Costantini has the anarchists caught in a petrified act. It is as if their entire lives are encapsulated in a single moment, in that unique moment of action of absolute revolt. Costantini's anarchists are allegories for Revolution: symbolic figures transfigured into heavenly constellations, both hot and cold, and they retain the mechanical motion and structural necessity of the stars; man cannot but rebel against himself, quite apart from against the Tyrant.
Now his portraits of writers have changed dimension. They are mobile and subject to variation; no gesture or action can be excluded. Writing, poetry are the very stuff of mobility and the writer or the poet is himself mutant. Take a look at Céline: his dissolution-despair is in the throes of undergoing change and something is in the hatching. Bertolt Brecht's (38) mouth is sheer, irrepressible sensuality.
The owlish Beckett (a real owl) turns his profile towards the infinite and expresses a tension that draws him out of the parameters a profile was thought to require. Rather than having "switched dimension", Costantini's writers shun any dimension other than movement, other than change. Language articulates change and is change in the making. Emily Dickinson's smile has blown her rose apart and put in together again within the instant. T.S. Eliot (40) is on the verge of setting aside monstrance and bowler hat and can no longer see or feel them. Apollinaire is toying with his wound and searching for his missing hand, equally playfully. Gertrude Stein is the shifting geography of Frontier America.
Costantini's work is a successful marriage of painting and writing: his drawing take charge of the grammar and syntax, those tools for displacement and a new vision. What writing has to show us is not the metaphysics of history, but the changing landscape of that part of life we knew not. Art has this to say to us: that which we do not know; and it stands there before us for that reason only. We must eventually look and feel and know, because it is not too late.