Bonomi Storyteller: an insight into the Bonomian Poetics

A “bricoleur” artist: Bonomian artistic production read by critics

Bonomi’s artistic production has been read by the critics in line with the ready-made, excepting for the conceptual irony proper to his artworks. The conceptual irony is obtained by means of semiotic escamotages, namely, by using the mechanism of forced repetition – tautology- ,by quoting other works from many different fields – cinema, literature, etc.- , by playing with signifiers, meanings and interpretants1, and last but not least, by using abduction in visual arts. Corrado bonomi is an oniric artist with a “bricoleur” vocation2, an eclectic and multifaceted artist who constantly experiments with pop art, conceptual art and kitsch.

Bonomi storyteller

Bonomi mixes up myths, legends, fairytales, real tales, news articles, novels, scientific theories, movies, comics etc. In visual arts, and in doing so, he makes a dialogue with different genres, languages and contents. He puts together the real and the imagined, in order “to wide considerably the space of possible”3

A journey into the construction of meaning

Let’s think about Fatine Fatate Fatali - pin-up pixies inspired by Tinkerbell4 - : they are supposed to be sexy, but sensuality do not definitely arise by them because of their small size. Let’s think about its works made up with Disney’s characters, or about Castelli in aria5 or Coccodrillo specchio6 - here is Bonomi’s originality: each of these artworks tells plenty of different stories simultaneously, leaving the observer free to mind-wander, to use fantasy, and to loose himself in the pathos of what strikes him most. Watching a single art work, you could grasp a social meaning, or a political meaning, or an ironic meaning, or an oneiric meaning, or a meta-artistic meaning, or a simple entertainment intent. You can also grasp all the meanings together, paying attention to the way you perceive them, and to the way they interact one each other.

Fatina Fatata Fatale, mixed technique-mixed media, cm 30x30x15, Courtesy M. Finotti.
Castelli in aria, mixed media, dimensions depending on the location, 1998.

The irresistible revolutionary power

Bonomi is interested in the “artwork adventure”7. What does it mean? The artwork is never truly owned by the artist, it is more like a son: it receives life from its creator, but it belongs to everyone who feels a connection to it, and it changes sense from time to time8. However, just like a son, the art work maintains the imprinting of its creator, a sort of “trade mark”. Against the light you will see a self-portrait of the artist: one detail, the use of a precise material instead of another one, the use of objects in an unusual context. Bonomi’s imprinting always carries a revolutional energy, which cuts with the artistical stereotypes and trends of the moment. You cannot feel comfortable with bonomi’s art: when you think you fully grasped the sense, here comes another one, which totally contradicts what you thought few minutes before.

Der Krokodil di Fedor, mixed media - barrel, mirror, cm 30x30x105, 2017, Courtesy M. Finotti.
Der Krokodil di Fedor (detail), mixed media - barrel, mirror, cm 30x30x105, 2017, Courtesy M. Finotti.

A dialectic of art: the concreteness of the concept

The esthetical experience is immersive: you can touch, watch - even taste and smell, sometimes- bonomi’s artworks, you can play with them – for instance, you could taste the soup where fatina fatata fatale pescatrice9 is fishing, or you could play with allegro chirurgo, removing the sweets in its stomach10. Bonomi’s “conceptual approach” is paradoxically very “concrete”, is not “abstract” – from the latin verb “cum” “crescere”, to be always in motion, synthetizing new elements and experiences, new and different space-time coordinates. This way of doing art makes bonomi’s production open to everybody: his artworks can be experienced by kids, adults and more than adults.

L’Allegro Chirurgo, mixed media – electric circuit, buiscuits dispenser, cm 100x150x12 cm, 2018.
L’Allegro Chirurgo (detail), mixed media – electric circuit, buiscuits dispenser, cm 100x150x12 cm, 2018.

The attention to the enviroment and the use of recycled materials

Corrado Bonomi has always paid a special attention to the environment: a part of his artworks is made of recycled materials, of plastics and petroleum products – which are hardly disposable by the environment. Among the most representative artworks made of recycled materials we can quote Godzilla, a dinosaur created with rubber from discarded tires – low and behold, petroleum began to form right in the era of dinosaurs -; and Naufragio della speranza 11 - which recalls the famous painting of friedrich. In this artwork the characters are penguins struggling with the ice melting. As an art teacher, Corrado Bonomi encourages his students to do art by transforming waste material into art objects.

Il Naufragio della speranza, mixed media – painted suitcase, carillon, cm 45x60x40, 2000.
Godzilla, mixed media – pieces of tire, red leds, tinfoil, cm 60x120x140.

  • 1 See I. Quaroni, La vocazione del bricoleur, 2014..
  • 2 Ibidem. This expression is the most representative of bonimian way of doing art
  • 3 Corrado Bonomi’s words for describing his last artworks of the Moon Cycle.
  • 4 Fairy Fatal Pixies. Tinkerbell is the famous Pixie of Peter Pan’s Saga.
  • 5 Castles in the air.
  • 6 Mirror-Crocodiles..
  • 7 Bonomi’s quote.
  • 8 To this purpose, it is interesting to underline how Bonomi’s art is in line with the modern semiotic philosophies, from De Saussure, to Cassier, to the logician/mathematician and pragmatist philosopher C.S. Peirce, whose theory is well grounded on the role of “interpretamen” (to better undestand, see Rossella Fabbrichesi Leo, Sulle tracce del segno. Semiotica, faneroscopia e cosmologia nel pensiero di Charles Sanders Peirce, La Nuova Italia, Florence, 1986).
  • 9 Fairy Fatal Fisher Pixie.
  • 10 The happy Surgeon – inspired by a famous child’s toy.
  • 11 The sinking of Hope.