by Luciano Carini

An important figure, Fernando Alfonso Mangone boasts participation in high-level exhibitions, the collaboration and attendance of important and qualified personalities of international culture as well as an intense exhibition activity made up of prestigious exhibitions held in public and private spaces throughout Italy and in major capitals of Europe. To underline his collaboration with organizations and institutions of international importance such as "Green Peace", "Amnesty International", "Stade-Kunst" and the multinational "Heineken-Italia".

Born in Altavilla Silentina, in the province of Salerno, he was for a long time a globetrotting, metropolitan and nomadic artist by choice, to get to know other worlds and other cultures, to broaden his artistic and cultural horizons, to make new acquaintances and enrich his already fruitful and predisposed interiority. During this long period of nomadism he was in Berlin, Rotterdam, Paris and London, he lived the periods and places of the greatest masters of Rock and Punk, immortalizing them in gigantic posters that, for a long time, were the backdrop to landscapes and glimpses of famous cities and metropolises. These were the years of an effervescent climate: wherever galleries and research laboratories on the Historical Avant-gardes and new Movements arose and developed, new ideas grafted onto the others, newspapers and magazines dedicated rivers of ink to the boom in the art market that , for the first time, it was also perceived as an investment.
Alfonso Mangone nourished himself with this climate and atmospheres, and these days he has kept emotions, sensations and enthusiasm continuing, undeterred, to paint and produce without ever losing heart, following, with naturalness and spontaneity, the thread of own imagination and creativity, always remaining faithful to its original and thematic characteristics. This painting is clearly of expressionist derivation and is close to the Fauves for its chromatic intensity, but highly autonomous and personal, free and heartfelt, crossed by emotion and sentiment.

Mangone executes his creative flair, following the rush of the moment, freely interpreting his own feelings and mood. With this free and fast writing he thus offers us intense and exciting images referring to everyday life, to moments and moments that mark life and the path of common living.

Among his favorite themes, however, undoubtedly excels the one referring to the urban landscape that our artist knows how to describe with great naturalness, capturing the frenzy of our days, the metropolitan chaos, the geometry of modern architecture, the liveliness of illuminated signs, static icons but omnipresent of today's reality.

In the past, other artists had dedicated themselves to the urban landscape: Mario Sironi portrayed desolate and sad suburbs, Ottone Rosai the delightful alleys of Tuscan cities and towns. In these works, now consigned to history, everything was concentrated on the solitude and silence, almost unreal, that dominated the spaces: empty and timeless spaces that hinted at the anguish and omens of a society in profound transformation. Opposite, but in a certain sense complementary, are the visions of Alfonso Mangone who operates in a different historical moment, when by now the great technological evolutions have been completed and the metropolises have changed their appearance becoming a meeting place, a colorful stage of intercultural life, important of political and economic power. Our artist, therefore, does not seek existential problems or the oppressive sense of individual solitudes that exist and are present in his urban landscapes, but rather the realistic dimension of the city, the moments of the day, the more or less bourgeois rituals of a life marked by schedules, habits and actions that are repeated with obsessive continuity, in an alienating relationship and of prolonged frustration. And the sense of loneliness and existential unease then emerges very strongly, but not as a fundamental fact of his research, but as a reflection and result of a life that, due to its rhythms and its times, leaves no room for true and disinterested relationships.

Mangone's colors are captivating and surprising: their gradations are slowly revealed passing from gray and suffused tones to sudden and bright lightings, his signs and his chromatic flashes thicken and chase each other without interruption on the canvas, becoming traces, paths and rhythms intermittent that dynamize the space by creating life, movement and drive. With these colors and with his peremptory and decisive gesture, Mangone thus attracts the observer's gaze within his visual plot and within the illusory dimension of the representation in an endless geometric scan and in a deep and infinite perspective vertigo. In this beautiful and evocative Piacenza exhibition, alongside the paintings of the great European cities and metropolises there are also various works dedicated to our areas and the Po Valley: in Piacenza, first of all, (Piazza Cavalli and Piazza Duomo), the Po and its horizons and then in Parma, Modena, Mantua etc. These are places that our artist knows very well and loves intensely.

After so much wandering, our artist has finally returned home to the places that saw him as a child and that he never forgot. Here, in the collected silence of his land, he continues to work and produce, to tell his infinite story made up of men and things, of cities and countries: fragments of life, lived memories, intense moments stolen from the frenzy of our complicated days and donated to the magic of art and poetry.