CIRCO MASSIMO
15983
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CIRCO MASSIMO

 

 

 

 

Letter sent to the collector by the painter:

 

Rome, June 21, 1993           

 

Dear Paco,

 

As we agreed, I send you the seven pieces of the work on the Circo Massimo.

 

You pointed out that it would be a real pleasure for you if I tell something about its process. I will try to please you, then.
Let’s go back for it to the fall of last year. I had almost finished a large polyptych, more than nine meters long, “Via Aventina, 21”, near the Circo Massimo. Because of this I frequented that area every morning. In the afternoons, instead, I was still absorbed in the project of “A walk for Doria Pamphili”, that took me another year.

 

In a city like Rome, invaded by cars to the point of discriminating any pedestrian, the Circo Massimo appears like a quiet oasis; a green and wide rectangle of uninterrupted length, straight and long.

 

At that empty corridor I established a harmonic progression that determined a series of views from successive distances from the facade of the buildings that closes one of the extreme faces of Circo Massimo. So on, the first panel was painted from the edge of the sidewalk in front of the facade. Which is about nineteen steps away from the facade. This distance set me an initial number, which in progressive multiplication by the golden number Φ = 1.618 … gives me the series of natural numbers: 19. 32, 52, 84, 136, 219 … The progression determined me the number of subsequent steps I had to go backwards.

 

I could be extending here with even more and endless technical data: how each panel develops a golden rectangle itself in its composition and its decomposition, how to determine the number of panels, how perpendicular to do the trajectory, which angulation to choose… But if only these calculations mattered, what sense would it take to use such a rudimentary medium as painting to begin with? Would it not be easier for me to offer you some bad pictures including the same outlines?

 

There was a time when I wanted to imagine the opportunity to make a kind of work of art that no one could make any criticism. I mean, no verbal opinion could clarify it, thanks to its ineffable purity. It would be the definitive victory of sensibility disarming our common logic. You, my friend Paco, will have the original paintings now. You will have the privilege of appreciating if there is something genuine in these paintings, something that goes beyond any explanation, something that even the best printed reproduction could not transmit in full, if that “something” justifies to have gone every one of those mornings to the Circo Massimo, pushing a cart with my painting materials, like a new Roman charioteer. You will judge, finally, if your purchase is justified, or if with a good reproduction you would have obtained the same aesthetic fruition. Which would have saved your money and my time… who knows for what else!

 

I send you a warm hug and best wishes to Ana … and to the entire Zamora if possible.

 

Félix

Roma, 21 de junio de 1993