I have always believed in intuition, in sudden insight, and experience has consistently borne it out...
So it was indeed with Morago. I didn't know him, mea culpa. I was leafing idly through the catalogue of an important art sale with a colleague, and was suddenly overwhelmed by a painting in red and black. The artist, Morago. "Do you know him?" "No." "Ever heard of him?" "Never." "But that's impossible. You know everyone, remember everyone. You can't have forgotten the name of a painter like this." "I don't know who he is, I've never heard of him and I have no idea where he comes from."
I pause for a moment.
"The name, but more particularly the quality of the painting, which recalls the Goya of the "Quinta del Sordo", the fiery reds, the elegance and tragic quality of the blacks - they all make me think the painter must be Spanish. Find out straight away." Frenzied search. "Agostino Morandin, professional name Morago, from the Treviso Marches". "Contact him now. I want to meet him."
Several telephone conversations and attempts to find an opportunity to spend an afternoon in the "Deep Veneto". The months go by. Morago wins the Brussels competition! Finally I make the acquaintance of the artist and his work.
The impression I gain of the paintings confirms my earlier impression. The man is different. Without doubt a "caballero", a gentleman, a straight person who stays out of the limelight. The clash of battle can be seen only in his eyes. "El sueno de la razon crea monstruos" but Morago dreams and creates masterpieces.
The incredible violence and energy of his imagination is expressed in vivid colours. No question of sabre swipes in his technique though; rather a patient building up of layers, oil glazing on canvas, very liquid oil as used by the great Venetian masters of the XVI century, glazes that enhance the power and transparency of the colours. Morag has a thought he wants to convey. I am not interested. I see and love his painting. It doesn't need explanation. It reminds me of the charm of the Guards who, heedless of whether or not they were copying, made paintings of paintings, or rather sublimates of paintings.
And this great artist, controlling his dramas and passions with conscious skill, continues to give us works that speak of poetry, of love and of death in time.
Agostino Morandin was born near Treviso in a countryside of slow-moving rivers and seasons and in one of those houses that stand out against the expanse of nature's greens and browns with their whitewashed walls, smoke-begrimed hearths and autumn-hued roof-tiles. The sharp fragrance of freshly mown hay blends with the smells of mists and traditional Veneto cooking.
He moved to Venice, where the white of dressed stone, the deep green of the canals, the gold and opulence of this extraordinary city and its great Renaissance painters all exerted a lasting influence. He returned home and struggled hard to become self-supporting; a struggle for a way of life, a struggle for art.
After an initial figurative period he passed to a romantic period and thence to full awareness and control of his abilities, his thought and his means of expression. And this is Morago.
For around twenty years Morago has been exhibiting in the leading galleries of cities such as: Venice, Merida, Paris, Hannover, Ghent, Rome, Florence, Turin, Bologna, Salonika, Cologne, Wuppertal, Milan, Graz, Basel, Atlanta and Amsterdam.