There is a place we belong to, beautiful and far away. An ocean we often ignore. A place both remote and intimate. As blue as the depths of the sea in Greece in summer and the sky on certain star-filled nights. That place is ours, and somehow it is part of us.
We find this place in the latest works by the artist Angelica Bergamini, originally from Viareggio and now an American based in Brooklyn, currently on show at the Ivy Brown Gallery, New York.
Almost all the works are immersed in that shade of blue. And almost all of them take us back to a dimension that we often tend to overlook. Blue is the color of introspection, of the relationship with oneself, which permeates us deeply and connects us with each other, even with the ethereal. A place that dwells in all of us, in the entire universe, a place we find whenever we gaze towards infinity. An infinity from which we all spring and to which we will return.
A horizon that, rather than a line, is an opening: a place that Bergamini searches for and then seizes, giving us a personal and perfect vision of it, uniting us and allowing us to commune with it, with ourselves, with life, with death, with the cosmos, beyond any distance, any physical or temporal limit, beyond any afterlife or eternity.
A cosmic ocean, therefore, to which we belong and in which we live: amniotic waters which we think we have abandoned but in which we are still constantly submerged – even if we do not remember them. Waters from which everything originates, everything derives.
This absence of boundaries and limits makes Angelica Bergamini’s collection, I Will Meet You There, an outstanding work. Conceived in a historical moment of great sorrow and loneliness resulting from the pandemic, during which regaining the bond with one’s own self seemed the only sensible thing to do to stave off the sense of the useless passage of time.
It’s a relationship that Bergamini knows well, having followed an artistic journey (as well as vast output) that has long been linked to introspection; and about which I have written in the past, also in this column of mine.
Within an equally natural journey, then, blue emerges as the only color capable of reflecting the instinct, the quest and the creative needs of this profound and refined artist.
It is impossible not to linger on the precious clues embedded in this universe, from the engraving of numbers to the symbols, the shapes, the sheer intensity.
Starting from zero, for example, as in the works 0 (Zero) #2 and #3, the beginning of everything, or origin, but also the cosmic womb, which welcomes and embraces us and the universe in an indefinable infinity.
Or, again, I Will Meet You There #8, in which a ladder represents the upward and downward connection with earthly and non-earthly worlds, which permits that relationship between us, the past and the future, the cosmos, the stars, the ancestors, in that space in which we also dwell with the loved ones we have lost.
A ladder that is a means of ascending or descending towards places that would otherwise be inaccessible, though just as real, because they have been experienced and therefore exist inside and outside of us.
Works #7 and #9, in which the stars, ancient and distant, denizens of our most unknown self, emit the light of billions of years ago and speak to us of the infinite and of something stellar that has always been part of us.
Finally, number #11, in which we find an even stronger sense of birth, in which the movement of the artistic line is not only form but also sound, rhythm – or rather a lullaby–cradle and ancestral and eternal embrace, the same vibration that we can imagine as the background music to the movement of the planets.
But it is the red boat in the work, In the Sea of Time and Space Whisper My Name, in which we are transported, and which represents us in its concreteness: the passage from one life to another; a journey that we must experience and which in Bergamini’s works sheds any link with earthly limits, without beginning or end.
Because her works succeed in relating us to the whole, to the life of the cosmos of which we are an infinitesimal grain, in a non-temporal and non-dimensional dimension. The boat, therefore, no less than the ladder, is the symbol that connects us with everything that seems to us to be no longer present; or that is past, finished.
Only energy brings us back to a concept of the whole, an immersion in an ocean that is now also Love, Universal Love, made concrete in the artistic gesture and intimate atmosphere of the Love Letters series, engraved with the words “I will meet you there”.
Because we are still little red boats, still alive, addressing those who are no longer with us, reassuring them that we know we will meet again, I will meet you there.
If you are in New York, you can go and admire these unique pieces, precious as jewels of rare value and beauty. On display at the Ivy Brown Gallery (NY) until August 17 and, with other works, at the Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, New York, from August 31 to November 13, 2021.