Orribles Gros Moches
In his novel «I Am A Legend» Richard Matheson tells us the story of this last survivor of the human race, captured by mutants which, before killing him, see him as monster as they’ve become the new «norm».
The story that Coda is telling us combined with his anxious questioning of our possible future isn’t far from Matheson’s: is our destiny also to become mutants? Facing the chemical, bacterial and nuclear threats caused by our developing society, will our beautiful humanity soon only be a legend, giving the place away to GMOs which will be then, at its turn, the new «norm»?
The raised issue is even more frightening than the proposed figures. On the contrary, they don’t yield to the greenish cadaver with slimy mouths , hanging tongues and cloven-footed cliché. Of course, these unbelievable anatomies don’t look like our precious figure, but these outrageously, over developed bodies breathe a life we can feel under a tensed skin. They’re here, standing, assuring their insolent presence, largely filling the space of the canvas, even going over the edges, tensed muscles, erected ahead of this deep black which, if it shows nothing, implies their unlikely presence.
As we face all these images, the shock is violent: mixed feelings of intense aesthetic pleasure and nagging worry? Aesthetic pleasure, indeed; if today the concept of beauty is still meaningful, then yes, these images are beautiful. The touch is large, generous, brutal and yet sophisticated. Here, there’s no trick or artifice; the attack is frontal, without return, powerful, risky: the material is rich, alternating matte and shine, highlighting the light, exaggerating volumes.
Unique and undeniable presence, we search in vain for the loans; they are there, to take or leave. Yes, they are beautiful these inhuman mechanisms that trigger our imagination! As for the the concern, it is certainly less plastic than the projections it creates, that causes it.
Arturo Zabeta-Paroldi - Painter and art critic - Roma, December , 2013