This time my inspiration comes from ‘la Lettura’, the Sunday insert of my favourite newspaper. ‘la Lettura’ is a cultural insert and it’s artistic from its very cover: it displays a different work of art every Sunday, proving a wonderful means not only to get to know contemporary artists, but also to enlighten your day with a piece of visual art. And if you allow yourself to pause for a moment on it, it might even give something to your Sunday, a fresh thought you hadn’t had before.

This Sunday the artist is Nicola De Maria. Being this also the name of one of my best friends, I thought I definitely had to write something about it. But it’s not merely the funny homonymy which makes me comment this artist’s work. It is more than anything the incredible harmony of colours, the simplicity of artistic language, which in spite of its apparent direcntess, is able to convey a powerful message. Here is the cover:


I was immediately struck by the simple geometry of the shapes; after all, they are nothing more than colorful circles one next to or above the other. But the message on the cover reads: ‘Freedom from fear, from oppression, from distress’. My thought was this: sometimes we are too afraid, oppressed and distressed to think in a simple way. The positive message of this work of art lies precisely in its immediacy: freedom is one of the most basic values, essential, and yet so often neglected. Most of the time we think we have to set ourselves free from something, to escape a condition of slavery, or someone else’s tyranny. However, I think that oftener the slavery is to be found within ourselves: it’s us who impose boundaries and taboos to ourselves.

Thus I read this Sunday’s cover of ‘la Lettura’ as an invitation to be free. The work of art is chromatically simple, just as the its message carries an ideologically immediate message. It reminds us too to be simple, not to complicate our lives with self-imposed slavery, not to imprison ourselves within our own barriers. Let us be free, and simple.


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