It’s Saturday evening in Carrara and I’m at Anna’s house for dinner with two other friends, Roberta and Giancarlo, Agata the dog and two cats, Jeppo and Lolito. The evening passes by accompanied by good food and good wine; suddenly, maybe due to the collusion of the soft, warm lights, the wisps of smoke floating above our heads, I realise I’ve entered another world, one that is not unknown to me, that I’ve already seen and seen again recently, but what is happening has never happened to me before.
Kostya Lupanov’s pictures have been hanging there in the Gallery for three weeks now, and spending the evenings in their company is nice; the characters represented are there to tell their stories, for those who have the eyes and heart to stop and listen to them.
I’m no expert on pictorial technique, but I realise that the strength of Kostya’s works is not just in the figures represented. Lupanov passes for a figurative artist, but really in his pictures you can find clear and striking bursts of abstract art, in the backgrounds, nature blending into a profound search for colours, lights and perspectives. In the end what stands out is harmony; the abstract gives life to the figures, cafés, trees.
So, there I am, sitting peacefully at table chatting and sipping an excellent genepì from the valleys of Piedmont, made by our friend Annette who puts herbs into infusion to create this bitter-sweet drink. Bobo Rondelli’s concert awaits us in Piazza Alberica and then, I don’t really know how, my eyes start to see the figures around me as if they were in one of Lupanov’s pictures, but it’s not just my eyes, but myself, my whole body has gone to become part of the life of one of Kostya’s works. I am flesh and oil, skin and dense colour, I’m inside the Café Cipollone. It’s the reverse journey of Jeff Daniels who, in the film “The Purple Rose of Cairo”, steps out of the cinema screen to enter the real world.
The sensation doesn’t fade away, not even when we decide to go outside, because Bobo Rondelli and his band are waiting for us in Piazza Alberica and while we cross Piazza dell'Accademia, the red building over the Biso pharmacy becomes the building in the painting Two, another work by the Russian artist. As I walk the air doesn’t feel the same as usual.
Finally we reach the concert; Bobo hasn’t really waited for us and we only see the last half hour of the show; the sensation fades but doesn’t disappear. Sorry we were late Bobo, but it was worth it.
The wine and genepì probably contributed to my entering this new dimension, but then what do you want? I was at the Café Cipollone. Lupanov World!