Aldo Iacobelli’s work draws broadly upon personal experience. My Days (2011-13) for instance, consists of 224 mixed media drawings in recycled frames. For Iacobelli these works are a form of visual diary, representing the processes of thinking that drive his work on a daily basis. He is particularly interested in memory, those recollections stored in the mind and often completely forgotten – until something arouses their return. For Iacobelli, Montedidio, a book by Neaoplitan writer Erri De Luca, evoked a torrent of potent memories of growing up in Naples during the 1960s inspiring his series of six pencil and smoke drawings Neapolitan Souls (2012).
Literature and art play a strong role in Iacobelli’s practice, which explores not only personal memories but also the impact of stories told by other artists and writers. Reflecting on Frau Weinreb (2012) focuses on Elias Canetti’s true account of an encounter with elderly widow Frau Weinreb who sniffed and licked the portraits of her late husband at night. As a way of coming to terms with this strange yet fascinating act, Iacobelli produced four graphite drawings of tongues. Similarly A tale from the Lower South East of South Australia (2012) reflects upon A Single Sound, an unpublished novella by Linda Marie Walker revolving around the suicide of a young man in Mount Gambier – drawings that respond to the youthful memories of another artist and writer.
Excerpts from essay by David Broker.
Aldo Iacobelli, My Days, 2011 – 2013 209, mixed media drawings, recycled frames, dimensions variable
Aldo Iacobelli, Birdbath, 2013, bronze and copper. 150 x 28 x 11cm; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.