The pathway of the golden lamas (L. Canova)

(In Sandro Sanna “Metallica” – Cam Editrice catalogue, Rome 2003)

The works of Sandro Sanna delight the viewer with images where the theme of reflexion and the mirror effect are taken to the limits of their possibility to create illusions, where the light turns into a relentless “medium” of a repeated illusion to the expense of our view.

In the new series “Metallica”, Sanna has performed a total decomposition or the visual data, proposing a kind of parallel universe where the coordinates of the space look distorted and altered by the ineffable of new mathematic models which pervade the accomplishment of the painting.

It looks however certain how Sanna’s previous works (although founded on embryonic ideas of a tendency to extreme illusionism), where however conceived on a partly traditional structure, even if it is built as an open window towards the shapes of a different and unpredictable reality.

However, in these works, Sanna pushed himself even further, taking to the extreme consequences his long pictorial discourse and re-coding the same construction of the object-painting, in canvas built as installations where the traditional order looks broken and distorted by a new expression, by a syntax in which geometry seems subject to rigid rules of a mysterious poetic will, to rigid percepts of an unknown harmony.

The previous series of Sanna like Byzantium, Geodes, Drifting, Mirror of Planets and The Wind of Pollen, seem to have been so absorbed by an essential synthesis where everything seems moved by a new poetry, by a cruel and lyric sense of  constructing the images, that it looks like they are born following the nocturnal harmony of a barbaric and gloomy song, the rhythm of the lines drawn to accompany the ordered chaos of a remote cosmogony.

But the artist is not only willing to give life to unacceptable appearance of an alternative world, to create the foundation of new rules of perception: maybe Sanna tries to be the helmsman which drives his audience in the night through absurd and magnificent buildings, inside shimmering palaces erected in dangerous and unreal landscapes, but yet splendid and governed by cruel laws.

In this way, the lights of the works appear transformed by a evasive movements, by a metamorphosis which slips any definition.  This seems to have amplified their existence and enriched their structure with dark and elusive touches, with low acoustics which amplify their sounds and echoes in the obscure immensity of dark seas crossed by shimmering lights and sparks.

The viewer, like the foreigner in a lonely land, finds himself prisoner of flashing corridors and gleaming halls, condemned to wander in a labyrinth of perspective trapdoors, in a cruel meander built to the bewilderment of the uninitiated traveler and of the unaware observer, convinced to cross that unknown and risky borderline.

An icy premonitory gust, a cold breath of steel and stone, cross these primitive and contrived spaces, tempted to enchant with suggestions of visual splendor to seduce afterwards with the gentle and pointed arms of illusion.

Sanna constructed in this way a refined and rigorous installation, conceived as a perfect mechanism of an imminent trap, a forest of gold and fire crossed by a narrow path of sharp blades, at the end of which the viewer reaches his inevitable destiny of damnation or salvation.

Lorenzo Canova

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