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06Jan

Flow like the river’s water that goes to the sea

Water splashes, 2018

Sometimes life can be overwhelming and chaotic. It’s natural to want to find order and coherence in our lives, but this should not come at the expense of our well-being.

Rather than maintaining rigid control over every aspect of life, it can be beneficial to take a different approach and learn to flow like the river’s water that goes to the sea. In this blog post, I’ll explore how adopting this mindset can help us find balance and peace.

THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING INCOHERENT

Life is eternal change, then is wise to have a flexible mindset.
If everything is constantly changing, why don’t you also?

To be constant and not adapt to life changes is stupidity and stubbornness. It would be better for us if we were more adaptable than coherent; it would benefit us more than harm us.

HOW TO BECOME INCOHERENT

It’s more challenging to be incoherent than coherent.

To be incoherent, you must be wise, conscious, witty and curious. You can’t become incoherent if you’re not a little bit of an “artist” because artists are always practising becoming inconsistent.

One way of being inconsistent is admitting your vulnerability without feeling ashamed. Or you can be a person that many calls ‘being of many minds’: you have many passions without being committed exclusively to one of them.

Another way of inconsistency is by being different from your own self. You can also be inconsistent by being unpredictable. To make things happen, we often do the opposite of what people expect us to do, which makes them think in a new way, so they come up with their own answers and create a new approach to life for themselves.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING INCOHERENT?

You will become adaptable to the changing reality and never be unprepared to face the unexpected.

Incoherent people are not set in their ways and can explore different perspectives with an open mind rather than getting stuck in one way of thinking.

Being incoherent also means being someone who can’t be controlled easily because you are not predictable.


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30Dec

Turn on the light

Rinascimento, 2020

It’s a strange story because it’s a strange feeling.
What is it like to live in a time of decline?

In the last 20 years, it has been a crescendo.
My discomfort grew to intolerable levels.
Around me, values and many perspectives of life slowly melted away.

The desert of social mediocrity has been consolidating. Human relationships became more and more empty and superficial, often downright detestable.

We even witnessed the resurgence of denunciation and betrayal as socially virtuous behaviours and the community concept sanctified to the detriment of the inviolable reasons of the individual.

I FEEL THE DECADENCE ALL AROUND

Globalism levels and flattens everything.
It tends to eradicate every singularity, every voice that doesn’t sing that particular song within the choir.
No dissonance of lead vocals.

Globalisation wants your dreams and will give you cheap false certainties in return.

But life is always that individual quest for a momentary balance, even if precarious.
Life is the continuous, fantastic achievement of this goal, day after day.

No society will ever be able to guarantee this result to anyone. Still, it can do one crucial thing: not hinder anyone in realising his dreams and ambitions.

A PIECE OF THE HEART

In my life, only one thing has played a central role: art in all its forms and expressions.

Art has repeatedly saved my life over the years.
I’m still alive because art embodied my dreams.
And not only that: art has filled my existence (and not only mine) with meaning and value.

In this first quarter of a century, even art has become infected with the virus of mediocrity of conformity.

Today, many old and new artists have been cleverly deceived and manipulated to the point of appearing as a compound army of propagandists, ready to convey the ‘ politically correct ‘ as the new gospel by any means.

Much of today’s art seems mass-produced: same message, same taste, just little stylistic differences.
Today art, in my opinion, is mediocre and homogenised from a formal point of view that repeats the same worn-out contents like a broken record, similar to advertising slogans.
These artists just want to please a possibly paying and increasing large audience.
They want desperately to feel approved.

And unfortunately, all forms of art are victims of this phenomenon, none excluded.

As an artist, I am sad, and my heart is broken.
In my art, there is a sense of bitterness; something wants to escape from everything and everyone.

My art is restless, iridescent and elusive.

We are both uncomfortable.

THE WHEEL TURNS, TURNS…

But like all things, this particularly confusing period in human history also will be just a memory.

But it is important to have lived it intensely, even in the innumerable difficulties.

An era that ends always entails a certain amount of trauma for billions of people.

But not for everyone and not to the same extent.

Even if it takes many years, the world of men will invent new landscapes for new ventures because this is precisely the goal of this epochal change: to provide humanity with new scenarios for new experiences to fulfil its values.

Change of scene, new play.
Get ready to turn on the new lights on your new dreams.

And art, together with society, will flourish again in new and unique forms.

No more mediocrity, no more.
There’s a time for everything.


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22Dec

It’s not just for tickling

Tools of freedom, 2019

When I decided to make a photo project about freedom, two images immediately emerged in my imagination: a feather and a pen.

I completely trust my instinct; it has never been wrong.

It is always the safe guide of my inspiration in the creative process.

After taking the photographs, I reflected on the choice of these two subjects and their connection.

The feather and the pen are two objects with an ancient and profound symbolic meaning, and they are also the two sides of the same coin.

THE WINGS OF FREEDOM

The feather represents the essential flight tool.

Young people eagerly await the day when they will grow up to have ‘”wings” strong enough to “fly” away from their families to live their autonomous adult life.

Since I was a child, I have loved the myth of Icarus and Daedalus: man, feathers and freedom.

But there’s more.

DO WHAT YOU WANT

Feathers are still a vital part of the culture and spirituality of many indigenous peoples on all continents.

Their importance is evident because feathers are used in nearly every aspect of their social life.

American Indians used feathers not only to decorate the headdresses of tribal chiefs and priests but also as currency.

The Totem of each household is adorned with eagle feathers for the side representing the father and hawk feathers for the mother.

In short, feathers are essential.

GO BACK IN TIME

Let’s dive into the past…

In most ancient human cultures, feathers were symbols of beauty and freedom.
For centuries they have been used as signs indicating an individual’s condition of independence from the constraints of society.

Feathers represented power and authority.
In ancient Egypt, feathers were seen as a sign of royalty and were worn by the Pharaohs.

For the Egyptians, the eagle feather was a symbol of life.

RIDDLE ME THIS: A MEDIEVAL RIDDLE

What, then, is the most representative tools of human freedom?

For me, knowledge.

The tools of human knowledge are books.
The tool for writing (together with paper) is the pen.
In ancient times it was a stick (the stilium) or a large feather.

On the margin of a page of a 900 A.D. manuscript, preserved in the Biblioteca Capitolare di Verona in Italy, there is a short riddle written in vernacular Italian:

Se pareba boves
Alba pratalia araba
Albo versorio teneba
Negro semen seminaba

In English, this means:

In front of him (he) led oxen
White fields (he) ploughed
A white plough (he) held
A black seed (he) sowed

You already know the solution…


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15Dec

Why a raft can be a metaphor

Le radeau de la meduse, 2021

Have you ever been frustrated by something that seemed like a “sea of troubles”? Or perhaps you got caught up in something that felt like a “whirlwind” or a “vortex”?

A lot of us probably have.
These words—sea, whirlwind, vortex —are common metaphors.
A metaphor is when we use one word to stand for another thing.

So, the sea stands for troubles; the whirlwind stands for stress; the vortex stands for problems again. Why is the raft such an
interesting metaphor?

Because it means more than you think.

We all use figures of speech like these almost daily without realising it.

But if you stop to think about it, why do we call troubles seas? Why do we say stress whirls? Why do we say we are caught up in something or need to avoid a situation quicker than a rat escaping a sinking ship?

WHAT MAKES A GOOD METAPHOR?

A metaphor works because it links two seemingly unrelated concepts. The process gives a new idea and adds depth and resonance.
A successful metaphor will prompt the reader to think, “That’s an interesting and unexpected way to look at things!”

A good metaphor has three qualities: it’ s original, it’s precise, and it’s memorable.

WHY ARE METAPHORS IMPORTANT?

Metaphors have the power to change how we think about the world and about ourselves. By seeing something in a new light, we can understand it in new ways and make connections we would otherwise miss.

A metaphor can both reflect and shape the culture of the time.

It can help us make sense of complex or abstract things, like emotions or scientific concepts.

HOW DO METAPHORS SHAPE OUR LANGUAGE AND CULTURE?

Metaphors influence our language and culture in three ways.

Firstly, they help us to express complex ideas.
Secondly, they often help us to create new words.
And finally, they can become so commonplace that they become “dead metaphors” that we no longer notice them or think about them as metaphors.

A good example is the word “unicorn”.
The unicorn is a mythological creature with a single horn on its head, and it first popped up in writing around the year 900.
Around the 16th century, it came to be used as a metaphor for a rare or unusual thing.
Since then, it has become so overused that most people don’t consider it a metaphor anymore.

THE TAKEAWAY

The raft metaphor highlights the need to survive while maintaining core values and principles.

It reminds us that we do not need to “go with the flow” if we do not want to; we can actively change the course as necessary.

The raft also points to the importance of collaboration and team-working in times of change.
It shows us that we can learn from each other and build on our strengths to create something more significant than none of us could achieve alone.

With the world changing rapidly, and the need for new ways of thinking about our organisations, we need to reflect on the insights metaphors provide.

By understanding how metaphors work, we can use them to enrich our thinking and help us to “see” new things.


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08Dec

Darker the night, brighter the stars

“To kill yourself, you have to love yourself a lot” – from “Les Justes” by Albert Camus.

Committing suicide.

For many people, it’s taboo.Every one of us has thought about committing a self-destructive act at least once. For me, every death is merely a different way of committing suicide. 

Some people I knew killed themselves. Through this action, they have pointed out that dying is a right. It is a human, inalienable need.

Those who deliberately decide to die want to continue living and not surviving. The suicides yearn to regain the magic in their lives and to grasp a new feeling of enthusiasm in themselves. Suicide is the attempt to tumble gently down, like a softly fainting you need to wake up free again.

Recently the view of an overpass brought back to my mind the memories of these fantastic people and many suicidal fellow artists.

A busy street and a bridge.

A road doesn’t offer a single route and doesn’t establish one single destination.

In this project, every image shows the different and unique points of view of these personalities, how they lived their lives and their intimate relation to this particular act of losing their physical body.

I perceived their feelings: anger, a sense of freedom, sadness, joy, triumph, resignation, loneliness, nostalgia, and melancholy.

But, most of all, a sense of urgency and the need to stop suffering.

Cars in the street run fast.

Our existences rush as cars. Or like ships on the sea that always leave their trails.

And if your life is becoming like a stormy sea into a night darker than ever, you can feel that the act of suicide can be a guide, the brighter star into this dark sky.It can lead you to the harbour and give you shelter.

In loving memory of:

Jeanne Hébuterne ( age 21 )

Richard Gerstl ( age 25 )

Yukio Mishima ( age 45 )

Anne Sexton ( age 46 )

Diane Arbus ( age 48 )

Oskar (the brother I would always want – age 60 )

Benedetto (my love – age 73 )


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01Dec

The music is over?

The music is over, 2022

One proverb says, ‘ The game is good if it doesn’t last long ‘.

This reality sets us to enjoy things and situations that are limited in time and space. The certainty of the end constitutes the joy of the moment, of the present.

Strangely, mankind fears the word, the concept, and the condition of the end.
Maybe just because it’s inevitable?

THE END IS AN ILLUSION

The end, being what it is, cannot be defined.
It can only be experienced.
And to experience it, you need to be present and aware.

The very nature of the end is that it cannot be known until it happens.
It cannot be described: it simply is.

And knowing that it exists helps us organise and conceive our life.

Throughout history, some men constantly affirmed that the end is a pure illusion of the senses and mind.

Nothing dies definitively; never.
Everything is transformed into an unstoppable motion.

If only we remembered that each of us is as big as the entire universe, that we are ‘universal’, we would not be afraid of the end and would look at it with curiosity.

THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING BEHIND THE CORNER

The end (whatever its nature is ) is a new reality to be explored.
And there is nothing to fear.


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24Nov

The world game

L’oeuvre au noir, 2021

When I discovered the existence of alchemy, I was immediately fascinated by the subject.

I started studying it right away.

And the more I studied it as one of the branches of natural philosophy, the more I became convinced that it was one of the oldest games ever invented: the world game.

Everyone can participate following precise basic rules, but to win, as in the chess game, you have to create your own original strategy.

In short, you have to unleash the artist within you.

Because of its importance, all the most ancient human societies and cultures have practised alchemy since the dawn of time.

Alchemy is an art that has survived intact to this day.

A DARK HEART TURNING IN FLAMING RED

There are four phases in the alchemical game:

  • Nigredo or melanosis
  • Albedo or leucosis
  • Citrinitas or xanthosis
  • Rubedo or iosis

To win the final prize, the ‘ Philosopher’s Stone ‘, we must master some esoteric languages ​​(such as that of symbols), practice some specific actions and overcome all four phases.

I am convinced that to keep alchemical art (whose key word is ‘transmutation’) safe from any abuse, alchemists have wisely created a material ‘backdrop’ capable of concealing the secret scenario, the spiritual one.

Therefore they created a double scientific scenario: the material deals with the study and transmutation of the elements of matter; the spiritual one leads the individual through a continuous change of his awareness towards the most authentic knowledge of his own being.

The alembic is for the most materialistic individuals, and the human heart, which turns from black to red, is, for the spiritual alchemists, the gold of one’s divine nature.

MEDITATE AND STUDY

Unsurprisingly, the most authoritative scholars (and practitioners) of alchemical art were the highest religious and political power representatives.
Not by chance, many of them were also eminent scientists.

Many alchemists were artists.

Many different paths can be chosen to conquer the philosopher’s stone, but some seem to be the most direct.

The safest ways to achieve success are those roads where discipline, introspective isolation, and creativity must be practised daily.

NO WORDS TO COMMUNICATE THE INEFFABLE

If you still do not feel irresistibly attracted to alchemy as it happened to me, I recommend you to take a look at one of the most famous and strange books dedicated to “Opus Magnus”: the “Mutus Liber”.

The main feature of this book, whose author remains hidden behind a pseudonym, is that of being composed of 15 illustrated plates, of which only the 1st, 13th and 14th are accompanied by short, enigmatic texts.

If you are fascinated, it means that you are ready to start the search for the “stone”, and your journey will begin under the best auspices.

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

Alchemy is the world game or the art of life.

The oldest alchemical symbol is the ouroboros, the snake that biting its tail generates the world.
The primordial serpent represents wisdom and knowledge that produces a circular, perfect and perennial movement, feeding on itself.

None can escape from himself.


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17Nov

Repeat it, over and over again…

Solar mandala, 2022

One of the most effective methods for exercising memory and facilitating learning in humans (children and adults) is that of repetition.

As children, we learn a lot from simple nursery rhymes, whose musical cadence reminds us of the reassuring lullabies sung by mothers.

In primary schools, it’s customary to have children memorise poems and songs.

The Latins said that “repetita juvant”: is always helpful to repeat a concept, a sentence, or a poem.
Everything will remain indelible in your mind.

AS YOU WANT ME TO BE

But if the mind is like mouldable clay at will, always be attentive to the communicative world surrounding you.

Consider how many times an advertising slogan is repeated that wants to lead you to a specific purchase.

And even the official information, obsessively repeating certain news to you (sometimes true, sometimes false), manipulates your mind and your reactions by inducing you to act in specific ways.

A PRIVILEGED WAY

Repetition is the heart and strength of prayer in all religious forms.

We pray daily and often do so collectively.

Many religions have adopted the prayer form of the “rosary”.
Examples are the Indian “mala”, the Islamic “tasbih”, and the Japanese Buddhist “juzu”.

There are also forms of sacred graphic repetition, such as oriental “mandalas”, used to convey calm and serenity in the person who draws them.
The shape chosen to make these drawings is the circular one, that is, the one that represents the eternal continuity of the cycle of things and beings, which is destined to repeat itself but never in the same way, never perfectly equal to itself.

REMAIN ATTENTIVE SPECTATORS

Everything that is repeated shapes and settles in our minds and soul.

So it’s essential to remain attentive and aware of what you listen to and say.

Until next.


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10Nov

Silence, please

Eat that question, 2022

Having a good relationship with silence is a question of character.

Silence is always present around us, like that wallpaper you barely notice on the walls of certain houses.

Din is generated in the bowels of silence, and not vice versa.

SILENCE IS ALWAYS A DIFFERENT QUESTION

What happens when silence takes over inside and outside of us?

How many questions arise in a disorderly, ramshackle way piled on top of each other?

Silence is like good wine: it stuns and, as the Latins claim (in vino, veritas / in wine, the truth), it always contains the truth.
All possible truths.

However, meeting silence also makes your wrists tremble.

When that happens, you need to be ready for anything.

ACT IN SILENCE

In silence, every action is best performed.
You can follow them undisturbed, see them in full light, naked, in all their splendour.

Clearly see the world in action.
See the world in total transparency.

SILENCE IS A MAGNIFYING GLASS

Look into your silence.
You will find everything that truly has value.
You will find your treasures.

Make peace with silence.

Until next


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03Nov

The road in the wood

The Utopia forest, 2022

The forest is a mysterious and magical place.

It’s one of those earthly places where the human being is accepted and tolerated, but he’s not always a welcome guest.

They are those places where human beings are not the majority.

But unlike seas, mountains and expanses of ice, which are places where men can live by claiming their nature, to live in a forest, man must become a creature of the woods and allow his vision of the world to change, on pain of death.

THE MOST SACRED TEMPLE

I am Roman, and I know that the origins of the Latin people are hidden in the woods.

Before the foundation of Rome with an Etruscan rite, the Capitoline Hill and the wood that covered its slopes were the reign of the fugitive god Saturn. Saturn, hidden in the woods,  taught the peoples of Lazio (whose name derives from the Latin term “Latium”, which means “hidden”) the art of agriculture, inaugurating for the Latins ‘The golden age ‘, that is, an era of peace and abundance

Saturn initiated the ancestors of Rome to the civilisation of customs and the secret laws of civil life. All ancient civilisations have performed the most sacred and secret initiation rites in the woods since the dawn.

The wood was the most sacred and naturally inviolable temple of humanity.

If you love the woods as I do, their sacredness and their magic, you can read J.Frazer’s essay by the anthropologist “The Golden Bough”.

You will have fun and be surprised.

THE SABBATH AND THE FAIRIES

Witches have always been regular visitors to the woods.

Searching for medicinal herbs or herbs to prepare magical ointments and potions is the most essential activity for witches, ancient and modern. WICCA (the neopagan movement founded in 1954 by Gerald Gardner) also refers to this ancient woodland tradition.

 The Sabbath has always occurred in a secluded clearing deep in the woods.

Don’t also forget the fairies, the gnomes, and the elves all over the planet always live in the woods, the most magical place there is. So if you go to the woods be sure that, sooner or later, you will meet these hosts.

Be respectful guests. Know that someone will be watching you, always.

WHERE TO START AND WHERE TO END

I have had the most significant experiences of my life in the woods.

I have imagined and fantasised several times about how my death will happen.

I visualised it several times in a dream: it was always in a wood where I felt at home, at peace with myself and the whole universe.

The hardest thing was to find the way in that magical world to reach the other world.

But I don’t get discouraged easily.


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DANIELA BOMBELLI Digital and AI art background image