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In the early '60s, in the United States as in Europe, a number of artists reacted to the long hegemony of abstract expressionism by creating a new artistic current. This new current was called hyperrealism. One of the key aspects of this movement, which had exhausted its most significant and innovative phase by 1974, was the representation of real objects with an exaggerated optical illusionism (trompe l'oeil). But the chief aim of hyperrealism (in America moreso than in Europe) was confusing the artistic work with the reality it depicted, as in the famous sculpture "Woman taking Notes" by Duane Hanson, first shown in Copenhagen. This work confounds even the most expert eye, and it is impossible to tell whether one is looking at a real woman or a statue. Another fundamental characteristic of hyperrealism was its perfect duplication of photography, in order to obtain the most equivocal form of representation possible. (Goins: Sacramento Airport, 1970 – Les Saintes Maries de la mer, 1971).
While American hyperrealism originated with Pop-Art, in Europe its origins were more diversified, so that 'Realism' appears a more appropriate term. Realism has a long tradition in European art and has acquired numerous nuances and contaminations over the centuries: from the Tuscan and Flemish Renaissance, to Nineteenth-Century French art, Segantini, Sciltian and the Neorealism of the postwar years.
Since his debut in 1971, Livio Možina has explored and assimilated all these aspects with rigor of a self-taught artist, while at the same developing a technique based on the most exacting precision in representation. Although not adhering to any of the movements that grew out of mainstream Realism, his own research led him to a representation of reality which was as near to the natural perception of the eye as possible. To label Možina as either a hyperrealist or disciple of academic realism would thus be as misleading as to consider him the fanatic practitioner of a meticulous objectivism which wishes to astonish at all costs.
In the search for his own cultural identity, Livio Možina was also influenced by his native city of Trieste, with its many vestiges of both German and Austrian Realism (Leibl, Liebermann) and Slavic magic Realism. Romanticism, which dominated in Trieste until the early 20th century, is another important influence. After its renewal during the Secession movement, it would continue to remain a vital presence even after the original impulse of Vienna and Munich had waned.
All these elements can be found in Možina's paintings, and are evident to the attentive viewer.
But in a sense it is irrelevant whether the artist paints in a conscious or instinctive way, for he cannot help but be influenced by his surroundings and the very air he breathes.
If we consider Možina's preferred subjects, i.e. his still lifes (various objects, flowers and fruits) and landscapes, this becomes even more obvious.
In his still lifes, Možina works with an absolute precision and a meticulous attention to even the most insignificant detail, such as a post card or a Mannerist souvenir picture. The same is true in his comic strips for children (which are clearly influenced by hyperrealism), which are executed with delight and irony. Here, the artist’s intention is not only to astonish, but to bring objects back to life and through the use of illusion transcend the limits of the canvas in order to achieve a metaphysical aura that communicates at an unconscious level.
In his landscapes, Možina uses his remarkable technical skills to evoke romantic memories that are not rooted in the rational sphere. Without altering the logic of reality, he yet endows his works with a special atmosphere that is vibrant and infused with a light our eyes are no longer able to perceive.
Today, Livio Možina is considered by public and critics alike as an artist who is indifferent to any group or label. His work displays a joy in painting and a search for identity through what is immediately knowable and capable of restoring certainty, harmony and balance - not only through the artistic creation, but also through proposals that are as manifold as they are contradictory.

Claudio H. Martelli

The extraordinary experience of this young and isolated painter could be the emblematic example of the autodidact, in the noblest sense of the term. Today, with the dissemination of culture through the mass media, an autodidact is not someone without a proper education, but someone who rejects its conclusions and maintains their own individuality through a perfectionist technique of painting, a technique which enables a direct communication with the public, once one has moved past the latest trend.
Možina does not refuse to learn from others, but chooses the lessons that are important for him. Consider the influence of Sciltian or Stracca: once Možina had acquired their vocabulary and syntax, he set his sights even higher, because like all solitary figures, he is motivated by a profound, inner pride.

(Il Piccolo)

Možina's ideal is beauty. The clear emotions evoked by the simple objects he depicts: a broken shoe or a vase of geraniums, a rusty tin, a chair or a mandolin, brings us close to the man and his feelings. Emotions which are evoked by the harmonious blending of colors or a shadow that recedes and then returns, caressing a smooth surface and assuming the dimensions of the canvas. These pictorial elements are all subject to his will, in a dialogue with surrounding space, and enable the viewer’s eye to focus on a canvas rich with the power of suggestion.
As a realistic draftsman within a classical context, contrary to most I find a metaphysical and surreal component in his paintings, which is filtered by a sort of twilight romanticism that turns reality into a fairytale panorama.

(Antonio Oberti, Il Narciso, Sept. 1975)

Immersed in an aura of controlled Romanticism, Livio Možina's creativity obeys the laws of luminosity, brightness and meticulousness.
In a rational, measured journey à rebours, images of the past, enclosed within fairytale books or preserved deep within our emotional universe, are summoned up and restored in their lighter shades of reconciliation, with a palette borrowed from variegated landscape scenes captured during the changing Seasons.
The result is a mixture of magical moments presented in a classical way, where the games of silk-skinned children, the secrets of titmice hidden in the foliage, the stories of a gaggle of geese frightened by an imminent thunderstorm or of patient sheep being led to pasture under surrealistic skies, the scowl of docile donkeys and the ironic enigmas of cats and rabbits are introduced into a natural system in which creatures converse without interruption.
Daily rural life, forgotten thanks to an overwhelming obsession with the modern chaos, is depicted with a basic harmony, interwoven with the luminous transparency of rivers, the sober emphasis on the color of the sky, the soft mantle of snow cloaking a sleeping vegetation unimpoverished by the rigors of the winter.
Možina's artistic quest avoids all offensive, disturbing elements, preferring an escape to zones of calm and balance.
In the cyclical flow of time, recreated by choosing what is "gracious, simple, beautiful and useful" and by "demolishing the barriers" that curb imagination, we can easily imagine "titmice singing in the foliage, a fresh breeze and motes in the sun, cattle cropping grass in the summer heat."
In this harmonious mix of elements, Možina pays tribute to musicians and poets that sustain his inspiration and his search for a bucolic peace.
This impulse to reproduce the chosen scenarios on canvas corresponds to an accurate effort, where all details are treated with consummate skill and the overall image transcends the distinction between dream and reality: exactly what occurs, to some degree at least, with hyperrealism.

Elisabetta Luca