Form the Venus of Willendorf Venus to the Balloon Jeff Koons, from Leonardo’s Mona Lisa to that of Duchamp, from the Venus de Milo with drawers of Dali, from Leonardo da Vinci’s Cenacolo to The Last Supper of Andy Warhol, from the portrait of Innocent X by Velasquez to Francis Bacon’s screaming popes.
These are some of the most famous examples of practices in which art has looked to art through the game of coping, of the citation, of the desecration, of the re-interpretation or of revision. Works become symbols and icons, because they have the power to summarize and communicate historical, cultural, social and aesthetic issues of the societies that created them, and that’s why over the centuries they have become new masters of inspiration and re-contextualization.
Historian and journalist, is Professor of Contemporary Art History and History of Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata.
But an image pursues him, dancing in his mind: the Virgin Annunciation by Antonello da Messina, a very small painting housed in the National Museum of Palermo. And she is a Madonna, but also a woman; the reflected light grazing makes an appearance as devoid of gravity.
She has no symbolic nature or sanctity, like a traditional halo. Drudi’s desire was, and is, to know ‘her’ better, so he copied her repeatedly, then he made his various reworkings, in the design and synthesis of colors. So in all its “her” that is a faint echo, or sounding the Annunciation. However, this reference to the
work of Antonello da Messina is not a hindrance to creativity. The conditioning is not the stuff of Drudi.