Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Friday, 24 July 2015

Armageddon: Mariano Chelo

Rather late in the day, as the exhibition is over, but here is my review of Armageddon at ArtMoorHouse:

Armageddon has begun in the City of London. The countdown to Apocalypse is over and an existential explosion has covered the ground floor walls of Moor House in Moorgate.

Mariano Chelo, from Bosa in Sardinia, is an abstract, installation and performance artist who founded MAP (Movementi Artistici Periferici), a gallery/workshop where he has exhibited his own and other artists’ works. While he has shown work internationally, this is his first solo show in the UK. In his work Chelo has journeyed from traditional beginnings – landscapes, still life and figure studies – through a period of collaboration with advertising agencies - as he abandoned painting for photography and graphic design in the 1980s – to the extravagant expressionism of his current abstractions and action painting performances.

Armageddon features paintings formed out of darkness. Beginning with inky blacks swirled and dripped and covered in the sheen and shimmer of varnish, these are works exploring the emotions of an underworld – physical or personal, in which a limited palette of colours, under pressure, boil and churn to rise in spurts and splurges of volcanic red. ‘Illusione Russo’ is split by a jet-black crevice from which beautiful surges of fiery oranges and reds flow to fill the canvas. ‘Confusamente Russo’ and ‘Russo’ fill their canvasses with the flicker and flare of flame.

Fire is, therefore, one motif Chelo uses for the experience of personal and social Armageddon. Water is another. Biblical motifs underpin much musing generally on apocalypse and Chelo, while not foregrounding Biblical references, certainly has images of deluge and flood within his frame. ‘Oblivion’, in particular, evokes - in blues, blacks and whites - the submerging of our world and consciousness. He ends the show more peacefully, using blacks, greys and whites, by depicting the stillness of the sea in evocative works (‘Mare’ and ‘Mare II’) which divide at the horizon as we are enveloped in darkness by the setting of the sun.

Chelo maintains a balance throughout between the personal, the natural and the social in these works. It could be personal and cultural apocalypse that we are viewing. At times, his shapes suggest cityscapes or caverns yet, here too, our perceptions can be both of physical chaos and of the collapse of our interior world. As the exhibition catalogue suggests, this sequence of images is a migration ‘through a deep dark sea’, ‘a “passage” towards the unexplored, a metaphor to express our inability to fully know the result of our quests.’


Extreme - Politicalamity.

No comments: