Ivan Cangelosi


When you look at the artworks of Ivan Cangelosi, it is hard to believe that they have not been painted. Closer you look, more astonishing becomes what is in front of you, that is that every picture, every   portrayed image consists of thousands, even millions of tiny letters. And it is not simply the arbitrary distribution of letters but a translation in images of entire literary texts, novels in particular, hundreds of pages long.

What is amazing, even more than the enormous technical effort of rewriting by hand thousands of words, hundreds and hundreds of pages, it is the fact that before our eyes, these letters, words, sentences, suddenly have a whole new meaning . The entire literary text is here, before us, turned into picture. It has not lost its aura, rather it has become something else.

Ivan Cangelosi, with his handwritten paintings, succeeds in making an extraordinary operation: he combines literature and art; more precisely, it turns literature into visual art. He therefore establishes a relationship between two intellectual and spiritual fields that only human beings own, and in this way he makes it clear that literature and art are our highest forms of expression.

Ivan Cangelosi enchant us with his works in a unique way. On the one hand, he leads us to the origins of writing, when it still was a category of art and as such it legitimized itself outward, beyond its content; on the other hand, it gives birth in us, in respect of the books that we see depicted and that we also probably love, new unexpected associations. Associations produced by Ivan Cangelosi through a refined embroidery of letters of those that are considered modern tapestries. His art, although contemporary, is not subservient to the spirit of our time. Without following fashion trends, he represents the temporal flow of the Spirit. He has chosen a clear way to do art and has decided to follow it to the end, without hesitation or “squinting” temptations toward the laws and methods of the art market”.

(Otto Hans Ressler, Art expert and writer. Director of the Auction Haus “Ressler Kunst Auktionen” in Vienna)

In Ivan Cangelosi’s works, it is clear the presence of a brilliant and meticulous art. A new way of expression takes the form of a tapestry made of an embroidery of words. Entire novels and famous literary texts become, thanks to Ivan Cangelosi, marvellous artworks. These majestic artworks are the result of a long and meticulous work, of an unique charm and a totally original touch. A creativity where literature and painting merge, by creating something absolutely new, original, strongly contemporary, where the handwriting, and the letters that compose it, are at the same time substance and color of the artwork.

Ivan Cangelosi’s works demand, from those who observe them, an intellectual approach as well as a sensual one. In fact, the pleasure of their vision does not only regard the senses but also, and perhaps above all, the mind; ‘cause it is purely intellectual the pleasure to know that that picture that you are admiring and appreciating for its subject or its color, is actually much more than this: it’s an entire novel of 400 pages, or even 800 pages (such as the famous Thomas Mann’s novel “Buddenbrooks”) entirely re-written by hand within the space of a painting. The eye and the predisposition of the soul “feel” the artwork; the intellect transcends them both towards a higher and more complete pleasure.

Literature and visual arts then become one. A technique that reminds of pointillism  where every detail is the result of a delicate and refined mind, ready to interpret any text in a visual key, turn the word into color and the color into images that evokes the depicted literary text. That’s why it becomes essential in this kind of work, the preliminary relationship between the content of the novel and the subject portrayed in the painting. The comprehension of the artwork will truly be complete only if one has previously read and thoroughly understood the literary text depicted in the artwork.

I would dare call Master Ivan Cangelosi, the portraitist of literature, the visual “Fairy-Taler” of the best literary works. His works show a complex personality which seems to be dwelled, with equal force, by instinct, passion, anarchy and foolhardiness, on the one hand, and rationality, discipline and exactness on the other. A dual, tormented personality, where the opposites find a sublime synthesis in artworks made by a complicated, rich and detailed line, made with incredible care, precision, method and patience. An art, that of Ivan Cangelosi, who deserves the applause of the world. In a context where it is difficult to emerge,   Ivan Cangelosi’s works are unequivocal, as it is unequivocally his great originality”.

(Alessandro Costanza, critic and art historian -Monographic Catalogue Art Project 2016)

It’s a new art, that of Ivan Cangelosi. An art that translates the acient amanuensis technique into suggestive images. His ability to transform the word into image makes him a truly art innovator…”

(Josè Van Roy Dalì – Effetto Arte, February 2015)

Words that become images, shapes and volumes. Ivan Cangelosi’s ability of visual translation is here expressed at best, in a riot of originality and technicality”

(Dino Masarà about the work “La corda pazza (Sicilitudine)”. Effetto Arte – May 2015)

in the age of technology, of the storage via cloud, where do we place Cangelosi? In a transverse space, whichcannot be defined as anachronistic but, on the contrary, which ponders about our days and looks towards the futurein the direction in which knowledge will always look. […] A long process in which the blank space is covered withhandwriting, which invades and wins every millimeter, shapes and representations which portray the sense of thechosen text. Reading and vision come together, they merge, becoming aesthetic essence altogether. The ink is the medium through which the translation is done, genius and conceptualism are the solid foundation to which everything is anchored

(Azzurra Immediato about the work La corda pazza (sicilitudine).” Catalogue of the exhibition “The new goal of the contemporary.” Farini Gallery, Bologna. P. 24-25)