My paintings refer to the world of dreams, not in the sense of aspirations, obviously, but of the oneiric world, the "other life", or "other journey". This world has attracted me since childhood, at times frightening me intensely, but the fright also gave me the sensation of being before the work of some dark, powerful genie, and the privilege of witnessing its prodigies. This adventure involved all kinds of risks except the most fearful one of all: being bored. And since nothing is less boring than what is strange and mysterious, when I could, I tried to dream, even with my eyes open, until I concluded, later on, that not even the plainest and most obvious things were completely devoid of surprises.
When I was small, one thing that fascinated me greatly was the vision of the images of riddles, whose purpose I didn't grasp at all; not to mention puppet theatre, fairytales, and certain incredible characters and situations from those times. When I caught on to what riddles were about when I was older, it was a momentary disappointment but I understood how the power of the image can exceed its significance. My father drew warriors for me, storybook figures and historical characters, and at home, besides music and books, images were very important, and my mind was crowded with "visual thoughts". The smell of the paints and resins in his studio wasn't just the best smell in the world, it was life: everything we had derived from it.
My first monograph was given to me by my mother. The painter was Hieronymus Bosch and the consequences, in my paints, can still be seen today. Like all children I had fevers and, in the resulting bouts of delirium, incredible visions and sensations in which the imagination had to invent complicated ways out. In my sleep I had learned to fly beyond the horizon, and this was something priceless.

Today I think that truth nests in dreams, a special, intimate truth that is not necessarily exchangeable with reality but one that plays hide and seek and, above all, is unbound if not from time, at least from the crushing idea of it, which is the fundamental thing. There are no clocks, minutes and centuries play as equals, because it is always the same time there, cosmic time, or eternity, as Baudelaire says. The world of dreams is an obligatory place of passage where birth and death dwell indefinitely before something else occurs, if it does; and its mysterious key is common to both opposites. "Who we really are" has to be buried in it, therefore, like some black coffer at the bottom of the sea. It may also be, and is probably desirable, that this secret remains partly or completely inviolable, that its essence escapes us. But nothing prevents us, if not the fear of thinking, or its impossibility, from exploring this abyss and artistically representing its phantasmagoric flotsam and jetsam. Because, after the daily necessities of living, nothing regards us more profoundly than this secret portrait. If living is not navigating closer to it, it is merely inert ageing.

So in my paintings, the homage to dream activity blends with the memory of a magical childhood world since visionary wonder is common to both. There are people who see different things in them, make projections on them, there are those who add and those who subtract. Ambiguity is a prerogative of this genre of painting and maybe of art in general, of which, for me, the best simile is that of a bridge over which spiritual food passes. This means there also has to be an art of recognising it, besides that of producing it. As if to say that those touched by poetry are only those who are in turn poets, due to the sole fact of having succeeded in recognising the words, even if they themselves didn't have them.

To get back to paintings, after trying to sketch… the spirit that moves them, it would be better to let them say something in their own language, as would a music made of colours and shapes that come together and break apart, creating arabesques among the knickknacks of the soul and its tales, which are the DNA of dreams. I don't have all the keys to these locks, fortunately; if I did I wouldn't be so much presumptuous as boring. And … I would be easily bored too, because, already knowing how it ends up, I would miss the show from the outset every time.

Enrico Maria Gonzaga

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Draughtsmanship and fantasy are immediately seen as essential components in the paintings of Enrico Maria Gonzaga. But it is in the unfolding of his work over time that we can discern the varied contents of a life experience riveted on a platform of emotions, to which the mind makes its contribution in games of stimulation and in the excitement of interpreter of reality. Works that are an invitation to take cognisance of something that appears beyond the limits of common sensoriality and sinks into the unconscious. In discovery of humanity and what surrounds it we encounter infinite profundities and dimensions of impulses that replace the quotidian. The female figure is not without an erotic component, the male figure accentuates the visage of man and prefers the anatomical aspect.

The addition, the surrounding, the backdrop of the painting take on strength and importance above all else. An enormous backcloth, a stage where vices and virtues move about, ordinary symbols and motifs. Technique and themes made of graphics and colour mix, and also visions of moons, suns, circularities and dreams. It is the eternal becoming, life that flows without limits, images that visualise the continuum. Enrico Maria Gonzaga stands on the bank of the great river looking at the waters that flow murkily by, without knowing where they come from or where they go. They flow and that's it. Once in a while a trunk, a reflection, a flower. They come, they pass, they disappear. These signals distinguish him, the iconographic inventions identify him.
Enrico Maria Gonzaga enters into Surrealism. Nothing is as it appears, everything is subject to alterations and deformations. Symbolically, it is from the head of man that everything springs, it is there that ideas bud, metamorphoses steam, and even matter evolves. The Superreason is born, and the great Prophet, who indicates a reality that goes unseen or unappreciated because custom, fear, and boredom strip visibility from pure mental reality and metaphysical enjoyment. A refusal of romantic values and an unleashing of free will, hallucinatory phenomena that lead the mind to the extreme thresholds of illogicality to attain a new style of life, in complete freedom from conventions, to arrive at the unknown but appealing space and time of unreality. For this the artist juxtaposes disparate but extraordinary elements in his paintings, with results that are a bit repetitious, a bit obsessive, a bit macabre. In all this the concept of beauty has to be looked for on a plane of diversity.
The aesthetic is a throb of negation that is better suited to the toils of life, the impression is a masked void so as not to show the civilisation of precariousness. Enrico Maria Gonzaga enriches his paintings with colour that sharpens into reds, surprises with greens and freezes the whites; flowing, sinuous signs, squeezed eyes, winged horses that overfly stagnant waters and long-armed trees. A few particularities are repeated, other are symmetrical and mirror each other. Everything tends to create a rhythm, a mystery, a reading that can explore nature and its components like an arcane legend. Some approaches start from the figurative to look out onto panoramas where architectures thrust skyward, merging with the clouds.
Questioning female faces wear expressions of wonder on nights lit up by full moons and white phantasms. Enrico Maria Gonzaga the artist's son dislikes the great stage of visibility but he loves his world, even in the narrow confines of the walls of a studio, even amid the cemented spaces of the Metropolis, which the imagination can expand beyond all boundaries. Enrico Maria Gonzaga expresses and qualifies himself in his works, where culture and sensibility give us the signal of a contemporary topicality that brings the refinement and taste of their interlocutor.
The existential problem remains for humanity in general, it remains for us single individuals caught up in the mystifying gearwheels of society. It is cancelled and vanishes on the enchanted threshold of Enrico Maria Gonzaga, painter and artist.

Giorgio Falossi


Enrico Maria Gonzaga vive e opera a Milano, ha esposto in Italia e all´estero ed è figlio di Giovan Francesco Gonzaga (con cui ha collaborato), dunque figlio d´arte. Ha trovato sin da ragazzo una linea espressiva improntata al fantastico e all´onirco, coltivando contemporaneamente anche la passione per la musica e la scrittura. Le sue tematiche si sono evolute nel tempo verso una riflessione interiore tendente al filosofico e a una sorta di misticismo dualistico che traspare da certe immagini molto elaborate e complesse, immagini che spesso richiedono lunghi tempi di lavorazione. Oltre alla pittura ad olio, pur restando regina, Enrico Maria Gonzaga è interessato alle possibilità del ″nuovo mondo″ della grafica digitale, che concepisce però in maniera estremamente pittorica poiché, come lui dice ″Davanti al nuovo non bisogna rifiutare nulla, tranne la banalità, ma senza dimenticare da dove si viene″. Per Enrico Maria Gonzaga queste due tecniche hanno lo stesso grado di parentela che ha il teatro con il cinema che, per quanto artificiale o artificioso, prima ancora di nascere era già in fieri, nel modo che hanno gli uomini di sognare; quello che resta appannaggio esclusivo della fissità di un quadro è la sua vittoria sul tempo, da cui esce sotto forma di impronta, ovvero di icona.
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