Mente Morbida (soft mind): Gianluca Crudele’s Statement About His Painting Series | Oui.Gallery

Mente Morbida (soft mind): Gianluca Crudele’s Statement About His Painting Series

Gianluca Crudele is an Italian painter and designer based in Hong Kong. Currently as part of Oui.Gallery’s Group Exhibition Cantocore, Gianluca has two paintings of a larger series included, “The City Goes On Holiday” and “City Man”.

The definition of “Mente Morbida” is something that I hold very dear. In its English translation it means soft mind, where “mente” translates literally to “mind” while the word “morbida” holds a special character making its Italian equivalent far more interesting. Part of that depth relates to the meaning of the same word, “morbid,” in English and most other Latin languages, something noir, related to death and illness. Going to the source, all these words derive from the Latin word “morbus,” or illness, and therefore in English, as in French, Spanish and Portuguese, the meaning stays much closer to the original latin word.

How come the Italian word changed so much? The answer lies in the concept of ‘softness’ that the word expresses. Originally inspired by soft flesh, weakened by sickness, there is something in the idea of decay and ruin that Italians hold dear. It is a sort of a cynical romanticism that over the centuries has been a formidable source of a more profound, lyrical Italian cultural understanding of the world.

I also hold this concept dear. I am not interested in the decadence, but the recovery. “Mente m Morbida” is the state of the convalescent mind, softened by illness, now. It is a perceptive state into which childhood memories, readings, remote imagery and everyday life is conveyed in highly lyrical compositions. This idea of softness ‘coming from illness,’ like in a state of convalescence and hypersensitivity reveals the world around us in vivid and intense atmospheres, its shadows protracting, its volumes becoming more solid.

我對「mente morbida」詞義有著十分喜愛、珍視的情感。

Gianluca Crudele為駐港義大利畫家和設計師。

把此詞中,「mente」有心靈之意,而「morbida」一詞解作柔軟、軟弱這麼一個性質,兩者合而為一便可解作柔軟的心靈。這些意思都使義大利語與有趣劃上了等號,有趣的原因乃來自於英語中「morbid」一詞。「morbid」可解作病態、痛苦,就和大多數拉丁語一樣,都是跟死亡和疾病等等相關的黑暗內容。若追尋以上種種的根源,就會發現它們的意思都來自拉丁語「morbus」,意指病苦。總括而言,當英語、法語、西斑牙語和葡萄牙語都和拉丁語的字根有著類似的意思時,為何意大利語的意思卻相差甚遠?答案就藏於「mente morbida」所表達出的柔軟。這種柔軟原本啟發自肉體的柔軟,因著意大利人珍視腐爛和毀滅的觀念,一種持續了好幾個世紀,以情感為先去看待這個世界的、令人深刻且憤世嫉俗的浪漫主義,令柔軟被病苦弱化了。

而我對此也很珍視,但卻不是當中的腐爛頹廢,而是頹廢過後的復蘇。而「mente morbida」就可算一種心靈康復期的狀態,它一度被病苦蠶蝕過,但現在又敏感起來。這種狀態就像是童年的記憶、讀物,又或是模糊的影像,與日常生活建構出高度抒情的感知狀態。這種源自於疾苦的「柔軟」,就像在節奏緊湊的聲色世界中經歷著重新回復感知的康復期,它的陰影正在延展,變得更加堅固。

About Gianluca Crudele

Gianluca Crudele, often under the pseudonym of Barlo, is an Italian painter and designer based in Hong Kong. Drawing since childhood, he started painting on walls at the age of 15, and later extended his creative exploration by studying design in Milan and Nottingham. After a brief experience in London he moved to Hong Kong where the quirkiness and energy of the city injected new blood into his artworks. After a long practice on the wall he started studying oil painting and representing his experiences and suggestions into canvas. Strongly influenced by metaphysics and magic realism, he paints the more profound “architectural” architectural spirit of his subjects, often charged with a sense of wonder and nostalgia.