“[...] Each thing, even the most banal, is so dense with meaning that is potentially infinite. And it is not so much the things in themselves, but this infinite of the thingsthat I try to hold in the painting, containing it there, glueing the objects in there, or even, simply, painting them because the mark can emphasize their spirit, take possession of the space. The mark is like a handwriting, it is the skeleton, the structure of the paint; this is why I always draw it in last, after having finished painting a picture.”
From the interview of Martina Corgnati to Nino Longobardi, Edizioni Sigma, 1991.
For Nino Longobardi, the ideal starting shape of every visual representation is the male human body, the central element of all of his artistic production, realized through a few synthetic traits and a reduced chromatic range - grey, black, browns.
By a progressive reduction of the human figure, Longobardi deepens his research on the relationship between life and death, conducted through visual elements turned into shadows and prints. Skeletons and skulls are another constant in his artworks, creating an important link with the Neapolitan tradition and its repertory of painted or carved skulls, organic bones, holy relics and casts from Pompei, which were all fundamental sources of inspiration for the Neapolitan artist.
“I am never concerned with the message I want to convey, as much as with the way I convey it; I never start from the meanings of the shape that I choose, but from the signs that, going deep, don't bare regrets or corrections. They vibrate on me while I paint; I just have to rearrange them. And if the artist is able to arrange the signs, the conversation starts naturally. And the artwork earns rhythm, movement and tension”.
From "Nino Longobardi" – Palazzo Reale, Milan, July 1998