Mythology and fantastic creatures
"In Costa's mythological reenactment, the Harpies occupy a special place, and the artist persistently portrayed them. Defined by wide, continuous lines traced with simple purity yet with a sense of visual hallucination that oscillates between the grotesque, the tragic and the ironic, these Harpies are among the most fascinating and singular figures conceived from Valeria's fantasy."
Chère imagination, ce que j'aime surtout en toi, c'est que tu ne pardonnes pas.
The fascination for automatic painting and drawing, furthermore, the use of forms and images of the unconscious characterize, partially, the whole artistic production of Valeria Costa. However, there is a series of works in which all these characters are particularly evident.
These works, paintings, but above all drawings reproducing images coming directly from the artist's fantastic imagination, are populated by creepy subjects: monsters, giant insects, and hybrid beings who seem to come out of a nightmare and recall some of the strange characters in Dora Maar's photographs
"All the mythological images proposed by Costa seem to provide us a glimpse, albeit with explicit differences, of a primordial and mysterious culture, presupposed, moreover, by any mythological conception. Hence, Danae emerges as a terrible figure, almost torn and appears, visually, with the characters, also crudely totemic of the Fates, Sibyls, Hydra, Narcissus..
L'idea ecumenica, universalistica, che tende a vedere tutto il mondo religioso sotto un unico comune denominatore formale e spirituale, torna a manifestarsi nella descrizione del mondo del mito come se venissero amalgamate insieme suggestioni visive provenienti da culture apparentemente lontanissime l'una dall'altra, come il mondo della Grecia antica, quello arcano e conturbante delle civiltà precolombiane, quello aspro e irto di miti delle civiltà africane".
Nightmares and images of the unconscious
The desperate screams to the moon, the arching trees, the desperate characters who embrace and seem to protect each other like time's castaways, the lonely elderly people in solitary meditations, the dry leaves, the angels, the totems, the monsters, the female fetishes, the silences of the night, the precipitous escapes of threatened and tortured beings, are as many expressions of a substantial disenchantment of the artist's work toward the great themes that constitute the very substance of the work
"In the collection's section called Biblical, the themes treated by the artist such as those of the Tree of Life and Temptations seem to arise directly from the ancestral ideas of a world that oscillates between the apocalyptic images of the Biblical tradition and those equally colorful and surprising of the Inca mythology".
oil on canvas, 70x50cm
around mid '80s
The Serpent Tree
"LThe seven-headed hydra is a recurring theme in Valeria Costa's work. Unlike the analogous reptile by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, so nourished of unconscious terror in female imagination, Valeria's hydra lost his frightful characteristics. Costa is somewhat able to exorcise his arcane and evil power and takes maximum delight from the infinite chromatic possibilities that the mythical animal offers to her vivid imagination"