Home Edizioneed. 9 Cesare Catania, the engineer of emotions

Cesare Catania, the engineer of emotions

Written by Monica Camozzi

When listening to Cesare Catania explain reality, Pythagoras comes up like a cork from high school reminiscences: harmony is born from opposites and science purifies the soul… especially geometry!

We do not know whether Catania would have passed the initiatory tests of the mythical school, but we do know for certain that the soul of an artist grafted onto a mathematical foundation would have been much appreciated.

When I observe the world I do so with an absence of prejudice and try to understand which polygons and figures strike me the most.

How do you cleanse the gaze of pre-judgement?
The geometric point of view comes naturally to me: it certainly reveals the search for a foundation. I search in art for a kind of rule, a starting point that can reconcile reason and feeling. The dividing line between sentiment and logic is blurry: on the one hand there is the visual quest, on the other the sentimental quest, and both must be stimulated.

A metaphysics of feelings mediated by logic? Can we say that?
Yes, but it depends on the circumstances! When I observe something external the mathematical approach comes in, if on the other hand I am more inspired by internal emotion abstract art comes out because the introspective line prevails.

There are many artists, but not all of them are aware: few consciously know how to explain what is going on in their heads.

But this cliché opposing rationality and instinct? As if they cannot coexist?
Complete people know how to be rational and emotional at the same time. Then you can consciously decide to go against your emotionality or give in to it. I am certainly an emotional person but with time I have learnt to let ten seconds pass….

Why did you choose engineering?
Engineering teaches you how to unravel physical problems, it really structures you to think, among infinite roads, which is the easiest to get from point A to point B. Then when you enter the world of work you have to be rigorous, life leads you to schematise.

Pay attention, you often guess that a person is an engineer by the way he or she poses: the world he or she lives in is made up of constructions but it is still a fantasy world

You often refer to music: how does it fit into the perfect balance between reason and feeling?
Music is discipline, when you read a pentagram you understand that it is mathematical, nothing is left to chance. Actually I was interested in all disciplines, I made an aptitude choice, I was told that engineering would be easy and in fact I understood that language with ease.

I turned the language of logic into art, applying the rules closest to my intellect.

It is no coincidence that on your oil on canvas Très Hommes there were Avogadro, Pythagoras and Eisenberg…
Yes, each of them gave a turning point to the time in which they lived. Even Mozart was a genius in music.  I am afraid I was born at the wrong time, I feel much closer to the spirit of the mid 900s than I do today.

You can speak of art when the work is an act of conscious choice, otherwise it is random.

When can we call a work ‘art’?
There is a thought behind it. Behind the abstract process that leads Fontana to make the famous cut, there is an experience. A maturation over time. The artist is the one who out of infinite ways of expressing himself chooses one, the one that represents his own emotionality.

What kind of art do you love?
In pure artistic terms I like Impressionism. In particular Monet. I also love Picasso because he perceived reality in an informal way, he went from geometric to cubist when it was still unseen.

I love video art and kinetic art, I’m getting into digital art and the world of NFT.

But I think it is marketing that should be at the service of art, not the other way around. Apart from that, I feel anchored to the last century on certain visions and I admit that I have projects in the oven that are 50-60 years ahead. Here again, I am dichotomous.

Speaking of digital art, what do you think?
The downside was that many transactions had a speculative background, they were only interesting for the investor while the unfortunate ones thought they were buying a work of art and bought a monkey in a hat.

On the positive side, NFT has reawakened a sector that many had forgotten about, that of almost Renaissance-style art patronage.

A distinction should be made between works of art and collectibles. There has been no mass education on the subject.

We come to Artificial Intelligence…
From an artistic point of view, it could overtake man to the extent that finance gives it credibility and space. Its weight depends on how interesting it becomes from a speculative point of view.

What are you working on now?
I am working on a series of sculptures and paintings. I have just realised the first monumental sculpture of the Embrace. I also have art-related musical projects in store.

The embrace was born as a work linked to a simple and powerful gesture, capable of going far beyond words. We will make stops around Italy and the world.

Embrace is becoming a socio-cultural project, after the forcing of social distancing I’d say it’s time to get the message out and embrace again.

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