Luigi Ontani was born in Vergato, Bologna, in 1943. Since the sixties, when he used to create series of pleonastic objects, his reference, the imaginary matrix, was childhood; and it was the same matrix that later transformed itself into a sort of metamorphic play, carrying itself forward on the image in spectacular actions of symbolic, mythical, fairytale-like, but also softly erotic character.
He works at the loss of his identity, and at the same time on the glorification of the same image-identity (we are talking about a “luigiontanomorfa” art ); he realizes “Tableaux Vivants” set upon a symbolic ritual rich in cultural reference.
Every time he transforms himself in a different character, getting his models form the list of the aulic culture as well as from the pop-culture of every country; now he plays the part of a god of Olympus, in a refined, slightly ironic and melancholic self presentation; now an Italian mask; now he presents himself in a soft and extremely sweet abandon, in which he was condemned to slumber by Giove for having aspired to the love of Era, like an Endymion of immense beauty bellezza; now as an oriental prince, in the golden magnificence of his apparel (Biennale di Venezia ‘78); now as a hero of the diverse patriotic epos; now as an Ecce Homo at Sodom.
His presentations are accompanied by film and music, which intensifies the sweet and deep rituality.
Lara Vinca Masini