Art exhibition in Otley
West Yorkshire


Courthouse Street, Otley
LS21 3AN - West Yorkshire
Tel: 01943 467466


Roberto Bono at Otley Courthouse
from 01 to 28 February 2010
Vernissage Sunday 07 February at 19.00
Sicilian Wine kindly offered by Tenute Adragna
(First time in UK)

Paintings by Roberto Bono
minimum two
Double paintings








Last Exhibition in London


Last Exhibition in Sicily


'Fun through Paint!'
Experimental activities London








Email the Artist






“I really like Roberto’s art – it’s so honest, innocent and direct, and the colour and form seem to just come directly from the image itself, without all sorts of stuff being projected or brought in from outside – it’s just like Roberto interacting with the light – or something really basic going on between the coloured light, his eyes, his hands and the coloured paint – but that light is so pure and mediterranean – how can he deal with the light and weather in Yorkshire?”

Anyway, that’s roughly the sort of thing I remember thinking, seeing the wonderful light, and the play of colour and form in what Roberto makes. I wish I could put it better – but really, the painting speaks for itself much better than anything I can say. I suppose I have a sense of the work being a kind of ‘meditation’ in front of a developing image and support (that’s what the French call the physical frame in which the painting is made – or for Roberto, perhaps, ‘occurs’).

I mean: I have a sense – which seems like a kind of ‘infection’ by the painting – that there’s this surface, and Roberto’s (or not even Roberto’s, in a way) strange Sicilian eyes, and the pigments and a brush or palette-knife or something, and hands, and of something then just happening – a sort of interaction (and, in Otley, not with the world and light immediately outside, because I think Roberto actually works physically cut off from ‘the world’ outside on the Leeds Road – but with a pure clear mediterranean light that’s always there for him, and somewhere for me). An interaction that Roberto just lets happen, so that everything happens, and ends up, on the coloured surface or surfaces, and the colour and form ‘speaks for itself’, without anything being brought in from somewhere else to confuse that simple self-expression – or ‘play’ - of light and colour.

So, in the end, it’s that force of light, left so purely to express itself, that really hits me whenever I see the work and am overpowered and calmed by it. I could go on and on trying to express this better, but I guess I’ve already said far too much, but not nearly enough.

The bottom line is, I suppose, precisely that the paintings – unlike so vcery much that goes by that name, really do ‘speak for themselves’, because Roberto has discovered how to let them, without bits of his ego trying to take them over or claim them, or speak for them.

I was really struck by this dramatic dimension in the ‘Beautiful Day’ and how it works as a ‘play’ of colour and form in the dramatic sense. Bit like a sort of abstract – or maybe I mean concrete – ‘cinema’, a kinematics of colour and form, rather than of ‘things’ (whatever they are). As though each element in the series is, say, one ‘side’ looking forward, another looking back, in a series of steps through a cycle of creation.

I can’t help wondering what would happen if Roberto took the whole series and, with his computer, ‘morphed’ it into a sort of ‘evolving’ image on the screen. Actually, ‘screen’ and ‘slice’ seem in some ways better words for the two-sided elements than ‘surface’.

There is, again, so much more to say, and it’s all of course redundant, really – noise which detracts and distracts from the silent ‘cinema’ of the painting(s). But the fact that I feel drawn irresistibly into these attempts at narrative whenever I try to ‘say something’ in response to the images, for me just underlines again their dramatic force – and their ‘truth’ (which is probably the best one-word description of the work as a whole).

I can’t help thinking of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nude descending a staircase’, and vague memories of those Italian ‘futurists’ (Boccione? Balla?) who tried to bring time into Cubism. Again, it’s mostly a ‘distraction’ and indeed a waste of time to think too much this way (my pathology) – but since I was thinking anyway, I couldn’t help coming back to that analogy from almost exactly a century ago – building up compositions, almost musically, from different ‘slices’ in space and time through the ‘same thing’. One of the great um, things, for me, in Roberto’s work, is that the ‘things’ that arrest a cubist construction at one particular point in the space and time of things, seem to dissolve in Roberto’s series into, well, that ‘play of light’.

Do you know how people often represent a film - another good word, perhaps - on the Net by a sequence of ‘screenshots’ or ‘screens’? Couldn’t help think of that either, when I saw the Beautiful Day sequence on the website.


Martin Joughin

Otleycourthhouse website