The title of the exhibition refers to a fragment of Dante’s literary work. In the XXIII Canto of Purgatory, the Poet mentions a widespread opinion among medieval moralists, according to which the letters O, M, and O could be recognized in the structure of the human face: the eyebrows and the nose form a kind of “M”, while the eyes, as was the style of the time, give rise to the two “O’s” contained within the two loops of the “M”. The visual language and the verbal language, the image and the word, are a communicative game already known in ancient times and widely exploited in the contemporary world.
The genesis of these illustrations resembles that of childhood doodles. They emerge without a precise intention, as a spontaneous practice of relaxation and contemplation. The graphic gesture is the tool that leads to places of inner reflection, to the treasure of symbols and images that animate the profound stages of human existence. But unlike the inner universe of children, that of us adults is populated not only by images, but also by words and concepts. The game of combining language becomes complex; what began as a liberating, childish gesture turns into a search for meaning.
Paride Moretti (born in 1972 in Grosseto) graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and is a member of the academic staff at the University of the Arts in Florence. He is passionate about drawing and graphics and is the author of illustrated tables and artists’ books. A hobby that inevitably influences his work is wandering through antiquarian bookstores to peruse out-of-print or collectors’ editions in search of editorial curiosities as well as thoughts and influences outside of mainstream culture.