"Dividing Lines: Parallels in Alessandra Silvia De Simone"

by Theo Alexander

  There is a certain yearning within the work of Alessandra Silva De Simone, one  that at the same time confronts us and appeals to us on a level of human nature  and emotion. The yearning I speak of is presented on a human plane in an  opposing fantastic form that looks inside our behaviours and visualises them in a  way that in turn asks us to look inside ourselves. Her visual language represents  contradictions in communication, thought, relation and affection that become  materials and vivid colours spelt out with a consistent eye of speculation and  inquiry. These urges within Alessandra Silvia De Simone's art and artistic analyses  of her topics make up the key to understanding her aesthetic and oeuvre as a  whole.

 Before the important subtexts I have mentioned come into play, the first aspect  of  Alessandra's art that strikes us is its innate playfulness. The vivacious manner  in which she composes her pieces are a means to engagement with our most  basic affectations; colours bounce off one another, materials escape from  canvases and an iconography begs to be decoded. In this way there is a childlike  element which is foundation to Alessandra's art, and it is curiosity that is first  charmed before becoming introspection. In this way her imagery is not unlike that  of Chagall's chimerical and often abstract tendencies that play on our visual  habits.
 In no derogatory way is the manner of play applied here. It can be seen as the  foremost method which de Simone has developed over her repertoire and has  formed as a continuing theme. One such theme repeatedly highlighted is the  aspect of play within communication between people and their inner emotions.  One such work, London Tube (2012), makes a specific emphasis of this  interaction through reflection in its materials. Glitter, for example, frames one of  many staring faces and meets a stark white divider before becoming mirrored in  the next panel with broken and varied brush strokes. The panelling techniques  used to create a dialogue within the painting can be seen to develop earlier on in  Behind the Bars (2009). Clearer shape forms are broken by more explicit dividing  lines created using thick strokes in black glitter and whole sections of the  composition are interrupted by collaged fabric. Looking at divisions such as these  bring to light an intricacy of expression that goes beyond geometry and breaks t  through into the material, and evidently the choices de Simone makes in her materials are just as important as the lines she uses to separate a canvas.  The physical qualities of glitter, cotton, beads and string add a sense of dimension and texture to a work, but what de Simone is interested in is how they  compliment and contrast each other. Her work Dance of Wires (2012) perhaps displays material engagement at its best in this case. The backdrop of the  piece is a sprawling rough texture that already causes fragmentation, creating a foundation for the visual techniques mentioned. Furthermore it's narrow  scratched marks are countered by wider, bright red strings and divisions filled in with gold leaf. The effect we are left with is deep in layered dimension and  poetic in composition, all of which are achieved in the collaboration of physical texture and geometrical interplay. String is the main aspect of both texture  and division in Dance of Wires and it provides an example of the significance it holds as a symbolic and translatable material in Alessandra Silvia De Simone's approach to  resources. Mainly represented through the use of string are divisions, links and entanglement, all of which serve the material well as innate associations.  Given the common subject of parallel and contradiction in life and its paths it is not hard to see why string was chosen to feature in so many works. It  relates the depictions in the works of life as a single travelling thread that unravels, and of emotion as having delicate but clear lines of decision. This  treatment of materials as counterparts and opponents is used to similar effects in Alessandra's work outside of painting too. It is in her work with masks  that she adds another level to her work by applying her foundation material approaches and allowing them to flourish in new mediums. In many ways  Alessandra Silvia De  Simone's masks become a natural continuation or flow from her work on canvas, as embodied meanings and emotions escape into a  new form and can be seen to transform again later on. The series of masks is encompassing of the themes that are often amalgamated in her work on  canvas, often singling out the complexities within each separate theme. This is clearly reflected in the titles (Mask of Life, Mask of Reality, etc) and the fact  that they are intended to take in individual characters. In this way the masks bring de Simone's motifs onto a more human level by mirroring our image.

  Mask of Authority (2012) explicitly repeats some of the techniques we are more familiar with. Glitter  coats the larger divisions of the mask that are broken once again by string. The mask ascends upwards  in a fantastic shape that is bejewelled at its peak. The very shape of the mask implies escape, the  weight of thought being too large for the mind. Unique to the series of masks is a new exploration of far  simpler representations that seem almost as anomalies within her repertoire. Mask of Reality (2012) is  the starkest instance, covered entirely in glittering black with unusually elaborate and decorative  patterns adorning the crown of the mask. The result of Mask of Reality comes down to the narrowing  focuses of the mask series, and with this considered it becomes a key which we can return to in order to  understand the more complicated pieces of Alessandra Silvia De Simone. Perhaps the final 'phase' for the  ideas expressed in these works is their manifestation in performance. In this format the works find yet  another means of transcendence by becoming truly physical. In the performances on which Alessandra    collaborated her masks were used in costume and sets were decorated with canvas works. The individual  and recurring material of string was also involved directly, playing an important role in the c  choreography.  The physicality of performance is a logical conclusion to the progression of themes that I  have analysed and also presents a whole image of the ideas too. In regards to transformation each  aspect of the static works is charged with movement and frequently as we have seen leaves its surface.  Performance quite clearly resolves the escapism of the works but intentionally does not become a  bookend. The dance itself is wrought in silence and mystery that is captured in the choreography and    the involvement of Alessandra Silvia De Simone's masks being the main signifiers of character. Ultimately  this allows de Simone to achieve such slowing continuity between mediums and preserves the ideology  of her work. As it can be seen the world of Alessandra Silvia De Simone is certainly one of parallels and  reflection that speaks its own language. But despite this, the language of her work is certainly not  inaccessible. In fact it beckons the audience at every division and textural nuance to play, be it in a  visual or thoughtful manner. The work of de Simone wishes most from all its viewers to be engaged in  this way, but it also seeks to provide a perspective upon the inner workings of our emotions, that are flexible, colourful and intangible, much like the vision  that is so purposefully communicated in this body of work.



"The art works of Alessandra Silvia De Simone are a kaleidoscope of emotions that come to the soul"

Demetrio Brandi – Journalist
President of Luccautori/Viareggio – Italy

  “The Art of Alessandra Silvia De Simone is like a window which shows the positive light which flows inside of hopes and dreams”.

  Stefano Giraldi - Art Photographer

"I like to think of her art as an optical prism which is able to capture emotions and return them in a different world with colours, lights, and materials that have the power to excite the heart. A world where we  feel the joyous mood of the child and the adult suffering, as if you were comparing a relentless daily struggle for eternity. "

Fabio Vitale - Historian and Writer
Verona /Italy

"... These art works illuminate the world and cloud the mind!" ...

Riccardo Ghiribelli - Painter and Art Director – Giubbe Rosse


"Alessandra Silvia De Simone’s luminescent paintings take you on a journey, a journey of space, light and beauty. Through her paintings you encounter a fairy-tale world in which a magical spotlight intensifies colours and simplifies forms. Her works have both the energy of Futurism and the lyrical quality of a Marc Chagall painting. The thread that weaves through the works shows life to be a series of stories, a series of encounters. In this world, there is a meeting between dream and reality, a “surreality” as Andre Breton termed it. In these works dreams also meet their counterpart, nightmares, and beneath their elegance these images betray a disturbing quality too. Empty eyes stare back at the viewer, a crouching angel hunches over and blank fish float aimlessly by. Some beautiful works help us to see life as a story; what stories do these women hold and what, indeed, will they and Alessandra choose to share with us?"

Ruth Millington - Education Officer,Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
Londra /UK


“In her art there is poetry. From the darkness, you can see the rebirth of life. From pain, hope and nostalgia, an explosion of colours, in a unique, eternal and fantasy world”.

Lorenzo Masi - Councillor for Culture of Porto Venere(2012) 
La Spezia /Italy


"Alessandra’s art works capture the very essence of her, including her expression and belief in life. For her within the everyday are light, colours, dreams, emotions and feelings that make up life".

Nabil Pulita - Restauratore d'Arte
Capri (Na)/Italy

“Every time we look at her paintings, her sculptures, we run the risk of leaving reality and to slipping into a deep dream, looking for an ideal and unattainable world in which each of us, probably, would like to live”

Antonio Panariello - Revisionist Production FIAT – Chrysler

“Her paintings and works express the dark and light meaning in  life!”

Iftikhar Javed - Student

“Through her art work Alessandra Silvia De Simone interprets entire societies and the world in which we live with a nostalgic eye. Her art is a reflection of the hidden pain that has prompted the rejection of evil, resulting in colourful, rich and elaborate paintings and sculptures. In these works the author cannot lie about the difficulty of change, improvement, and recovery. Her abstract paintings, her masks, and the  large-scale installations and murals, are like a maze decorated with the entire path of life, full of lace, paper, wool, stones, crystals and fabrics, such materials that we often encounter in everyday life. This symbolizes her direct contact with the reality that goes like a rocket to the highest heights of her deep imagination. She expresses strong desires, hope and trust in life. Often, through the frequent choice of metallic colours, silver and gold, the artist expresses the balance of things, in the contrast of opposites - life and death, truth and lies, good and evil, light and darkness. There is also the constant search for the dream that she often tends to indulge in. But the lyrical expression of the dream and of human expectations is constantly apparent and clear. Another constant of her work is a deep and serious tone and message; there are many symbols that guide us towards the origin of the total darkness of the doubts and fears of all mankind. Her works suggest a metamorphosis as explosive and intense as a pyroclastic show, highly suggestive of sudden luminous forms, which burst into everyday life, covering it with a mantle of hope and faith”.

Paul March - De Appel Art Center Group