Carma, or chromatic folly (by Leo Strozzieri)

Seen superficially and at first sight, the huge quantity of works visually dominating Carma's large studio in the historic city center of Isernia allows us to understand why she is defined an artist of privilege and pursuit. Privilege because the vital force inspiring her thought processes and restless fantasy is remarkable; pursuit because of her success in constructing an individual identity, with solid originality, along the typically 20th-century linguistic paths so familiar to her (Futurism, Surrealism, Expressionism and the Abstract, Pop Art and the Informel school). Therefore, her work is never grounded on a cultural void. Critics sometimes hesitate to speak well of a painter unless he/she has already established an acknowledged place in the history of art. In the case of Carma, we cannot help but use terms of praise for her work: for the vigorous frontal immediacy of her painting, a vigor with which she breaks down and recomposes her images while exalting the structural properties of space.

Her vast production has progressed along a taut rope, be it with regard to her signature marks or to that of her materials. The force of her gestures is so fundamental to her painting that certain fluctuations belong to the realm of the Fauves, while the sounds in the background are those canonized by the "COBRA Group."
Carma has developed a method for slipping the force of her personality into her color and emblems: her method is that of rapid, violent brushstrokes applied with an instinctive objectivity and without second thoughts. This results in works never permeated with Romantic sentimentalism, even when potentially justified by her subject matter.

Her painting is substantially powerful and neo-Futurist, in which everyday themes are treated irreverently and anything but realistically. We see human figures, animals, flowers, landscapes, self-portraits and many other elements of reality as the painter dreams of them, as phantoms in the midst of a chromatic magma. The violence she applies to anatomical forms is often remarkable, and the fragmentation of her images finds its pictorial medium in the violent timbre of her color, dense to the point of being tactile and thrust on her surfaces with an Expressionist relish.

Considering her cultural credentials, she believes that painting and, in general, all forms of art must provoke strong emotions rather than echo reality. These emotions must be felt first of all by the painter who is entirely committed to his/her subject matter, and must then flow onto the viewer, amazing him with the constructions of chromatic folly he sees.

The persistence of such a turbine of color clearly succeeds in throwing light on the intimate personality of this artist from the Molise region deserving of a Utopian connotation. For Carma tends to imagine a world tormented by the well-being of freedom and anarchy. This is her pictorial world and therefore her dream, which, as long as it remains within the bounds of aesthetics, can be considered possible. Otherwise it becomes Utopian. She never allows the viewer to see anything but this Utopia in her painting. It is altogether fascinating precisely because of such absurd dreams of freedom taken to extremes. Her solid classical training impels her to color the thoughts she expresses with an ideological substance: this results in a tangible psychoanalytical impact in which a playful sentiment achieves its goal. In essence, this gifted Molisian artist tends to view the reality surrounding and providing her inspiration, with a detached and infantile eye.

She is more tempestuous when accumulating certain perceptions on which her truly joyous compositions are oriented. As she feels no need to look back to over-serious philosophical citations, she facilitates a stimulating fruition of the work for the viewer, almost as if she were creating a world yet to be discovered.

In terms of current artistic linguistics, it could be said that Carma participates in the "New Fauve" school which swears at least ideological allegiance to intolerance. Her painting implies various forms of intolerance for the classical canons of composition or for the harmonious juxtaposition of colors. But hers is a pacific intolerance, just as the terms she uses are a magnificent justification of an anarchical view of life. An anarchy which identifies with fantasy and the systematic abolition of solidity which represses every form of creativity.

This entails a broadening of horizons toward forms at times surreal, capable of embarrassing the viewer with scarce mental agility. In other words, Carma's painting seems to be lost, beyond conventional limits, in that great sea of fantastic weightlessness and she clearly feels no need for her subjects to be important and recognized; they are extremely simple (such as a cat or a horse or the face of a young girl) while, at the same time, subjected to the immoderate fury of her fantasy which transforms everything into a playful and, therefore, unrealistic depiction.

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