Paolo Parisi (Catania, 1965), lives and works in Florence.
Experiencing art as a cognitive act and the variation of perception – linked to change in point of view – are fundamental elements in Paolo Parisi’s work. Daylight passing through colored glass is transformed, imbuing everything it touches with a new and diverse shade. Ultra-sound allows us to hear the movements recorded under the surface of volcanoes. Sculpture, shaped from sheets of corrugated cardboard, can be explored from within as in a natural cavity. Paolo Parisi proposes a reflection on abstract painting and its relationship to space, making the engagement with his work a physical experience, permitting new relationships between content and context.
From the beginning, Parisi’s artistic research focuses on the transformation of non-arbitrary assumptions into the artistic image, deliberately transposed through tools that exclude the interference of the psychological, such as architectural relief, cartography, and photography. In the works from 1993, (Rilievi), s.e., canvases and later exhibition spaces appear transformed through the lines of nautical charts, projected and traced with clay and his fingertips. The gesture repeated a pre-existing image in order to re-appropriate, in a tactile way, the places, thus rendering a “new image of the world”. The works, a result of a process of stratification of manual and industrial methods, of techniques and materials related to the tradition of art in dialogue with methodologies coming from architecture, graphic design, printing techniques, and music, become triggers that propose a physical dimension of artistic expression, in particular, of painting (its essence and its tautology).
Since 1993, alongside his art practice, Parisi has taught at the Accademie di Belle Arti (Bologna and Florence) and ideated and participated in numerous conferences, lectures, and workshops all over the world. His interest in the diffusion and shared experience of art is also reflected in his participation in the founding of the non-profit artist-run space Base Progetti per l’arte in 1998, which proposes an active reflection on the role of contemporary art culture and how self-determination can exist beyond the constraints imposed by the market and the prevailing economic system.