At Palazzo Monti in Brescia, the exhibition 'The Cement Garden' displays works woven by Thomas De Falco during the pandemic isolation. If distressing themes inspire the artist, what is surprising is the unprecedented color palette, psychedelic and captivating. The creative act thus becomes a stimulus and a tool for self-care

First of all, the location. Palazzo Monti is a special place, an art project with a pervasive fervor, hosted in a historic residence in Brescia. Whether they are exhibitions, temporary installations or works born from residences of artist they cannot but dialogue and be emphasized - for detachment or unexpected continuity - from the splendid frescoed rooms and from the staircase overlooking the building.

And then a novel, The Concrete Garden by Ian McEwan, for inspiration. The personal exhibition of the Italian-French artist Thomas De Falco is entitled The Cement Garden, curated by Edoardo Monti and accompanied by a critical text by Paola Ugolini, scheduled from January 29 to March 31.

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An (ambiguous) coming-of-age novel as inspiration

The inspiration comes from the novel The concrete garden, written by Ian McEwan in 1978 which deals with adolescent disturbances and family relationships in an ambiguous and transgressive way for common morality. Thomas De Falco in his works also explores the dimension of childhood and adolescence in an unexpected way, choosing a unprecedented vivid and captivating color palette: yellow, Prussian blue and red, as well as magenta, orange, purple and turquoise, intertwined with laborious weaving techniques, give life to tapestries with a pop aesthetic completely different from those previously created.

Read also: the exhibition Invito a Palazzo

The isolation and fear, texture and self-care

The works exhibited at Palazzo Monti were born during the forced isolation of the first lockdown in March 2020, when the artist contracted Covid in Paris. In a tangle of distressing emotions, between loneliness and the feeling of self-exclusion, the fear of illness and that of death, the reading of training novels, the experimentation of complex and long processing techniques and the research on color, an element never loved first, intellectual stimuli and creative tools have proved to be useful for weaving, as well as works, one's own care. The art as a representation of mental landscapes with which to exorcise a hostile present.

From natural elements to psychedelic colors

For many years the works of Thomas De Falco have been the result of a close dialogue with natural elements; to complete them performance in which the human figures become the conjunction between the inanimate world of the textile installation and the living world of plants. If until now the materials used have always been natural, chosen in neutral shades, for this new production - as if it were a break between the before and after - color suddenly becomes the protagonist of works with psychedelic colors that refer to the hippie counterculture of the seventies.

Symbiosis and suture

To distinguish De Falco's new works, the careful dedication to the use of the wrapping technique, in which long strips of knotted fabric create a sort of symbiosis between elements. Weaving thus becomes a creative act of transformation. But also of suture. An act of care.