His paintings were a big surprise to me. I had been used to artists who preferred to fall back on themselves and willingly restrict their boundaries, but before the explosion of colour in his paintings, at seeing these silvery galaxies and mosaics, I felt gratified, compensated. I wouldn’t know how else to define it.
First of all, he has the merit of being original: a quality that, in a world where everyone tries to fit into a known current, is often looked upon with suspicion. Secondly, the risk ( one of the indisputable indicators of art), which derives from not identifying with any group, the risk, that is, that the choice of using a decisive brush stroke, to obtain a precise shape of the figure, without smears or errors, could appear spurious, graphically contaminated, and not respect the canons accepted by the critics, which often prefer the pigment to the subject.
As for originality, I must say that, if ever I found validation in the reiteration of a form, this brings me back to the works of Escher. I would, however, like to clarify that if in Escher the intellectual game prevails as an end in itself, in Maran’s paintings the subject multiplied “ad infinitum” is an entity in itself, to be observed and enjoyed aesthetically from its own due perspective.
I don’t think one needs to find the source of his inspiration in a nostalgic return to the past, to his childhood in his beloved Grado, or to his father, a fisherman. Even though he often enjoys talking about his past, we mustn’t forget that, besides being a painter and a sculptor, Gianni Maran is an eclectic artist (costume designer, set designer, theatrical and film director), and that he has a very clear vision of the world in which he works.
Essential symbol in his works: fish, a subject that can be fragmented to a sequin in the sumptuous tail of a comet, or appear in the foreground, enlarged to the point of dominating the scene in metaphysical hyperrealism, but always with an encircled dot eye fixed on us, like a photographic fish eye, or -why not?- Escher’s convex mirror , while it observes us and sees us formless and deformed, as we would never imagine to be.