CRITICS

Title: Woodland by Marco Bolognesi
Author: Tony Charalambous
Year: 2006

These images read like direct transcripts of Italian artist Marco Bolognesi’s dreams. It is the infinite woodland of his subconcious, the unnatural bound to the natural. Result? A Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity.

Here then, is a pressure cooker of ideas – a visual manifesto – personal and universal.

These are not models, but natural women made extraordinary. His siren’s scream and hum with nature’s power, taking the stuff around them to exaggerate their beauty and harness your attention.
They, like Bolognesi himself, have fled the cities without imagination, and have emerged from the darkness to shine a tempting light, leading you back into the bosom of the woods: home.
This home serves as stage for our showgirls to bump and grind showcasing their latest finery, a finery concocted by some of the most exotic names in international fashion today (Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, and Kei Kagami amongst others.) Here is not one, but many, Sweet Charity’s silently mouthing the immortal words “Hey Big Spender, spend a little time with me, I could show you a good time.”

Bolognesi has toured extensively with his troupe, appearing at the Monza Young Artist Biennale in 2005 featuring thirty of the most important young artists. The success of the Woodland pictures at Monza gained Bolognesi a place at Artissima in Turin later that year.
More touring followed, and fresh from their triumphs at the Paolo Nanni Gallery and the Art Fair in Bologna with Franco Riccardo, 2006 sees the girls being immortalised here in print.

Lazy critics will dismiss Bolognesi’s pictures as female objectification, but to do so is missing so much. There is, indeed, arrogance to the very act of creating a body of work around male fantasy, and this is an impression that Bolognesi himself makes no effort to contradict.

Viewed as a whole, Woodland is a confession on behalf of all of us who have witnessed our own sexual imaginations become skewed by the visual mantras of our age.
This woodland is desire. Pick the flowers, or trample underfoot. The choice is yours.

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