Born to art in 2019, Sergio Mario Illuminato has begun to go through a process that the history of art itself has already shared with man. How the child becomes an adult through the transition from tactility, from immersive knowledge in the environment, from topological knowledge; to then assume, through a process of schooling, a more abstract and symbolic knowledge; thus his artistic and perceptive process starts from a core of sensorial-tactile-immersive sensitivity – which was his informal workshop – around which, through his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, he has cultivated knowledge, the questions of contemporaneity of the gesture, the sign and the meaning of his art.
And it is time that his gaze fixed the relationship between the artifact and personal history, its origin. To identify, gradually more and more evident, a commitment to bring into his works not Sicily, but “Sicilitude”, that is a feeling, an attitude, a way of feeling that is articulated on a whole series of concepts that they should synthesize the Sicilian values and spirit. I’m talking about the relationships with his noble fathers: Pirandello, Sciascia, Verga, Vittorini… with whom he had a difficult, unbearable, fleeing relationship, but then we return to recognize and love them. In a way to resemble them.
Moving to Rome at a very young age, freeing himself from the oppressive Pirandellian irrationalism of the Malavoglia di Verga meant for him to free himself from the frenzied Sicilian reality in which he had been trained. From the beginning he felt it as an obligation of conscience and then because he knew how to transform the pretext of cultural commitment, of the social solicitation of Rome, into a story of life as an act of optimism regarding a terrible, disturbing Sicilian reality, around the word mafia to which he refused any approach.
But this Enlightenment attention with its landing on art was destined to give way to a real explosion of a decadent aesthetic. This coincides, for example, with the reflection in the dialectic of “One, no one, one hundred thousand” to quote the title of a famous novel. In this painful inner debate he had to face the Sicilian myths of impenetrability, cohesion, silence. And above all to address the theme of failure, of power (without light, dark, with no possibility of reforming it), and of the profound distrust of history and its illusions.
Party to erase his Sicilian roots, in the end – he must admit – he does not need to bring the world into his artistic process, but to investigate the enigma of “Sicilitude” in the world.