of his reflections. In the hectic and uncessant research for new ways of representing unusual visions of the world, the artist studies the possibility of a mobility within the composition starting from the position of the elements and offering other possibilities of life to abandoned things. Starting from a seen reality, the author amplifies the imaginative potentialities and creates not only worlds and landscapes sourcing from the fantastic, he also clarifies this contradiction on a formal level: he composes with different materials bizarre characters like the portrait of an old fisherman, he transforms a plastic cloth into a mocking animal-like figure, he unveils the hidden soul of a motionless silent world offering, before our eyes, wonderful underwater worlds. These works invite the viewers to enter a true analytical process which is by no means direct; on the contrary, it is difficult to grasp its wholeness at first sight in a perennial oscillation between the intimate introspection, the abstraction, the representativeness between symbolism and narration.
With this work properly entitled Sediments, the author seems to pay a visual homage to the fundamental postulate by Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier: nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything changes!