Sicilian-born artist Francesco Russo left the language of western modernism behind to devote himself entirely to the creation of timeless spiritual symbols. A Hindu-influenced vision gives rise to drawings, paintings and sculptures capturing and confronting us with higher energies and messages from another dimension, which can lead to self-knowledge, transformation and healing.
Based on illustrated Hindu texts from the 17th century, a collection of 26 drawings are painted with gouache, watercolor and tempera on rough, fibrous paper. The images have been created and re- created by subsequent generations of artists. Over time, the text was separated from the image, leaving only crisp, symbolic compositions as an aid for private meditation.
Francesco Russo’s paintings vibrate. This vibration is due not so much to the color of the paintings as to a spiritual content, which they offer generously. What makes the work generous is that it is not just a moment in the artist’s mental process, but that it enables its energy to have a continuing effect in the viewer’s mind. As a result of a long process with a purifying effect, each painting shows evidence of the moment in which seeking makes way for finding and duality transitions into unity and concentration.
Czech born visual artist Tomas Vavricek presents an interactive audiovisual installation titled Carburetor that invites the viewer into a sacred space made of lights, fabric and visual projections. It is an installation derived from ideas of technology and augmented reality, which builds upon his previous installations inspired by the book by famous Czech writer Karel Capek The Absolute At Large. The science fiction novel written in 1922 depicts a machine called Carburetor that turns humans into gods. The first sentence opens the story on New Year's Day 1943 and describes the fundamental transformations in society as the result of a new mystical source of virtually free energy. Tomas Vavricek’s installation is an abstract association of how such a machine might look like.
A purified language, the fruit of a profound spiritual reflection towards art, characterizes the work of Belgian artist Luc Claus. Refusing to see his work in terms of ideas rather than feelings, the artist looked for the essence of the human figure by stripping down the ideas and convictions that moved him. It was a long philosophical way that led to a graphical search for the ultimate and ideal representation.
Aude du Pasquier Grall started the Male Cycle in 1998. The multi-media project features a different man for each male cycle and each identity corresponds to a particular cycle. The artist's work is formally new even if, instructed by the history of art, it induces the mind to play with anachronistic alliances. One could, for instance, link a photograph taken from cycle n°4 (the man with an orange) to Bronzino’s painting Allegory of Venus, Love and Time. Both works feature a well-balanced composition of an artificial world, strange and sensual. The anti-naturalist bias, the improbable and contorted attitudes of the bodies, the mannerist colors, the intertwined themes of love, death and time, and even the representation of the golden apple — symbol of beauty — are echoed in both works. The model’s legs, flexed and joined together suggest an inverted deposition from the cross. Around him, flowers and fruit (oranges), normally the attributes of youth and fertility are carefully arranged on the ground so as to evoke a vanitas painting.
Théo Mercier juxtaposes the real and the artificial, the mundane and the extraordinary, the traditional and the radical. He functions as an experimental chemist, combining ordinary objects and social references in a lab, which result in sublime mutations. The recycling of the ordinary is apparent in Slayer Fan. Locks of Barbarella blond hair attached to a standard functioning ceiling fan result in a vulgar yet divine tribute to the intensity of rock.
A recurrent theme in Henwood's paintings and mixed-media works has been the exploration of the complex social and cultural terrain of childhood and adolescence. Narrative themes are characterized by a frank, mundane realism derived from Pop art and photography. It is done with such artistic depth that it provides his work with a naturalistic dimension. Moving from a semi- expressionist form of pop art, he developed a highly personal realistic style, producing images saturated with color in which longing, emptiness and solitude all hang in the air. His meticulously executed realist paintings, imbued with a pervasive mood of alienation, are noble, lyrical, loving and also capture something fundamental, a diaristic directness. They bring about a sense of life and energy yet still capture that feeling of abandonment and solitude hiding deep within his subjects. Follow Artists In This Show