Michele Tocca. Repoussoir
Michele Tocca (Subiaco, Rome, 1983), painter, trained in Italy, Belgium and the United Kingdom. His painting starts from observation and live performance as a rethinking of the distances between process and metaphor, naturalism and its paradoxes, time and history. Working live, indoors and outdoors, the artist seeks a mutual actuality between painting in its making and the phenomena, the circumstances of the physical world. An identification whereby painting becomes from time to time rain, stain, wall, mud, jacket in a continuous overlap between sensory immediacy and the spontaneous reoccurrence of aesthetic problems, visual archetypes and critical reflections on unusual territories of history in the present.
The term repoussoir belongs to the history of landscape painting. It indicates an element placed in the foreground for the purpose of constituting an obstacle, a frame, a backdrop to open vision. It is an obstacle that raises the gaze in depth, determines its trajectory toward the visual focus of the painting. Tocca's entire painting can be read through the visual mechanism of the repoussoir: everything that is seemingly marginal, that is apparently only frame, disturbance, distraction, filter, everything that is evanescent, everything that stands out from what we expect, by habit, to find at the center of attention, acquires in his works full prominence and new meaning.
Michele Tocca. Repoussoir presents a relevant core of the artist's recent works such as the Aurelian Walls series, Vapors, Mud and his Painter's Rain Jackets. It contains a critical essay by Elena Volpato and some texts that Michele Tocca has dedicated to some landscape painters of the Italian 19th century, such as Antonio Fontanesi and Giovanni Battista De Gubernatis.
The book is published as part of the winning project of PAC2021 - Plan for Contemporary Art, promoted by the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture.