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The essential feature of the production of Enrico Nicolò is the landscape
but Nicolò is a landscape artist not in the classic sense of the term but a particular landscape artist
atypical in that his approach is neither descriptive or documentary.
Therefore, his landscapes are existential, where melancholy atmospheres
dominate, painful yearning.
To do that takes advantage of the abstractive and dramatizing potential of black and white.
He prefers open spaces, long fields of existence as the author himself says
where human presence is lacking,
however, although the human figure is absent, it is to and of man that his landscapes want to talk to
because they are landscapes that are to be interpreted as a mirror of the soul
in a vision not uncommonly lyrical and poignant
Man actually appears in the landscape of Enrico Nicolò,
in fact we can even say that the human figure appears in three different ways.
The first is that which leads us back to our existential journey,
made of suffering, made of struggle, made of solitude.
The solitude in which the author refers to is that of the wanderer in time
which is the title of one of his series, “Loneliness of the Time Walker”.
So in this series, man appears alone in the midst of natural surroundings
and is caught in a thoughtful, contemplative manner,
and is aware of his transience, limitations, and is mainly portrayed from the back
so we cannot see the face
and is actually represented in the act of staring at the horizon or open spaces
which stands out before that which are simplythe metaphor
of the existential journey that each one of us takes the moment weenter the world.
To find the second way of declining the presence of the human figure within the landscape
we can observe the series entitled “Beyond the Sublime Infinite”
Here, the human figure is dressed in an almost timeless manner
but on closer inspection is almost dressed like a German romantic painting
from the first half of the nineteenth century
As a matter of fact, in the “Beyond the Sublime Infinite” series
the photographer makes a tribute, a plaudit, to the concept of the sublime
which is characteristic of the German romantic painting.
Therefore, in natural settings, at times uneven
other times flat, nevertheless always uninhabited and deserted
this sense of the beyond is accentuated almost to the point of warning the viewer
of a sort of eschatological tension.
Another element that is worth noting is that in this series the female figure prevails
austere and dignified, in as much as the woman is the embodiment of beauty
and the author strongly supports the idea that art must go back to recover the sense of beauty
In the works of Enrico Nicolò the presence of the human figure also has a symbolic meaning
as the author is primarily a symbolic and conceptual photographer,
and thus brings us in the semantic, figurative, connotative
which is the case in the series “Beyond the Chaos”.
Here the author tends to use the photograph above all as a means to reflect on essential truths
This existential inquiry is expressed precisely in symbols and concepts.
So we can say that this series takes us in a semantic setting a bit different with respect
to the other series we have seen, somewhere between the surreal and the metaphysical
between the real and the fantastic.
So for this reason, therefore, we find the person still alone in actions
and attitudes that are absolutely improbable,
that tend to displace the observer as assumed in unusual and unsettling contexts.
In this, the author demonstrates to have assimilated the lesson of some masters
of black and white cinema of the past
after all the photographer makes no secret of loving cinema
and openly demonstrates it with explicit quotes in the series
“Paper Movie Star Ladies - Celluloid Icons”
dedicated to the female stars of the silver screen of the past.
Enrico Nicolò also photographs in colour, in analog like for black and white
however the artistic expression assumes forms that are a little different.
We may say, in fact, that although in the work of Enrico Nicolò
there is a continuity of inspiration and content
we can then say that if in black and white he gives thoughts, concepts, feelings, and conversely
in colour he gives insights, perceptions, sensations
so therefore the rationality gives way to the imagination, the fantasy.
Shapes and contours lose their mimetic substance
and thus take the form of blots of colour that create well-being.
This is the case for the delightful series of “foto-blurry-graf”
the term coined by the author.
Let’s see what foto-blurry-graf means: foto, just that, images, photographs
blurry means undefined, indistinct, fading
which is why we have spots, blotches of colour among other things created through
a deliberate use of overexposure more or less incited
and then we have graf which means essential graphic representation.
Therefore we find the landscape but we find it indistinct, evanescent, unrecognizable
but very pleasant to see, even if the human figure appears blurred and indistinguishable.
If in “foto-blurry-graf” nature is still and everything happens in the camera
conversely in the so-called “Traces of Movement” by Enrico Nicolò
it is the subject that moves and his movement is suggested by the use of the panning technique
but we could say it is not a rare panning or so to speak hybrid
because the photographer does not intend to restore the frozen identity of the subject in motion
but rather artistically wants to highlight the dynamics without revealing the reality.
Enrico Nicolò is also a researcher for which he extends the use of colour to the study
of the language of photographic communications and the creation of images
that capture specific geometries and interesting and attractive chromatic
scores the latter returning to the presence of lines, backgrounds, patterns, and textures.