“Chuang-tzu once dreamed that he was a fluttering butterfly and satisfied with his fate and unaware that he was Chuang-tzu. Suddenly he awoke and realized with amazement that he was Chuang-tzu. He no longer knew then whether it was Tzu who dreamed of being a butterfly, or a butterfly who dreamed of being Tzu. “
This beautiful story, contained in one of the most beautiful books ever written, the Chuang-tzu – of ancient China, the fundamental text of Taoism – describes in a splendid way the artistic vision of Pino Deodato. When we look at his painted terracotta artworks, when we look at its shapes and colors, we are surprised by an aerial, magical, lyrical and suspended universe. At its center stands the man, his figure, his presence. A little man, who plays, thinks, meditates, reads and observes. A little big man who is the symbol of us all.
Inside a box, a terracotta little theater, a seated man reads in a library filled with books, a rhythmic and dense form composed by minute rectangles. On a white cube, a man stays at the feet of a woman: a mother, a sister, a lover, a bride, the emblem of the miracle of life. A curved man looks out of the precipice of a high wall to scrutinize the abyss of possible nothingness, of the Void. To the side or closed in a box, sometimes the little curved man seems oppressed, defeated, humiliated. Then, in other playful and aerial installations, the terracotta is colored: here is the freshness of the blue, the happiness of the green water, the charm of the rose, the pureness of the white.
Deodato loves the elementary, candid and essential forms. He has a refined taste for a total, elegant simplicity. In a rare joy of shapes and colors, Deodato mixes reality and dreams, weight and lightness, depth and surface, man and butterfly.