Yourban Soul. In Praise of Cities

Yourban Soul. In Praise of Cities

One needs to have a garden, a day out, a second home, a vegetable garden, fresh air… all of this in order to escape from the metropolis you live in. True, and yet, big cities still seem necessary. Le Corbusier described the city as: “the point of contact for the active elements of the world” (Urbanisme, 1925), because the exchanges, comparisons and stimuli which present themselves in a big city are experiences which are certainly influential in one’s character development.

2015---Milano-UP-web
The metropolises that Fabrizio Bellanca loves are New York, Boston, London, Barcelona and Milan, among others. First he observes them with a photographer’s eye, and then from the point of view of an artist. Bellanca’s works, revealing his past practise in typography and graphic design, move effortlessly between photography and painting, creating an identity of their own. The modern city, and large urban areas in particular, are the main protagonists in his work. He represents glimpses of details, architecture and the people who live in these metropolises. The strength of his works lies in their ability to be perfectly in tune with the eye of the viewer, regardless of his specific history, past or visual experience: the immediacy of communication is the trump card of Bellanca’s artwork. The shapes, superimpositions and small details create movement, which results in a kind of musical score in the entire composition. This is turn creates surprising and forceful effects, especially in the images with only a few colours, or even in those without colour, in which the subject is rendered exclusively in the play between black and silver, positive and negative.
Italo Calvino described the imaginary city of Zora like this: “a city that no one, having seen it, can forget. But not because, like other memorable cities, it leaves an unusual image in your recollections. Zora has the quality of remaining in your memory point by point, in its succession of streets, of houses along the street, and of the doors and windows in the houses, though nothing in them possesses a special beauty or rarity. Zora’s secret lies in the way your gaze runs over patterns following one another as in a musical score where not one note can be altered or displaced” (Invisible Cities, 1972). This pattern similar to a musical score is Zora’s secret – just like in Fabrizio Bellanca’s cities.

Elena Isella