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The intense exhibition activity of the “Museo Gipsoteca Canoviana”of Possagno, Treviso, continues with the Trieste painter Piero Conestabo.

CONESTABO’s art is the manifestation of the subtle and at the same time rich energies that enliven his actions. He instinctively handles organic materials with extreme violence, but is capable of uplifting the strokes of his paint brushes and crayons to sheer light vibrations, with barely perceptible shades of colour. Cutting, sharp, accurate, he casts his spell on flowers as well as ‘other’ forms of vegetation, those we all come across in our everyday life, tyre carcasses, industrial residues, plastic; stunned-lives are sealed onto paper or canvas supports by brush-strokes of the same bitumen from which they are derived. He conveys to us the carnal passion with which he enquires into the catalysis of lingerie. Mirror of an immaterial Eros, he bears witness to the way in which pleasure is acted today, with appearances void of substance that cautiously take their distance from the subject, feeding with silks and lacework a bulimic consumption of forms averse to the self. Conestabo expresses his pained outlook on life walking without hesitation the thread strung between fortuitousness and rational image, towards an ‘elsewhere’ forever being defined, never revealingthe roads he walked, but elaborating them again and again with new, endless approaches.

PIERO CONESTABO was born in Trieste in 1952. He attended the Arts School (Istituto d’arte) “E. Nordio” (Ugo Carrà, Ladislao Degaus, Miela Reina), and started exhibiting in the 1970’s. He prepared personal and group exhibitions in Trieste, Milan, Modena, Rome, Genoa, Pesaro, Gorizia, Ferrara, Verona as well as abroad in Austria (in Spittal, Salzburg, Graz, Wien), Slovenia, Portugal, Great Britain, Sweden, North America (Toronto, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Vancouver) and in Asia (Tokyo, Tsukuba; Honk Kong, the Seychelles). His studio is located in Trieste 34129, in Via Fonderia 5.


… Are we not wandering
through an infinite nothing?
F.W. Nietzsche

Matter is objective and neutral.
On the other hand it is forever bound to be entirely dominated by the faber who weighs and moulds it at his will, and often gives it very little consideration, hence forgetting its function of existing and lived experience, a raw nerve in the design for the conclusion of the master piece.
And yet it is not always so.
Situations in fact sometimes exist that unexpectedly overturn the consideration given to values, and the implementation of the mechanism presiding over the process of creation, whenever the author produces a semantic destabilization of the traditional final outcome. Such diversity of intents is brought into being every time the visual score of the work evidences, in the mapping of the image, the fundamental importance taken by the constituent matter in that process: so much so that it appears as an independent linguistic term, that becomes a characterizing element, in an archaic revelation of the primeval force of Nature: a new proposal, in space, of a physical realitythat may be acceptable in a perspective of stagnationand movement, design and concreteness that does not ignore the plastic epiphany of the tense and evident form, thus giving a tangible character to a controlled and verifiable sphere of knowledge.
This certainly is the methodological intent that urges onPiero Conestabo, who in fact does not consider matter as a physical aggregate, only useful insofar as it can express the result of his creative effort. The painter actually forces himself to return to it, in art, its role as the authentic essence of Nature, a physical body which, in its visual steadfastness, causes abstraction and the idea of total art to persist in osmosis. Proceeding in this way, he composes the actual work, and gives it vitality by advancing itto generating theme, the decisive protagonist of a new creation within the work of art.
This inclination, that has formed Conestabo’scommitment for many seasons now, has thus driven his effort to analyze the expressive visibility of a great variety of aggregates, especially projecting his choice towards substances germinated in Nature as well as scraps of matter, wrecks left at the margins of consumer society.
Through processes of elaboration that appear to have evolved from the conceptof an objective presence into the evidence of such elements, the artist manifestshis successful mastery and mimes, in his graphic and pictorial exercise, exciting portrayals, that compose an image of spaces and volumes, constructed through elements that reveal the hidden core of things.
One can therefore say that Conestabo has coherently followed an itinerary, that he collects background information through trials that entail the evidence of matter as their fundamental motor: this has already been witnessed by the intact scraps of tyre treads with the traditional texture of the grooves on the surface, to offer a fascinating synthesis of pattern and the trace of a conceptual geometric figuration. And again the paintings with colours, distilled from soy, and the present-day ones, based on the fluidification of bitumen.
Matter then stands out as the official stamp of the most authentic identity in Conestabo’s work.

CARLO MILIC, June 2006.

The artist, Piero Conestabo, gathers a series of images and suggestions from a Europe no longer divided by borders where people with their ideas and merchandise move in absolute freedom contributing to a common well being and progress in a conflict-free atmosphere of serene comparison.
For this work, on paper, along with the traditional media, the artist uses tar – more and more so today a protagonist of our daily life - tyres, smog and soot, our closest neighbours, in a sort of creeping desertification that Conestabo, constantly aware of reality, denounces and redeems with his art work, fruit of a long and patient process that begins with a very bare sketch gradually taking shape until completion through a fabric of woven pencil lines, tempera and tar.
The subjects are tyre marks that weave a communication route from one country to another, a guitar which captures the different dialects in its melody, an oasis for truck drivers, a wheel of fortune that puts ideas into circulation. “ ……. I think of industrial development no longer as a scarecrow, but as a wave of energy flowing across the nations bringing with it economic development and respect for the environment, spaces for social events, the opportunity to promote culture. I thank the Wartsila Group for supporting this new current of sensitivity which is sweeping across the planet …..”
Not far from his new studio, in the throbbing heart of Triest, we catch a glimpse of the sea with its suggestiveness.

Piero Conestabo was born in Trieste in 1952, city where he still lives and operates. He frequented the Art College of “E. and U. Nordio” in Triest beneath the mentors Miela Reina, Ugo Carà and Ladislao De Gauss. In the same time he sacred in the 1976 at an intense artistic activity which pay back to him with numerous recognitions in national and international branches.
He frequents actively, sometimes as a promoter of initiatives, the regional and national artistic surroundings, maintaining tight contacts with foreign countries, and specially with Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Germany. He frequented the International Seminary of xylography, by the “Centre of International Graphyics” in Venice, having there interesting meetings with masters of international fame as Luigi Spacal and Nelson Dominguez. He frequented, always in the “Centre of International Graphyics” in Venice, a specialized course of drypoint below the guide of a famous French engraver Robert Simon. On suggestion of the director of the Institute, Enzo Di Martino, the same Centre was the editor of some of his graphyics collected in folders. Exactly two of those, “Light” and “The Wind of nothing”, published and edit by the “Centre of International Graphyics” in Venice, were the inspiration for two novels of the writers Mario Stefani and Ivo Prandin.
Near the artistic activity, he dedicates himself as “THE CONESTABO’S ART STUDIO” at the arrangment of events and exhibitions. For several years his “CONESTABO’S ART GALLERY” is present in numerous national and European fairs, proposing many artists of the international level.
Piero Conestabo
Via della Fonderia, 5 – 34129 TRIESTE
Tel. + 39 040 370274, cell. +39 335 8273449
The river of time in Conestabo’s art represents a particular flow: its course isn’t made of water but of energy, in fact it isn’t flowing from the source to the sea, but it gets constant and copius inversions of the route. The Conestabo’s time, doesn’t fallow a linear elaboration but a circular one: past, present and future are the equal fragments of an immense artistic discourse, made of citations, researches, retriavals and repentine accelerations, because that is the Time of the Human being.
The deep emotionality of the artist is esplicated continuously; in every canvas we can feel the beat of the earth, the original item of the creation energy, we can assist at the evolution of wheat germs, like symbols of life and sustenance, we fallow the roots which amplificate it self between the douching of pitch and grounds, mixed in a classical and never forgetted tradition.
But between the mellowness of the length we can see new elements that destabilize, that wink at our actual sense; then the materials change course and become a vulcanized and suffered tyre of the pneumatics found near the roadway, where the routs of travelers cross the routs of artists, change in visions of plastic. Bloom again in new life, out of their original context and rised up to the artists material, through the ritual of winepress, in the gesture of spilling the pollin of the pigments and of the pastels.
In this way the natural and the artificial crossover indissoluble, in the creative harmony which, like a bubble, contains the feelings of the artist and the emotional answers of those who are looking. In this journey the muddy and wrappy colours can kindle an unexpected modish injury.
The colour shows between the tonality of original nature, hurl in the textures which animate the surface, burst into the space of the canvas and it seems that it wants to get over the board, passing through the cyclic time of creation. The river then becomes a vortex, a breath that whispers, that exalts and captures our senses.
Lorella Klun
…in Conestabo’s art the present and the past play resolutive rules, but the largness of the concern as temporality reaches the overflow in the imminent, subjugate by a culture of communication, which pushes on a obligatoriness total consumption (and that in order of the paradox includes the ritual canons of the image of art).
Therefore him adopts substances and actual icons, citations of contemporary myths, synthesis full of allusions and anyhow that profusion of angularity, all different, to pick the hic et nunc of a time, that every minute is wearing out and obligates to rimodulate in schemes that seems maybe only in appearance inedit, generates thrilled intersections in results and on the technical flat and on the expressive formulation. Conestabo’ s art is the manifest of thin and heavy energies that together animate his acting. He works istinctivly with organic materials using extreme violence, but he knows how to elevate the stroke of brushes and penciles to pure vibration of light, with tones of colors merely perceptible. Sharp, dry and precise, together with the flowers charms other vegetations, those who are familiar with our daily doing, shell’s of tilts, industrial residue, plastics: knock out natures gets silled on supports of paper or canvas with brush strokes of bitumen of which drifts out.
He transmit to us the carnal passion with whom he inquires on the catalysis of the lingerie, mirror of an immaterial eros, being so a witness in which way act’s the today’s pleasment, in empty appearences of the subject, the cautious take a distance from it, feeding with thirstness and lace a bulyimic consumption of alien shapes of themselves.
Conestabo expresses his suffered vision of life going without hesitation through the tight cord between fortuity and thoughtful image, in the direction of elsewhere always to define, never cheating, but working out again the roads already runed with new and inexhaustible approaching.
Carlo Milic, 2001.
The Dagherrotype, invented by Jacques Louis Mandè Daguerre fixed the latent image sentisizing the silver salts, but he didn’t have one of the most important characteristics of photography: the reproduction, because as so through the negatives you can realize an almost infinite number of positives.
Making a miniature of an image was considered a miracle of accuracy and perspective precision. The shock that compose the immortalizing forever, the nature, a place, a gesture, in one fracture of second is gone. Those were the where the impressionist catched the sensational aspect of light in the moment, translating it in bright paintbrushes. Faraway was the pictorial reproduction or magnify photography of everyday objects (years 60/70). Conestabo investigates, classify, register, nullifying himself in the rule of medium, the nature cought here in her phyisic aspect, pressed and reproducted in formats 1:1, sconsacrated with the garbage that is plastered on her in its origin, the prologue of exaltation, of the own of the own greatness. Conestabo begins inviting us to pay attention on the time that keeps going by, that living consumes, through the recovery, recycling the materials of our time, like those gigantic pneumatics as parts of dead trucks, that are crumbled and leaved at the edge of roads and speedways. Short is the step that Conestabo does, stretching out the eye on the surrounding nature, that has been violated with the garbage of a blind consumism. It’s like the “Papalagi” * mend’s one way as in the lection of his Tuiavii of Tiavea: “When I ride through a village, I can pass it fast, but when I am on foot, I can see more and my friends call me in their cottage. Arrive fast to one destination it’s rarely a profit” – and therefore with a citation of the novel – “the papalagi passes running through his life, without peace, forgets the please of walking and wandering, to move happy to the destination that comes to us and that we don’t search”. Pictures that send us back again to run our life in visible fragments, concius maybe of their existence, only approximately.
Renzo Grigolon
Tuiavii of Tiavea wise indigenous headman of the Samoa islands, had a journey in Europe at the beginning of this century, getting in contact with uses and costumes of “Papalagi”, the white man. He got blazed impressions which he could use with his people to save them of the perverse occidental charm. Eric Scheurmann, german artist friend of Herman Hesse, published it. “Papalagi” is the entological concordat on the tribe of whites, exhilarant and atrocius.
The consumption of pornography is in continous increase. The cause? Today is more the practiced sex or the solitary, imagined and fancied one? The pornography and the prostitution are two systems accepted to maintain our Society on acceptable levels of life; an interlude that permits to us the continous tran – tran. Eros is a force that can’t be hold, that unhinges every convenience, that subverts every rule, throwing us in a vortex of the unknown. Maybe Eros is a way to reach our lost part, but not a lot a them can put in the game everything they have to find it, because the result is never certain. What is the pain that the lost love leave to us. Sometimes that pain mutilate us forever. So why should we take a risk? Maybe that wish to remain eternal adolescent brings to us the difficulty nowdays to have relationships, the impossibility to take care in a responsible way of our desire, of our contradictions. Be serious in love… Piero Conestabo face up to and compares himself to some audacious reflections, with his vision of sexuality, showing us the other creatures of desire, their’s propulsive energy, the gestures and allusions. Silky laces, rich crepe de chine, garter, tangs, brassiere, compound a dense mosaic of human attitude/habitude. It’s impossible to leave aside from them. Every aspect of our nature, exhibitionist, voyeur, fetishist, is walked by specific accessory. From time to time the production is different. The exhibitionism and the consumption of a false sexuality, empty shapes of themselves, security distance is opposed to joyful matches, free of false shame.
The desire push us to the unknown that can regenerate or gobble us. The artist venture himself in this zone of border with his courage, and reveals to us his discoveries.
The intimous tells us about femininity, desires, audacious thoughts that have the purpose to increase the pleasure of the body. It is the diary of relations between man and women, the map of social uses, and a esthetics research that exalts the body, is the ability of the poetic thought of the stylist, is the manual ability of expert workers, is something magic, belong sorely at the Dream.
The thunder started at the beginning of the night, damaging with sudden slipstreams the invisible board of our perception which is the sky, sometimes assuming a form of one vibration of the earth propagating to the foundaments of this house where I , after a solitary choice, I try to leave a not accurate document but, certainly in first hand , of an irreparable fact: the invasion happened. Because that cosmic drum, that upsetting drum that came out of the sky and of the earth together, in a dramatic resonance, is the final bombardment. Now, in this moment, our city is possessed by viscous and mute hordes. Somebody said so: “they will be on like mould without color, maybe like the rain or like the celestial lichen: but they will fall on us, and around us, they will take us even if theirs hands and bonds are not like we know them. Thei will be foreigners not sensible at the reality and at the mistery of our evolution. The will take us and use us… so then, before it happens, be awake, become a wakeful sentry.” Yes, was said by different pulpits and desks. Before of closing up myself here, before of sealing off the apartment, I did gestures that everyone should do: made nervous by a certain protract thrill all over the skin, a real premonition, I went out in the afternoon and I buyed some mineral water, boxes, candels to add at the old light, leaved by my old ones and that is still in function. So now I can see papers and the surroundings of my person: the light of other times, the poor light of someone who needs to write in a city buried in the black put. The dark as a rolling shutter of silence has isolated us of the rest of the world. Then I could take advantage for a few seconds of a remaining light, maybe from the far sunset: a chasm of incandescence was enough – even overmuch – because my view registered the beginning of the big invasion. Yes, I can testify that from last night on our city we have a blooming of sinous shadows, big animated vegetals, celestial or red mould, and circles of static electricity hang over the crossroads and in the same time the air is cutted by flights of obscenity without name, of nightmares that the human conscience does not consider and that instead is achieveing in the dark. I have seen and I have heard. A smell of the ozone, it penetrates like a music of green fire, the blow of the wind that comes from nothing and that maybe will bring all of us in the nothing: the one that now is dragging us outthere, on the walls of the condominium, and it scrapes the asphalt and he inflates it with powerful root like a lava’s revenue, is the presence that we had been afeard off – on all the levels – and that no one, for Truth, has been indicated with one name, or has been defined with an ordinary physiognomy. Therefore, between a few, I captures that the threat was near. Its dark avant-gardes had already taken a place in the heart of the cities, or had been infiltrated in the shadows of forests where, you could have seen them flowing in particular conditions of light like an intense color, and mostly in the homes – those who their found opened – they taked place studying the residents, and maybe…
No, now the real problem is not of the persons: the storm runs down to us the vegetal fibres, or of any other nature, their messages are sequences of crossing vibrations. Who knows how they kill? Or, maybe, they don’t really kill, they are happy just making us harmless, in nature exist poisons that can paralyze… One moment: of which nature I am talking about? I think maybe, in the intimate, that this cape of green and mouldy warms is a part of this earth? The attack that comes before this long Human slavery at the superior race without face, is anyhow effective. The storm – I am still going to call it that way – has ruined the entire energetic system: the city is mute and submissive in every fraction of it, that can testify my apartament and my impossibility to receive the tv, radio and phone calls, the whole – then – realized with psychological thinness that get’s blind in the dark. The clouds on low altitude are discharging the rain hard as a avalanche, I don’t have the courage to aim with others, I don’t even try to get out of my landing and knock: even them, however, none of my neighbours came to express their solidarity… that is our hell. Our defeat is really a clamorus event, an apocalypse never tought and is over us like a predatory on his prey. The only possible rebellion, as I can see it, would be the suicide of all of us, to give at the beast that invades us an exterminate cemetery, a proud civility that denyies itself at the contagion and at the enslavement. But we should have the right dose of desperation and of madness to do it, starting by me. I am thinking, but is still a thought that has to be born, that maybe isn’t so painful the contact with those creatures that shows theirselves as the nocturnal storm!
No, there wasn’t any invasion. Two minutes ago it begin to work again: it announced that the damage caused by the storm has been sheltered, and the long black out is finished. The whole city is in revival, hers vital functions are assured. Everything is normal. My brother in law phoned me, apologizing for the late hour, but – he tells – he has lived some hours of anxiety for me. I answered something, a mumble. Indeed the intense thought hit me like a flash: did I maybe dreamed about those invadering monsters . if they weren’t out there, the hordes, they are in me.
Ivo Prandin, 1985
Sometimes can be enough one work, like in this case, to be able to succeed roundly and maybe to accomplished the own fantasy vision and the own poetic believe.
Like a pirenesian prison or an hallucinating Escher’s architecture, this Conestabo’s paper has in fact a extraordinary creational and expressive autonomy that can nullify every mark of the representation an of the temporality.
It almost seems that, in the moment that is placed in front of him, it represents himself, finally, without reaching anything else.
Describe, trees and figures, birds and object’s that are possible to trace in him appear so without senses, furious and maybe even useless. It can be also interesting how to mark two aspects that are common for this work: the first in an ordinal sequence it’s about the magic and unreal atmosphere that goes through the image; the second, processual, it’s refered on the specific technique of gravering that Conestabo uses. Which, as can be seen, is antique of the Slave, of the topshoal without bore’s, can be said, able to decline the hardness of the mill, and in the same time, the silken softness of the etching.
So through that way Conestabo can give, and in the same time, incredible and attractive the description of figurative elements that lose the original naturality buying instead new and transfigured values, symbolic. At final we have the result of a work carried on a line of risk, fascinating and mysterious, capable of unexpected psychological reflections and unpredictable emotional implications.
Enzo Di Martino, 1984.
Maybe the strength of the light, almost as an auspicious gift, that pushes us to create, to love the objects, and to own them. They seem impenetrable and almost indifferent at our everyday living, they make us dream only because gloomyed by the solar or lunar light. And shines in their volumes even on the artificial light.
The secret and calm breathe of the objects is projected in us by the presence – absence of light. In fact at this ambiguous implication participate even the darkness that represent’s the night, the dark, the silence, the death. There is a continuous relation between the baroque shining and sometimes lunar and the presence of life and death. Reflects everything in a conflictual truth that is current in the man himself, like an antique battle between the good and the bad. The maleficent and precise, willfull and absolute in its dogma, like decomposing a face and giving to it age and passions, that is the way how the moon reveals the objects of magnificence and poorness, underlining always their needs and their superiority on our meat, because they live longer than the human. The objects if hitten of a ray look at us, they san us, but they don’t judge us. They attend and adore only the god time. In the most secret waiting they wait our vain games, whirl of interests, not hidden breathlessness of a “cupio dissolve”.
Because f that the art of Piero Conestabo, even in the topshoals, en mostly in them, reveals in his whole expressive energy, quite because she presents nude, essential, lean of every subject even ideological. It knows how to settle on us as a fine guest, and in the same time makes us a gift with a lyric singing extremely precise, boned, without slimes, of a rigorous potestant, extremely disturbing, new, deeply expressive and corrosive of the same reality.
Faust returns so like a master charmer that emerges in this graphic studies, almost as he had an energy and the power that can enchant everything, and than through a clever distruction, create a new renaissance.
The tautologyies live because of their weakness and feed many round tables, instead our Caonestabo affirm himself by himself, because that is the way that it should be, mercè his works are illuminated from the inside, that is, “sic et simpliciter”, by themselves.
Mario Stefani


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