Memories in review
This image is based on the movie named Nostalghia from 1983 by Andrei Tarkovsky. As the title indicates, it's about an individual who is thinking about the past, nostalgically reviewing his memories. The memories are represented in the foreground as over-sized paintings in the center of the composition.
The overall composition of the image is symmetrical. In what seems to be a hallway of memories, I depicted a framed painting in which we can see a landscape and behind it, two other secondary frames. In this way I point that multiple memories are being reviewed, not just one. The nostalgic man is depicted with his back, on the right side of the composition. He is looking at the leaving woman, painted inside the framed landscape. He is very small in comparison with his own memories, the framed paintings. This could be interpreted in multiple ways: he had a glorious past or that the past is "heavy", perceived as a burden, something is hunting him even in the present and he cannot let go. Because he is looking at the woman, it might support the second interpretation. He is still missing her.
The painting shows a woman walking on a country road. The road begins outside the painting, on the floor of the hallway, in the present time. In the framed painting, it ends somewhere by converging to the horizon line. I try to suggest that there's always continuity between the past and the present, the connection of every individual with his own past, it is the life line.
Above the central painting, I depicted a ghost-like Madonna, half-transparent, against a really bright light at the end of the hallway. The Madonna has a bright halo and she is framed mainly by the walls of the hallway and also with a subtle play of light. The way it looks like, might remind of iconography. By how she is positioned in the composition, above and behind the paintings of the past, I suggest she is an ubiquitous presence in his life, she has the role of a guardian angel, a protector. This element in the image, is a religious one. So, I point out the presence of the divine and its influence on his life.
The heads placed on the walls of the hallway, may represent the multitude of people we meet over time, people that had been part of our past, who we knew for some time. Or... they might be those people that judge and criticize at varying levels the past we had?
The image was accomplished in three stages. The first step was to create a painting that would remind the viewers of the first sequence from the movie Nostalghia, the moment when the title "Nostalghia" appears. I avoided a faithful reproduction of the landscape, because I did not want to copy the image itself, just to remind people of it. In the second stage, I made a picture which would resemble somewhat with scene at the end of the movie where the main actor sits in a light snow between stately columns. The third stage was to combine the two different paintings I made. So, I decided to integrate in the second image the first one by placing it in a frame, like a painting, as a recording of a past event. I hope that in this way I managed to cover in a visual manner the beginning and the end of the movie.
For the Madonna I painted, I had as reference and inspiration the movie scene where the lead actress unveiled her breast in the front of an opened window.
The overall surface of the picture has a crusty and rough texture work to emphasize the difficult situation that some nostalgics find themselves in.