Let’s talk about light. Just in the last few days I was looking over some drawings and work in general of a few years ago, a study I made on light. “lt’s light that creates form”. I think I read it in Writings and thoughts about art by Matisse. I was struck by it, I needed to reflect on what I had just read. lt was a phrase that contained some- thing very deep for me, something mystical: it stimulated me to search for the essence of things. l had to understand. So I took to drawing all kinds of objects, and what obsessed me was this light that gives form to things, makes them perceptible, real, existent, light, and this very lightness corresponded to a feeling of liberation. Light was my image, my existence that had to have meanings that went beyond those of a life made up of matter only. That was the beginning of the knowledge of myself as a person.
It may be that there is an answer in the fall of Ionda’s decapitated stars. When these meet with the images of modern events, which Ionda extrapolates daily from the information of newspapers or magazines, a metamorphosis takes places, both of the forms and the ideas.
Stars, the symbol of optimism and light, in falling become terrestrial and become inte- grated with human affairs, disasters, wars, loves, suffering; perhaps they protest and assume a socio-political character. The sto- ries chosen by Ionda are everyday reality. They are not invented; they are stories of violence and injustice. These horrors are clearly presented at a time when society calls itself evolved and civilized and plans a future of development. It is the aesthetic level of his works that elevates, exalts and restores dignity to the facts, even the most horrendous ones. Ionda observes human behaviour with a magnifying glass; he enlarges the faces that are full of suffering or anger. In the newspapers these dramas are in the background. In his work londa puts the events themselves in the foreground, the images laden with all their gravity and human depth. It touches the person.
This is the difference between the daily news and the artistic fact. Ionda magnifies the screen of the images of suffering, he works his way into the weft of tiny dots of various size and this becomes his world, the landscape he passes through with his feelings, his hands, with his whole being, perhaps to understand if what he has in front of him is real, or otherwise he asks: is it real?
An obsession, a spiritual encounter, a devotion. Once again Ionda produces witnesses of this time. He does not avoid reality. He risks. The letters he impresses on the decapitated stars and on the nails, placed upside-down, flash by, questioning culture itself. In Ionda’s works the words that appear and disappear amid signs of the destruction of hope bring to mind the words of Adorno, that after Auschwitz it would no longer be possible to write poetry. Ionda’s images, fifty years later, raise the question again: is it still possible to make poetry?