The Myth of Origin

There is something inescapable about oneís place of origin. The first place(s) you live in are hardwired into your memory and consciousness. I moved away from the place where I was born at the age of ten, but it seems that all of my best ideas and notions are still influenced greatly by the relatively short period of time I lived there. But I am convinced that this dynamic at work in my life is not pure nostalgia. That is, it doesnít represent a time I am trying to recapture or return to.  Rather, I believe that what my little corner of Italy left in me is working at the core level of my being, that certain notions, attitudes, ways of seeing and thinking, were implanted in the very DNA of my identity and could hardly now be removed. As well, I am convinced of Faulknerís notion that "the past is not dead - itís not even past."

Then, just like that, you cross an ocean and you're in a new place.  It's a city, not a little town; people speak English there, not Italian; they eat different foods, play different sports, act a bit differently in public and in private: everything has changed.  How do you fathom the difference, how do you integrate it?  I don't know, I'm still in the process of doing it.  This duality is in many ways still my reality.  It's as if I exist in two worlds: one is the present one here in Philadelphia, the other is the Italy that was before (and first), and still exists in my mind and memory.  Sometimes they are at odds, other times they are more like a smooth continuum.  To be in one is to be in the other, and vice-versa.  Art seems to be one way to tie the two together: I try to make sense of it through the work and in the work.


The Persistance of Memory


Human actions take place in physical space, but only the first time.  All subsequent connections, realizations, understandings, and recollections which constitute a personís reality are formed after the fact, in the mind.  The entire sum of our past directs how we desire and act in the present. In this sense, all representations of reality in art are mental constructs, even when they originate from direct observation.

The events and thoughts depicted in my paintings are not temporally or spatially fixed, nor purely sequential.  I combine circumstances and images dealing with time, space, and memory which interpenetrate and act in multi-directional ways.  Forming whole thoughts out of apparently disconnected and often fragmented visualizations is the difficulty, but also the fun, of this game.  As an added challenge I use incongruous and diverse methods of representation: realistic, atmospheric, illustrational, flat, abstract, and whatever else seems to fit the particular work.  This creates a condition wherein elements may not cohere into a tidy whole and the meaning remains enigmatic: in other words, more like real life.
©  Anthony Silvio D'Aulerio  /  Art  &  Architecture
View of Roccavignale (Valzemola section), Liguria, Italy
View of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Anthony Silvio D'Aulerio
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