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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Joseph Cusimano

"I don't want to transform the world, merely to improve it, to reveal through the light of my colours the harmonies of the soul... to deprive fear of all its forms and give impetus to hope."

Born in Italy (1935), Joseph Cusimano showed a precocious talent for drawing. In 1945 he was introduced to water colours and oils and he has been painting ever since. He studied art and drawing as part of the school curriculum. In the Spring of 1958 he left Italy and moved to Toronto. He took the Advanced Painting course at the Ontario College of Arts in the years 1961-62.

During his formative artistic years, he was motivated by the multiplicity of reality as perceived by different people from different points in space, and he was intrigued by the works of Carlo Carrà, Giorgio De Chirico, Giorgio Morandi (the metaphysical artists) and Salvador Dalí, Paul Delvaux, René Magritte (surrealist artists).

In the Summer of 1961 he was invited to participate in the first "Open Air Art Show" at the "Four Seasons Motor Hotel" and since then he has exhibited in Canada and in Europe. One of his shows was held at the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Toronto, August 24 - September 14, 1997.

In the artistic turmoil of this century, Joseph Cusimano managed to preserve his own individuality by adhering strictly to his own belief that "every painter aspires after a new art." He has repeatedly emphasized in his writings and lectures that he has created "from the connubium between metaphysical painting and surrealism a new form of artistic expression as from the connubium between man and woman a new life is born." It is from this connubium between the surrealism of Dalí and the metaphysical painting of Giorgio de Chirico that the value and the singularity of the Cusimanian art assertively spring into existence.

Nowhere is this singularity more evident than in Il Riposo Delle Maschere (1991) where metaphysical shadows point the way to "the solitary runner who seeks his identity in the landscape of his own soul." When asked about the meaning of the masks that resemble dislocated heads of an artist's mannequin he replied "It is within the social framework that our freedom is curtailed by our own actions. We transform our appearance to hide our reality, we wear masks. The magic character of this transformation which allows us to become 'something else' often creates ambiguity and equivocation. The metamorphosis of appearance cannot be sustained infinitely even if one is 'what-one-would-like-to-be'. It is in surrendering our masks at a point in the infinite stretch of Time, that we regain our inner humanity and spirituality (bird)."

His artworks are in public and private collections in Europe and in North America.

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