Matteo Cordero’s ‘Dream little dream’ at Spazio NEA, Naples

Spazio NEA (Naples) recently presented “dream little dream”, a solo show by Matteo Cordero. On until 27th June 2019. Organised by Ernesto Esposito, it puts on display for the first time Cordero’s paintings.

Typically in the style of the young Italian artist, the canvases maintain a childish but altogether profound tone. Through an almost automatic, un-mediated approach, the artist uses his simplified figures with huge hands and disproportioned tears as a self exploration. A constant tension inhabits his canvases. The figures, characterised by bright and vivid colors, are contrasted by darkened, stormy backgrounds. Their unrealistic, cartoonish facial traits seem to transmit only opaque emotions, yet they clearly cry; or scream.


Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 70 cm,

The paint is fluid and moves though the surface with an extreme facility. Thick lines define the bare heads of Cordero’s personages, and their surroundings in the same manner. On a first glance, all his women and men seem quiet and serene, if not even happy. Despite the huge tear that stains a man’s face, his face does not exactly convey sadness and the enormous pink hand that waves from its right could equally be alarming us of an impending danger, or simply greeting us. Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

All these figures maintain a sort of autobiographical relationship with their author. They can easily be read as a constantly metamorphosing alter-ego. Looming over a landscape of brown, spectral houses or, converserà, being swallowed by a deep blue sea, they represent the artist’s feelings and fears confronting today’s society. Yet, at the same time, the extreme de-personalisation of these human beings renders them impotent onlookers into a disastrous nature. Rather then alter-egos, then, each one becomes a momentary passerby.


Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 150 cm

Cordero’s depictions, indeed, seem more to be escaping reality rather than facing its brutality. And its childish quality reinforces this idea. In this way, they can simultaneously get away from the system of values that rules our everyday. The power of these canvases lies precisely in their simplicity. They create a ‘dream little dream’ that is alimented by the all-powerful imagination that more immediately characterizes infancy.

Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm

Matteo Cordero, dream little dream 30th May – 27th June 2019 Spazio NEA, via Costantinopoli 53 / piazza Bellini 59 – Naples

About Irene Machetti

Whenever there is an exhibition opening, expect to find me there, with a glass of wine in one hand, and my phone on the other, to take pictures and record my emotions. The rest of my life is spent studying art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and, especially, baking cakes and lasagne for my loved ones.