<<Saverio Polloni has avays been interested in animals, but in his own way: not as a zoologist, not as a naturalist. His brush is no taxidermist's tool, nor does he use it to fix specimens like entries in an encyclopedia. He cannot even be labelled an "animal artist". He never paints animals in action. Not for him, extravagant hunting scenes after the manner of the Bamboccianti of the school of Cremona; or involved melées such as the great Frans Snaider painted into Rubens' backgronds. No esoteric mythology either, no scenes like Orpheus taming the beasts with his voice, not even the simpering charm of Disney and his fellow cartoonist. No. Saverio Polloni has always been interested in animals, but in his own way. To talk of something different. To talk with them but not about them. To get them to talk togrther. To talk through them.
The approch employed for the purposes of this strange aesthetic distancing device calls upon mimicry - the main feature of art throughout the ages - but mimicry taken to extremes, while employing a balanced juxtaposition of oximorons end stereotypes. In their "perfect resemblance" (Polloni depicts his beasts life-size, with every single hair, whisker and claw in evidence) his lions, lynxes, leopards, panthers, bears and rancoons all seem to be posing. Inspiration from the past: a tongue-in-cheek reference to the bombastic nineteenth-century official portrait. And contemporary inspiration: in keeping with the disturbing anxiety of the Zeitgeist, slightly deforming foreshortening, or one-sided metonymic details: aboveall the expression - gesture without action - unfathomable, almost metaphysical, at once mirror and screen of an ineffable, and thus Angst-ridden, thought.
Yet, at the same time, the animals give the impression of having been caught unawares, fixed in the instant as by a snapshot, such is the immediacy and vibrant verisimilitude with which they look at and challenge us, without the slightest fear. As though we were not just among them but akin to them, so that we knew their appearence and habits quite naturally.
This duplicity is no accident. Rather, it is the outcome of stylistic mastery atteined after years of intelligent experimentation, the fruit of minute, analytical painting which is photographic while avoiding the fixity of the photographic image and indeed of hiperrealism.
Thus, in his very own way, Polloni expresses the truth of the image in the spasm of the instant, transmuting each character in his bestiary into a learned and amusing philosopher of Nature. Each bear, each lyns, each lion, each tiger, all the roaring fellowship of beasts, proclaim how deep our need is to re-examine our relationship with Mother Earth. Each one of them becomes the by no means consoling allegory of a world that will survive only if we can recover harmony in the midst of diversity.>> Nicoletta Del Buono

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