Traffic Gallery Presents


Curated by Roberto Ratti | Special Guest > Reading by FRANCA MANCINELLI

05.05.2023 | 16.09.2023

About the exhibition

Traffic Gallery is happy to host in its spaces Cabina per Anima, a solo exhibition by San Marino painter of Spanish origin JUAN CARLOS CECI (Saragozza 1967).

The solo exhibition was conceived by the Artist Juan Carlos Ceci and the Poetess Franca Mancinelli as composed of three sections forming a single cycle of works: La Piega, Cabina per Anima and Cantano le Pareti.

Three chapters realized between 2022 and 2023 that will occupy all three exhibition rooms of the Gallery, paintings that during the opening will be “lit” by poetic recitations specially conceived by the well-known Poetess Franca Mancinelli.

As Juan Carlos himself explains “In the exhibition there will be two truths, that of painting and that of poetry, from the union of these two truths a lie is born.

They are lies (or truths) delicate and skilfully layered those that appear on the canvas and to our eyes. The intimist figure, using a palette of light and muted tones, gives us dreamlike visions immersed in fog. The objects depicted often blur together and are identified in different, sometimes interchangeable forms.

 Your invisible face was sleeping in the cabin of my soul. I was sleeping in the void of my rebellious soul.” Amelia Rosselli

Is from this poem that Juan Carlos Ceci “stole” the title of the exhibition, painting still lifes inside vases or glass jars that anchor the same silent natures to the ground. In fact, a sequence of passage marks the link between the pictorial chapter entitled La Piega (The Fold) and the subsequent, or almost contemporary chapter entitled Cabina per Anima (Cabin for Soul). In the first chapter, The Fold, everything appears undefined and floating in a space that cannot be grasped. Nothing is anchored to the ground. Everything in the paintings is constructed from a primordial idea, gesture, chance and improvisation. Juan Carlos paints blindly and in apnoea without knowing what the final result will be. On the canvases and in the folds appear fruits or flowers or buds, or parts of animal organs, once organic devices, the last breaths of floating souls.

These folds become cabins the moment the figures find a delimited space, as it can be in any vessel. Vases and glasses attract and block the ‘floating’ of the fruits.

Cabins for Soul are places of the Spirit, they are rooms where walls seem absent and can only be glimpsed through openings and luminous windows. Walls open onto glimpses of light. On a world that is bright, dazzling and therefore invisible.

How can darkness pierce, in such an inundation of light?” Giorgio Caproni

Cells for recluses, or for ascetics, cockpits, telephone booths through which to reach those who are still alive and those who are no longer, booths where one can change clothes and habits.” Juan Carlos Ceci

The third chapter, unpublished and so far unique, comes through two indoor self-portraits. For the first time and quite exceptionally, the human figure, i.e. the face of the painter himself, appears on two medium to large format canvases. The colour palette is similar to that used for the first two chapters and remains in line with the indefinite fluctuation central to the composition, or rather the non-composition of the painting. Mysterious enigmas create dialogues between the two self-portraits, the face that appears in a small round mirror then becomes a glass vase. The projection of light and shadows is deceptive, because it is not known whether the representations of shadows come from external or internal realities.

The sentimental load, which in the first two chapters reveals an intimist nature, here becomes more concentrated and dense. Juan Carlos searches in his own self-portrait for the colour of his father’s eyes, and so the once-cabin room becomes a time machine that unites the earthly and the otherworldly with memories.

And if in literature the Father-Son relationship has given rise to endless words and absolute masterpieces, in Juan Carlos Ceci’s painting practice it becomes pure introspection, where the viewer can subjectively decide whether to abandon himself to nostalgia, on one hand, or to feel inside a safe and therefore reassuring room, on the other.

Juan Carlos Ceci, Oil on Canvas, Cantano le Pareti - Gli Stessi Miei Anni, 120x98cm, 2023, Courtesy of Traffic Gallery
Juan Carlos Ceci, Oil on Canvas, La Piega - Untitled, 60x50cm, 2023, Courtesy of Traffic Gallery Download Press Kit
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Beyond the Ego, the Grace

Born in 1973 in Bitonto, a small town in the south of Italy in the province of Bari. His artistic career is manifested in the use of various media such as photography, performance, video and film. We Remember the acquisitions by the Musée des Beaux-Arts La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, by the UBI Banca Popolare di Bergamo Collection, the Videoinsight 2018 Award, the Award received during Art Verona 08 selected by Anna Mattirolo for a project inside the MAXXI in Rome which took place between...

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