oil on cardboard, 61×35 cm

signed and dated lower left U. Conti 1911

TheSelf-Portrait of 1911 is Conti’s first painting. It was executed with makeshift materials, melting cheap colors in olive oil and painting on the back of a small picture that decorated the walls of the house. It is, however, a surprising testament to the awareness to which immediate self-intuition could go once the painting process was initiated. The figure of the child stands solitarily, coruscating and inquiring, against a brick-colored background, propelled by an invisible energy. He is almost an apparition, dominated by a purely psychic tension, his eyes wide in his emaciated face, his ears too large, stretched out like those of an animal in a state of alarm. A very rare case, the condition of adolescence is here portrayed by an exceptional teenager: the author himself.