L'estate 2020 un amico poeta, Massimo Bettetini, mi inviò la bozza del suo poema sulla Via Crucis intitolato "Nuda parola che salva", che sarebbe stato pubblicato da Internlinea, e mi chiese di fargli le tavole. Fui molto reticente, perché il sacro non l'ho mai voluto fare: ci hanno precedito artisti troppo grandi e artisti troppo piccoli lo hanno banalizzato nei nostri tempi. Ma alla fine si accese una piccola luce. Ho studiato molto la "imagineria" spagnola, sviluppatasi principalmente nel Seicento e poi imitata fino ad oggi. Presi frammenti di quelle immagini (con qualche eccezione a tono), le "bruciai" con Photoshop e poi le aggredii con pigmenti. Per vie un po' misteriose, come sempre, avevo raffigurato quel vedere e non vedere della fede e avevo inflitto alle figure segni di dolore.Il libro fu pubblicato nel febbrario 2021 e le tavole esposte nella Basilica di Santa Maria dei Miracoli a Milano tra febbraio e aprile dello stesso anno.


Un periodo di chiusura incerto, un caro amico che mi sproma: "torna al paesaggio!". Era Giuseppe Stampone.Prendo tele e tavole piccolissime e mi diverto (forse un po' troppo) a prosciugare l'idea del paesaggio.Sono piaciuti a tutti, (forse un po' troppo).


MANKIND WITH NO NAME  Photography was born in 1839 from the experiments of Daguerre and Talbot. And since 1850 it was already in common use.It was the first time that ordinary people could take a portrait. It was no longer necessary to be rich, a noble or a cleric and to pose before the painter. Photography  spread everywhere, in all the cities there were photographers who with their contraption could make you a portrait so true that no painter could have gone that far. Then they handed it to you carefully pasted on a card and you could give it to your children, grandchildren, the people dear to you, so they could  possess a fragment of you, your true imprint, not the painter’s artifice. The portraits we have left speak of living people, a captured instant of their lives, generously donated to posterity. But alas, We today will never know anything about those women and men who keep looking at us silent but alive. Walter Benjamin called it “humanity without a name”. “In Hill’s New-haven fishwife”, he wrote on one of these images, “her eyes cast down in such indolent, seductive modesty, there remains something that goes beyond testimony to the photographer’s art, something that cannot be silenced, that fills you with an unruly desire to know what her name was, the woman who was alive there, who even now is still real and will never consent to be wholly absorbed in art”.It is the miracle of photography and its enigma that remains. Not all photographers were artists, but all of them told the truth, even those who were reduced to retouching, to the theatrical setting, ostentatious, ridiculous even then.These photos from the second half of the nineteenth century are of ordinary and today anonymous people. But they scream like wandering spirits who want to talk to you, because they exist.Adding abstract stains on the photographs Michele Dolz seeks to bring these images to our present time. To make them thriving, so we can see these people too, as they seek to see us. And remember, and pay tribute to our past, our genitors, our families. Our society’s collective past is a subject that Dolz first started working on 2018 with an installation called Ecce Homo, a tribute to his grandfather and the people of Castellon, Spain, in the end of the 19th Century. It was made of a printed photograph on canvas and jute bags, showed in the same year at Catellón, and later on at The National Exemplar Gallery in NYC.Eneas CapalboNew York, June 20th 2019 Portraits lost and regainedBy Chiara Canali Graham Clarke, in The Portrait in Photography, states that portraiture is one of the most problematic areas of photographic practice: "Portrait photography is full of ambiguity at almost all levels, in any context". Since the dawn of the photographic portrait, the photographers have focused the problem of expressing in a single image an alleged "interior". A good portrait captures a moment of immobility in the daily flows of things, showing the interiority of a person. Fascinated by the strength and mystery of a multitude of long-lost personalities, Michele Dolz discovered and collected in the markets photos from the second half of the nineteenth century. Faces in the foreground or half-length portraits of anonymous, unknown people who disappeared in the depths of history, but who still declare their presence and relevance today through a single image, torn from the flow of social events. The portraits convey to us something of a bygone era, on which the patina of time has settled. On these portraits Michele Dolz intervenes by depositing acid spots, corroding the black and white of the surface, to bring to light the sign of individual existences and unrepeatable stories. Dolz turns to the past memory, the individual memory of our families and ancestors, and the collective memory of our society, and brings back the emotional experience. Memory thus becomes an intimate place, of inner experiences and lost emotions experienced in the past, but then reconquered and updated in the present. Aware that the image will perhaps survive, Dolz considers himself to be the fragile, transitory element, while the image is the future element, the element of duration. His final image thus acquires more memory and more future than he who looks at it hic et nunc, in the present of vision. 


EX VOTO Accade / che le affinità d'anima non giungano / ai gesti e alle parole ma rimangano / effuse come un magnetismo. È raro / ma accade. / Può darsi / che sia vera soltanto la lontananza, / vero l'oblio, vera la foglia secca / più del fresco germoglio. Tanto e altro / può darsi o dirsi. /Comprendo / la tua caparbia volontà di essere sempre assente / perché solo così si manifesta / la tua magia. Innumeri le astuzie / che intendo.Insisto / nel ricercarti nel fuscello e mai / nell'albero spiegato, mai nel pieno, sempre / nel vuoto: in quello che anche al trapano /resiste. / Era o non era / la volontà dei numi che presidiano / il tuo lontano focolare, strani / multiformi multanimi animali domestici; / fors'era così come mi pareva / o non era. /Ignoro / se la mia inesistenza appaga il tuo destino, / se la tua colma il mio che ne trabocca, / se l'innocenza è una colpa oppure / si coglie sulla soglia dei tuoi lari. Di me, / di te tutto conosco, tutto / ignoro. /EUGENIO MONTALE (Satura, Milano, Mondadori 1971).


My name is Llorenç Benedito. I was born in Castellón in 1860 and now I am dying in my own bed on June 14, 1938. The bells of my funeral are the bombs of the approaching nationalists.They told me that when you die you see your whole life. They told me the truth. I am frightened neither by death nor the encounter with God. But the question remains as to what I leave here below when the bombs stop and this dirty war against each other in our own land ends. To the world I have given two daughters and a vast expanse of rice fields.Grandpa showed me the stars. For all of them he had stories. And I gawked at the sky on summer nights. I, Pepita, his favourite granddaughter. Grandpa was tall, blond, with light eyes, handsome and strong. He had a benevolent look.None of us were born when he undertook, alongside other men, the epic enterprise. They transformed the Serradal bog into rice fields. The water was not lacking, but to overcome and subdue it was memorable. He did not boast, he had done it and that was enough. Kilometres of rice fields. And in a piece of his land he built a cabin. In order to look at the stars.He sat on the plough behind the horse. The plough penetrated the mud, the beast tired. The grandfather hummed old melodies, maybe he prayed.Now that I am leaving, I do not care anything for all that. I care that my daughters and my grandchildren will find the work done. They will reap the benefits. If this filthy war is silenced. How much hatred and betrayal. I, who will soon die, have forgiven them.Everything is taken, everything is chargedthe holy back of the Earthwhat walks, what sleeps,what frolic and what pity;and he's alive and he's deadthe Indian drum of the Earth.(Gabriela Mistral)My Grandfather died on the last day of the war, but not the last of the anguish. They locked his body at home to run to the shelter, the goddamn bombs. They buried him in a common grave along with all the dead of battle.And when the dream comesto extend and take meto my own silencethere is a great white windthat knocks down my dreamand the leaves fall from it,they fall like knivesabout me bleeding me.(Pablo Neruda)When I was a child I never heard of great-grandfather Llorenç. I lived, yes, the last years of those fields of Serradal. We spent summers kneading in a new farmhouse. Grandparents, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings. Large paellas, a lot of desert and wild beache. Baths in the ditch and children's excursions on a raft in the channels that the ducks crossed.The harvesters arrived from some distant and mysterious place and they watered the fields in the sun with the mud up to their knees. Sometimes they allowed me to do their job. And the Grandmother (mine, the mother of my mother Pepita) prepared memorable sandwiches and salads. The sacks, jute sacks full of rice, sacks and more sacks that those men wore on their backs.I met the birds, the frogs, the snakes, the eels, the dragonflies, the butterflies. Mosquitoes and ointments against mosquitoes. They did not show me the stars, I discovered them myself. And at night time I looked at them. They gave you vertigo.What are the roots that clutch, what branches growOut of this stony rubbish? Sun of man,You cannot say, or guess, for you know onlyA heap of broken images, where the sun beats,And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,And the dry stone no sound of water. (T.S. Eliot)That's how it went. That world died. They dried the Serradal for hygiene or for money. In exchange for nothing. We built another house where the reapers had sweated. Perhaps for the best. The dragonflies and the frogs and the snakes left. The canals were dirty. The beach was populated by bathers and beach bars. The noise came, a lot of noise, noise, noise.Nobody spoke of the great-grandfather, nor rice or salads. He was old, he was poor, he was ignorant and uncouth. He was an Ecce Homo.Michele Dolz

DE LA TIERRA, Spai Cultural Obert Les Aules, Castellón, Spain

CATALOGO: DE LA TIERRA, Una exposición de Michele Dolz. Ciclo Metáforas sinestésicas de Marte Modern Art Experiences. Espai Cultural Obert Les Aules. Diputación de Castellón. 

2016 - How Deep is the Ocean

Opere dense e simboliche, un colore stratificato e metaforico, una stesura dove la materia cromatica vibra di fermenti vitali: nel suo recentissimo ciclo, Michele Dolz lavora attraverso codici allusivi in una pittura che suggerisce una riflessione complessa e articolata sull’animo umano e sui suoi arcani.Il titolo è ripreso dalla canzone How Deep is the Ocean di Irving Berlin e si ispira anche a un’altra canzone, Com’è profondo il mare di Lucio Dalla: due testi che si riferiscono alle profondità dell’uomo, a sentimenti d’amore e di dolore e ad abissi inconsci, alla libertà e alla sua limitazione, alle ascese e alle cadute, alle passioni, alle emozioni e alla loro cancellazione. 

2015 - Still Life 200

Nell’arte della pittura – in quanto distinta, si osservi bene, dall’arte del colorire – quello che conta è stimolare in qualche modo la coscienza dei valori tattili; affinché il dipinto valga almeno l’oggetto rappresentato, nella capacità di stimolare l’immaginazione tattile.  (Bernard Berenson)


Il pesce non sfugge (S. Ambrogio)