L'UOMO CHE RIDE
The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo was published in 1869. The main character of the novel is Gwynplaine, an itinerant acrobat whose face had been cruelly deformed since childhood into a grotesque smile. The tragic events which will mark the life (an unfortunately also death) of the protagonist will always go alongside this monstruos sneer, extraordinary methaphor, underlying cruelly, precisely the irreconciliability between the dimension of appearing and the one of the emotional feeling.
Denis Riva's works are realised on eighteenth century paper, partially devoured by mice, with coffee, tea, fire, chine and pastel. These technical details allow us to express Denis’ artistic process which is pretty much a conscious homage to the poetics of abandonment and reject. The characters rapresented in the drawings belong to a primal world, where stunning elements at the same time surprise and deeply disturb us. Everything happens in perfect harmony with this timeless classic by Victor Hugo.