Angelo Vincenzo De Cillis was born in 1938 in Trepuzzi (Le), while still young he moved to Manduria. He taught art education in state schools from 1960 to 1996. From 1961 to 1990 he exhibited in the Salento area and in Manduria in cultural circles. From 1970 to 1985 he made numerous works for religious and private communities. His soul is tormented by social problems that afflict the south, and exits them in his paintings, following the avant-garde and neorealist, as those that better already allow us to express our feelings and ideas. He paints a pictorial cycle for the Passionist Fathers of Manduria that depicts the life of their founder, Saint Paul of the Cross.
The artistic work of Angelo Vincenzo De Cellis manifests itself through a sensitivity that sees and analyzes the social issues of the people of his land, a contemporary southern land of the end of the century, tightened in that grip made by its popular traditions, warm and sanguine, and always present desire for revenge and conquest towards modernity.
Professor and scholar of art De Cellis performs an artistic journey that sees his work increasingly put as a dialectic diaphragm with the spirituality and the existential conditions of modern man, a representation that goes beyond the stylistic language to become a thematic expression so much to meet the favor of the Congregation of the Passionist Fathers who want to commission him a work on the life of their holy founder, Saint Paul of the Cross.
Here the work becomes an emblematic structure, a pictorial cycle, through a cultural symbiosis with the client, an art that shuns contemporary concept to appropriate the most expressive figurativity that wants to involve and touch the faithful, bring him closer and understand the life of the saint, with a strong style, a close and modern art that welcomes and proposes a message of faith.
Here the work of De Cellis is not a monad dispersed in time, rather it is formal stylistic syntax that blends in the sacred narration through a direct language where the symbology is perceived with passion by the user who becomes a participant in the discovery of the sacred instantly , at that moment that observes and makes art its own as sacred art.
De Cellis proposes a Divine relationship in the work, a rediscovery of the spirituality of the artistic sense as a mission, each brushstroke of his paintings is marked, made with ardor, re-proposing a return to materiality, to the essence of colors. with sentiment and refers to the energy of faith and the sacred that underlies the vital moment, a moment in which representation becomes reflection and reconciliation.
The story of a saint’s life becomes Epic, it becomes historical, contemporary, understandable in the ferment for the search for the faith of the man of today, the individual who is lost in the thousand daily problems and submissive to a thousand incomprehensible languages, here is the message from De Cellis, an excited, vibrant and sentimental writing, but always current, close to the events of a holy man, but true, present among his people as a perfect conjunction with the cross, with the Divine.
The artist is fully cohesive to measure himself with the art of his time, he is a contemporary with the gaze on the classic, in the sense of objectivity, of the figurativity that revisits with expressionist accents to Munch to be clear or even with lyric tones to the Soutine, here, however, the drama of the vision is reflected in the intimacy of the sacredness and the desire for faith, where his bodies are earth, matter, almost a revisitation of an early Michelangelo.
Color has a great evocative power, intentionally symbolic, which is highlighted to return to the viewer in order to percuoterarlo in its ambivalences and ask him what he has inside, where are his emotions and his faith, a simple palette that has a romantic nature but which still leads to the transcendent through the union with a linear design, dark colors with accents of strong bright vivacity.
A pictorial cycle of undoubted sacredness where dialogue is given by a continuous relationship between the cognitive development of the user and his inner state, a relationship that develops in a cathartic moment through the recognition of holiness, the identification in the project of St. Paul as an example of life, the sacred is among us, within us and we can touch it, see it.