Updated: 3 days ago
Letizia Peraccini's unpublished series Suoni e Colori (Sounds and Colours), made up of 10 paintings, tells us an intimate, everyday story.
The painter specialised in Rome at the Academy of Fine Arts in Via Ripetta and started her career as a teacher, while continuing to refine her technique in the studios of great masters, including ceramist Enzo Assenza.
From 1977 to 1979 she worked on the series, which turned out to be the mirror of a path of inner growth faced by the artist after her marital separation. The painter decided to consult a therapist and through these works she described the path that led her to rediscover herself and the world around her. She then decided to keep the series private because it was related to a personal experience that she was not ready to show to the world.
The paintings should be read in order of execution, starting with Dollar Man, in which a female figure (a representation of the artist herself) stands out against a huge one-dollar note, on top of which lies a naked man representing the painter's ex-husband. In this painting, the protagonist has no hair, but a thick floral hairdo.
Starting from the second painting, with the beginning of the therapy, the woman's blonde hair is revealed to the viewer and evolves throughout the series, playing an increasingly important role, giving dynamism to the paintings and telling us more than we might think at first glance. Indeed, hair has always been one of the greatest symbols of femininity and identity for a woman and, just as the painter rediscovers herself during her therapeutic path, in the evolution of these works the blonde hair takes on an increasingly central role until the last representation in which, for the first time, it covers part of the young woman's face. As if to represent a rediscovered and finally protagonist femininity.
Set in a metaphysical atmosphere and characterised by a demure nudity, which once again represents an inner aspect of the protagonist, the woman steps forward picture by picture, offering the viewer a series of symbolic elements which indicate and underline the spiritual development of this process.
The men, mannequin-like, faceless and without any particular features represent acquaintances of the woman, acquaintances who remain anonymous because they are present in this journey, but without relevance. The man dressed in white, however, is depicted from behind and therefore censored, but is characterised by his clothing and hair; he is the woman's therapist, who accompanies her during those years, supporting and guiding her in her new self-discovery.
In several paintings there are ribbons, the symbol of human connections, an element linking the various relationships; threads that in the penultimate work are connected to a doll that the artist defines as a "whole" of the therapeutic process.
This doll, which looks like the blonde woman, turns out to be the result of this experience of growth and awareness. It will be what Letizia brings with her when she decides to stop her therapy sessions, as the last painting tells us.
The protagonist is no longer naked, the doll is defined and detailed, the hair is moved by a wind that breaks the metaphysical atmosphere and the silhouette in the background suggests a detachment; the time has come to separate and start a new journey.
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