Diego Bresani’s photographic painting
In order to reflect on the relationship between photography and painting I really like to use the story about the third bank of the river by Guimarães Rosa (1988), in which the main character orders a canoe to be built, bids farewell to his family and paddles to the middle of the river: “He hadn’t been anywhere. He only carried out the invention of staying in the intermediate space of the river, always inside the canoe, without never jumping out of it, never again”. There he creates an alternative space, another place.
What is the third margin between photography and painting? Bresani seems to me to be following this path of the “third bank”, a painter who does not use paints or canvas, but instead the photographic camera. Unlike photography, painting is more interested in creating subverted and free frames, as in the cases of “Harmony in Red (1908 )” by Matisse or “The mountain of Santa Vitória (1904–06)” by Cézanne.
I believe that Bresani follows the same path, although he uses photographic language. I think we could also look at his photos reflecting on the relation between form and content from Adorno’s “Essay as a form” (1954). In photography, the form is limited, in a certain way, by the physical properties of the camera, the lenses, the processing, but the content, that is the image created by the photographer, has no limits.
The history of the photographic image itself reveals this impossible exhaustion. A space of eternal creation, as in Bresani’s photos seems to constitute a new painting space, subverting the content of photography to other themes, such as color, texture, volume, light, and contrast in a contemporary dialogue with the tradition of a portrait, landscape, and still-life painting.