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Pasquale Ruocco/ Mary Cinque’s painting as a urban phenomenon

As always happens, it’s difficult to break the silence of a page, even if it’s a virtual page. I continue to stare at the notes and the images I asked Mary to send me searching for a thought, a road to follow, a story. I unwrap the pictures of the works she decided to exhibit, and keeping an eye on Largo Baracche map I try to mount the exhibition.

We have to make a point about the work of an artist who searches to dialogue with the environment through her painting, intending the space as a place of communication and exchange between individuals.

Mary Cinque observes the contemporary metropolis, she lives it, being convinced that art can still have a important role to redefine the modern city, in particular she looks at the individual and the community as absolute protagonists of the urban scene.

Landscapes, usually urban landscapes; architectural, and plastic, elements, aesthetical stimulus captured by the camera or, more often, by a pencil or a felt-tip pen on the sheets of a pad she always carries with her, a journal of travels, escapes, crossings, appearances.

Mary Cinque collects «snapshots of intimate and familiar experiences», as Adriana de Manes described them during the exhibition at Villa Rufolo in Ravello, visions, memories, emotions, places, things that entwine themselves into a story, as it would happen in a Stefano Benni or Paul Auster novel.

I am thinking about the 2007 works (Nolita, Avenue, Surf Av(Ny), Hudsonmx), with their freshness, their simplicity with which Mary shows her idea of a city as an aesthetical event, a intercultural reality. It’s a «purely urban phenomenon», as Pierre Restany would say, that intends «the city as an art tank, with its traffic, its humoral secretions – the people behavior – through all the possibilities of meetings and interchanges».

The city becomes a matter to observe, select, and mould, a matter to animate the extent of the canvas with, a border between reality and fiction, life and art; a place where figure retrieves a critic ability that’s always more latent and globalized.

These beliefs lead Mary Cinque towards often different solutions: sometimes pop as Pulpand the series in which is also included Make pot not war, where she reformulates, with the painting language, her interests for the photographic images, the digital graphic, the comics and the animation, and the tendency to a simple, but subtle, irony as well; sometimes deeply poetic, I am thinking about the “without title” works on coarse canvas here, atmospheres where the figure almost melts, or the Shoesseries, nearly an invite to follow her in the place of imagination, as it happens to Alice in Through the Looking-Glass.

Anyway, there is always a recognizable need of communication, dialogue, the will of a continuous confrontation with reality, even playing: «The duty of the art», says the artist herself, «is to broaden the mental horizons through empathy, the correspondence between the artist and the audience».

This is the spirit Mary Cinque works with, the way she defends her conviction to want being a painter who wants to contribute to the salvage of a sense of beauty that, as Pier Luigi Cervellati has written in L’arte del curare, seems always more lost.