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Art is different from the artist.

You will probably never read this letter of mine.
I’ve been following you for months in your slow progress of creation.
You talked to everyone on social about what you were doing in different languages.
I loved that describing the words according to the time passing.
In the winter more introverted words and in the spring took on, all the words, a lighter texture.
I was proceeding in the same way, too.
I thought it was a path in art that we had in common.
This carving out of spaces in the everyday to observe the world.

But while you were remembering the past, reconstructing it, bringing it back to life as if in an archaeological excavation, I was looking for art in the present, stubbornly looking at the moment and ceasing to search for the past.
Art, on the other hand, is a search that goes forward and often backward and does not know death or the moment of birth.
Art is perhaps an eternal present that changes according to history and the human beings that go through it.
My focus was different from yours.
Me without an image, present on social with words despite being a visual artist and you using words instead, projected on the screen smiling, daily connected with everyone.
Both of us with a desire to regenerate at some point after a year and a half of pandemic cloister.

I was following you from afar and I was thinking about what I was doing and a little bit dreaming about the place where you live, which has always been a myth in my head.
Yes, I know, the prices are expensive, the people are haughty and insincere, things are not easy.
After all, is there such a thing as an ideal place anywhere?

Isn’t seeking beauty and regenerating oneself in it already a good starting point?
I was a bit envious of you, I admit, and that didn’t make me lucid.
We were never intimate, after all, you’re the famous one and I seem to be plotting with the universe to remain completely anonymous.
Yet in this disparity between us, I don’t know how, you would apologize if you forgot to wish me a birthday in the morning and you would do it in the evening. Just as I promptly apologized for the same thing (but my forgetfulness was mostly due to your birthday coming in a season that I can’t understand-summer-when celebrating is unimaginable to me).
Birthday wishes, how beautiful your art, how beautiful your scarves.

I was following you from afar and I was thinking about what I was doing and a little bit dreaming about the place where you live, which has always been a myth in my head.
Yes, I know, the prices are expensive, the people are haughty and insincere, things are not easy.
After all, is there such a thing as an ideal place anywhere? Isn’t seeking beauty and regenerating oneself in it already a good starting point?
I was a bit envious of you, I admit, and that didn’t make me lucid.
We were never intimate, after all, you’re the famous one and I seem to be plotting with the universe to remain completely anonymous.
Yet in this disparity between us, I don’t know how, you would apologize if you forgot to wish me a birthday in the morning and you would do it in the evening. Just as I promptly apologized for the same thing (but my forgetfulness was mostly due to your birthday coming in a season that I can’t understand-summer-when celebrating is unimaginable to me).
Birthday wishes, how beautiful your art, how beautiful your scarves. Christmas greetings, how wonderful is your tree, will you come to Italy to celebrate? And who knows when we’ll be able to meet.

So for months, for years, after I had read one of your books and written to you and amazingly the dialogue had begun.
Do you make art? Yes, I write, as you have seen.
In a crescendo of occasionally written words, while life went on, stopped, resumed.
Each in their own ideas, which were often similar, each in their own routines.
Every now and then on the TV screen you would converse in some broadcast.
Then a few months ago you contact me and ask me something that I usually do but this time it’s on a higher level. For you.
I say yes, and for the first time we talk on the phone.
I’m not good on the phone and yet the dialogue flows smoothly.
You tell me about this project, describe it enthusiastically and bring me into it.
We exchange messages, it takes a series of steps, I say okay but I start working on it.

I wait and nothing comes.
Nothing of what you told me but summer starts, everyone moves, everyone is less careful. I wait again, you are reassuring me, you make me understand that everything is normal.
And as usual, I have faith.
My trust is strange, I tend not to trust anyone anymore, but I know that this attitude is not constructive, it’s not good for me, it doesn’t take me very far. So I try to change and trust you.
Because for years now our dialogue has been about life, art, feelings and words.
And we are two artists, so we know something beyond the surface, empathy.
Instead I’m wrong, it’s not a contract between art and empathy with the world. It doesn’t work that way. Having opinions on television, in newspapers, writing, processing thoughts, just like painting, interpreting the world, doesn’t make us more empathetic. It doesn’t make us better.
So the months go by and at this point I simply wait for you to tell me that the project didn’t work out or that it was given to someone else.
I wait three months. I wait for the summer to end and look for the words to ask you what happened.
But life and social take me away from the embarrassment.

You didn’t tell me anything privately.
I read your words excluding me from the project altogether.
On social, casually one morning.
I thought I was prepared. I wasn’t.
Reading it shocked me.

But not because of the blurred project, I’m used to that by now.
You don’t know how many times I get chosen and then some powerful person comes along, someone with stronger friends and takes my job.
It makes me smile now, this process.
What shocked me was your silence, your not deeming me worthy of an answer before making the event official on social media.
Why wasn’t I worthy of a email?
Why didn’t you tell me the truth?
Why didn’t you tell me what was going on?
I would have understood, I would have filed the sketches, I would have said okay.
I learned about it after everyone else. After everyone else, including the fans.
I thought we knew each other. We didn’t.
I didn’t know you, in fact I was expecting a different answer.
And you didn’t know me, and in fact didn’t deem me worthy of a single update in three months.
We communicated with words and images but staying on the surface.
Now I need to regenerate in another reality and these words are from a letter I will not send.
I will exercise my attention elsewhere and the exhibition with you will never be born, that journey will never be there, that walk has been erased.
The groove is laid out, perfect, fast and deep.
And I regret not having paid attention to things as well as words.
Making art is always different than hanging out with the artist.
I should know better. I’ll have to know sooner or later.
I will see you on television and say hello.
For me, the studio and new things to explore.
And in silence, the gap will take its space, as it should.

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