Planet Earth

Limited edition photographs Fine Art print

– MIA 2017 PIANETA TERRA#2 è stata selezionata da BNL per “Curators Guide”
– Affordable Art Fair 2017 Milano il progetto è stato segnalato sulla rivista ARTRIBUNE
– WOPART Work on paper 2018 Lugano

Whenever people engage with nature and are fascinated by it, they feel an inner need to convey their ability to marvel at the world to others. While, in the past, the medium chosen to this end was painting, nowadays it is often photography and, inevitably, the question arises as to what extent the artistic aspect is capable of reflecting the deepest significance of what we observe or is only able to represent its outward appearance. There are, however, forms of art like those created with great skill by Lia Stein in which the reflection shifts to another plane because the images cannot merely be observed, but, in order to be fully appreciated, demand very careful attention. The photographer presents us with pictures expressing a strange sense of mystery: this is due to the frontal shots that isolate the subject from its context and transform it into an imposing area within which both the whole and the details lose the sense of their dimensions, as if they were soaring into in space. The light skims over the surfaces in which what appear to be gashes open up: a sequence of white, black, ochre and grey creates veining effects that are so unusual that they could perhaps exist in worlds far from our planet and, for this reason, be all the more fascinating. However, it is from the sharp lines of the clefts made, one intuits, by a machine capable of carving, polishing and sawing that we are aware we are looking at the walls of a quarry. Those who believe that minerals are inanimate will find much evidence to the contrary here: intrusions, oxidization and colours preserve the traces of ancient upheavals, extraordinary compression and remarkable and tremendous movements of blocks that may have occurred when human beings did not yet live on the Earth they now observe and transform. What photography gives us, Stein says, isn’t a static moment in nature, but is rather emphasis on a landscape that we know is destined to change rapidly as soon as other cuts and excavations create different faces and surfaces, and further traces to follow. Maybe they will reveal, hidden in a niche where, who knows how, a bright green shrub has managed to grow: it seems to look out into the void as if it wished to stress the vitality of nature as it continuously comes into being, but that in this picture finds its momentary identity. Indeed, by carefully observing these photographs, we can discover details, follow traces and sense atmospheres that at first escaped us and now, instead, help us to enjoy making new discoveries. And this, come to think of it, is a splendid metaphor for life itself.

Roberto Mutti

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