About la Pietà

(...) "Pietà", compassion in its widest and fullest sense. Compassion for the oppressed and for the oppressors, links in the same chain, nexuses in the same network which now connects and intertwines and inexorably shackles together the destinies of the few manipulators of the enormous machine that makes up the global village, and of the many who have no role in the monstrous contraption, and only receive the left-overs of the combustion process, in which, by a cynical and sardonic quirk of deprivation, they themselves are the raw material that provides the energy, if this expression may be used for a humanity that pays the terrible price of bloodshed to sate the burgeoning power of over-developed minorities.
In these prints, we punctually find immediate confirmation, not unexpectedly in my opinion, that Giovanni Greppi¹s graphic and pictorial workshop is no inert theatre of repetition. Not that it would be improper for him to rest, comfortably but tediously - even if it is true that he does not belong to the category of prophets of novelty permanently on duty - on the laurels of the linguistic features so far acquired, which may, perhaps, be useful for practical market reasons, but certainly are of no help for the fundamental purpose of a progressive refinement of expression, aiming not at his virtue as an engraver in the canonical sense, but rather at the semantic and poetic functionality of his graphic and pictorial language.
(...) Engraving on different plates proves to be the most suitable means for the formal rendering of the sense of continual change in the state of the elements of nature , which is one of the central themes of Greppi¹s research; and on the cultural level, in these plates of the Pietà, the parallel concept of the simultaneous interaction of the flow of various images that strike us and permeate us, giving rise to a similar flow, up from the depths, of images that have settled in our personal and collective memory. Our life is immersed in an iconosphere that annuls the distinction between the private and the public, and, in another way, between the real and the virtual. Our lavish daily meal of heterogeneous, contradictory images paradoxically reduces information and the semantics of messages, neutralising our sensitivity to their contents. Giovanni Greppi has reacted to the daily flow of undifferentiated images with the tools of his engraving art, choosing to restore sense and meaning, or in other words, an internal duration, to a sequence of emblematic images borrowed from the boundless repertoire of news, and analogically associated in the alchemy of the plate with other images, specifically recalled by the artist's memory and by the private depths of man; his aim is always to recover, by means of a critical reflection on human conditions in the present civilisation of globalisation, a way of communicating which will restore meaning and significance, and a sense of historical and existential poetic truth, to the everyday events of abuse of power and suffering, fanatical folly and lucid arrogance, that the world presents to our eyes in a sort of uninterrupted fiction, perpetrated at the expense of real men, women and children, who are a part of us, as we are of them.
(...) The dates which provide the titles for the single works refer to the day on which each work was completed, but it is as if they contained a message in code. The artist recognises that the viewer is free to associate with the date significant events, those that can be recognised in the eloquent elements of the visual wealth of the plate, and the others that can be deduced or understood, thanks to chance signals, from the context, to which Giovanni Greppi has entrusted his own narrative plot (cries, shocks, illuminations, turmoil of the heart, melancholic reflections, hopes, warnings, anger), based on certain roots of feelings, of time and of life, knowing that these are pedals that everyone can use to start off on his own personal course of knowledge.

Nicola Micieli