Painting

Dario Puggioni’s Whisper

Dario Puggioni explores the portrayal of antagonized martyrs through his modern style of painting. Born in Brunei, Puggioni traveled to Rome to obtain his artistic training before moving to Berlin to paint. With ink, enamel, acetic acid, and oil painted on metals, Puggioni achieves a unique, melancholy, and explosive effects in his paintings. In the piece, titled Sussurro, a woman, wrapped in chaos, strains every part of her body to scream.

In the background, there are only shades of gray, white, and black. Shades of red, green and white streak off of her skin, giving her a disorderly aura. Perhaps the contrast between the chaotic splatters of paint and the relatively calm background denotes that the present havoc is something that only the woman can perceive, or is something only she can create. The woman could be in danger or she might be aware that others are in agony, and she has taken it upon herself to make the suffering known to anyone that can hear her scream. She is willing to disrupt the peace of the monochrome background because the solution to immediate suffering is not found in long-lasting silence.

Despite this martyr’s intentions, the translation of the painting’s title (Whisper) reveals that her scream is not heard. Though every aspect of her body language displays her sole urge to be heard, from her shut eyes to her gaping mouth, to the straining of her neck and leaning forward as she struggles for breath, no one is there to listen. In order to transform the kindness in our hearts into action that can benefit the people who need us the most, we must have some understanding of what those people in need are feeling. We must be able to hear them. Puggioni forces us to look at the emotions behind yearning for help and for change, yet being too helpless to get either. This image breaks our hearts as he dares us to hear her and to help her.

How does this image make you feel?