I met Salvatore di Meo at the end of the eighties, on the occasion of an event that saw the parallel work of a famous architect in comparison with that of a chef; there I realized that Salvatore is not only a good cook, but he has a remarkable artistic sensibility.
The architect described a building, iron-colored from the outside and soft with woods and colors inside. Salvatore showed a Brasato; but the presentation was worthy of a work by Joseph Beuys. On a long or flat bread, almost three meters long, three braised meats surrounded, like iron clubs, by cloves were pinned with skewers. Like architecture, Brasato gets hot and irony on the outside, while the soft moods and juices remain enclosed inside.
The artist Di Meo has accompanied the cook over the years. The cook must know well the subject he is dealing with and respect its substance. Now I am not referring only to the aesthetics of the dish, but to the construction of an image on the plate that uses animal and vegetable materials, without distorting them.
From here, I believe, arises the need for Salvatore Di Meo to get out of the moon of the plate. He began to paint cardboard and rough canvas backdrops, already imagining to contaminate the material and imaginary design with real backdrops (the sea, the solfatara, the lake), in which he then put the “nature in pose” by photographing its ingredients (one redfish, pasta, vegetables).
Finally, the most recent leap. The alchemical experience of cooking is sublimated in molten metals, which preserve their liquid memory, the colors of the paper and raw canvas backdrops melt and change in the different moments of the fusion. The alchemist of meo literally lights up his canvases that ignite, then depositing colored lavas.
Its Phlegraean land, its archetypal figures, can be glimpsed in the chaotic flow of colored lavas, and they offer us a primordial idea, when things were not yet, but they already announced the future.
And so, in the fleshy glow of the metal, you can see the metamorphosis carried out by the Chef who became an Artist.
Fabrizio Mangoni Architect Urban planner – Historian and Narrator of the kitchen
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Istituto di cultura francese a NAPOLI. 1997
Istituto di cultura francese a Napoli. 1998
Artspace. Hotel PITRIZZA a Porto Cervo. 2001
Galleria Mentana Firenze. 2002
Artspace. Hotel Cervo. Porto Cervo. 2008
Artspace. Hotel LE GINESTRE. PORTO CERVO. 2016
SIMON BART GALLERY. PORTO CERVO. 2016
Artspace. SURRAU. ARZACHENA. 2017
Fondation TAYLOR. PARIS. 2018
Luxembourg prize. 2019
SIMON BART GALLERY Bologna. 2019
SIMON BART GALLERY PORTO CERVO. 2021