Friday, April 1, 2011

BEAUTY: Painting--Nicola Samori

Italian artist Nicola Samori paints like an Old Master: he uses oil on copper, a technique that was popular in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries and used by the likes of El Greco, Chardin and Rembrandt. But unlike the Old Masters, he puts a decidedly contemporary conceptual spin on his portraits. Faces and bodies run and drip as if caught in the rain... or a toxic spill. The paint dissolves and mars an otherwise traditional Old World portrait. Although I like these pieces and they seem to have a feeling of originality about them, of course one cannot help but flash on Bacon's many "Melting Popes," as seen here and here. Like Bacon's Pope, Samori's portraits offer a disturbing glimpse into a psychological layer beneath the stiffness and formality of a Baroque portrait.

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