by Nathalie Azoulai
The son of an independent art curator, Italian artist Domenico Gnoli knew a great deal of art history, especially Quattrocento and Italian Renaissance. When it comes to fabrics or hair, just have a look at either another Domenico, so-called Ghirlandaio, or Piero della Francesca’s portraits. Something happens beyond influence though that turns Gnoli’s close ups into mesmerizing mesmerized stares, paying tribute to masters but also to a maniac obsessive stupefying sense of detail. Almost scary. « I isolate and represent, said Gnoli. My themes are derived from current events, from familiar situations, from daily life; because I never actively intervene against the object, I can feel the magic of its presence ». And we do feel it. Very few people -only very edgy, only fashion dandys ?- know Gnoli’s work who died in Majorca, in 1970 at the age of 37.