Looking and analyzing Jò Badamo's works, a question instinctively crosses our mind, what would he have painted if he was born in Milan, in an Alpine area or in a tourist one, such as Rimini, or in a place like Rome?But he was born in a sunny town, in Southern Italy, Castellammare delGolfo, a place where it is still possible to smell the fragrance of “homemade bread,” far away from the colorless and meanly aesthetic rolls, more appearance than substance. And it is right here, and nowhere else, that we have to appraise him.
It is really this black and strong “homemade bread" that strikes our painter as a cultural symbol, taking us through a visual memory, over a relatively recent period, when the country civilization was the prevailing reality and when people worked ever since childhood, learning a job or “seeking consolation” in that great theater called country. And it is right here, in this artisan and country works that the painter seeks consolation.
To him, portraying these events is a holy duty to maintain for the future generations, as physiological and anthological DNA. But there is even more – the old Sicilian pride beats in our painter as the dignity of this ancient people being proud of its own poverty of which he is an integral part both as an actor and as a spectator.
He does not paint, on the contrary, he seems to take possession of that history in which a part of his soul is beating:the memories of his father and of those generations who had the privilege not to see the sun, the moon and the earth desecrated, and after a hard working day enjoyed dining by candlelight with the whole family while the wood was crackling in the fire and the distant sound of mandolins and guitars played by someone singing a tender serenade to his sweetheart, echoed in the night.
At that time, natural harmony was still an unviolated law and the dual concept of man and nature was living at its highest level. From this regret derives the artist’s melancholy, which is excellently evident in his monochromatic style. But even through melancholy, the painter still believes in life and in liberation. He represents things in a very passionate way so that every single thing seems to be living in a fairy tale world, covered by a veil of mist or humidity. Nature, in fact, is never represented in its natural beauty. Men and things seem to be acting on a sad stage, turned to the past rather than to the future. Jò Badamo, as a man, does not rebel against his condition, accepting it with human resignation and being aware that around the corner, the Divine Providence looks indulgently after mankind. Everything “exists” and the paintercaptures buried images, giving them new life in a lost properties anthology.
Historical finds, where monochromatic and monographic melt together, just like in the works of the painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who addressed her monographic way towards male’s desecration.Two artists with different themes, but nevertheless similar, the photographic objective through a short exposure fixes on the film more than the dynamics of image. The fixating thought describing only one aspect of life. In Jò Badamo, superfluity is not described, nor is the image raw. As through the projection of a kaleidoscope, everything is full of a poetic realism.A succession of icons trying to represent the sacredness of an act, a gesture, a scene and you think you can smell the scent of that country world still living inside the painter’s mind.
In consideration of this, the technique, even if excellent with scarce influence, the observer is deeply attracted by the human warmth. One can breathe as soon as the painting, carried out according to the inspiration of that very moment, is caught by our retina, our third eye listening to the inner vibration.