Esthetic Uprising - ARTPOPCLASSIC® by Marco Battaglini in Caletas Art Palace

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Jacob Karpio in Caletas Art Palace presented the works of Marco Battaglini.

Eat like you give a f*ck

Probably the uniqueness of the Italian artist Marco Battaglini is to conceptualize the possible coexistence of the ideals of classical beauty with the anti-aesthetic, the combination of the divine and refined with the vulgar...

Without a doubt, the work of Marco Battaglini (Verona, Italy, 1969) echoes the anxiety inherent in Western society during the 21st century. This artist’s work confronts us with an esthetic shock, a style charged with eclecticism and a touch of humor that brings a smile to the spectator’s face while begging questions about the dogma that underlies current artistic and social scenes.

Throughout his artistic career, Battaglini has maintained a complex working-concept of reality, approaching it from its basis in perception and coming into close proximity with the multidimensionality of being; his purpose has been to expose the contradictions intrinsic to human existence while demonstrating the power of imagination through his view of the reality. This is an artist that devotes special attention to the notions of time and space, viewing them as fictitious entities and showing that their worth and weight in people's daily lives are actually quite relative. This modus operandi of snatching reality away and giving it back in the form of art gives the viewer the opportunity to see reality from another perspective. Battaglini’s insistence on laying bare the inherent relativity of an analysis limited to the historical, geographic and sociocultural context is a fundamental characteristic of the work featured in this exhibition.

These compositions capture the very essence of an artist whose desire to shatter the conventions of perceivable reality seems linked to a passion for art and his interest in diverse genres. In this fashion, the artist projects a personal universe capable of submerging the audience in reflection on diverse issues, ranging from the concept of artistic expression to the notion of individual human existence.

ARTPOPCLASSIC captures the main characteristic of Battaglini’s work, specifically the inclusion of elements drawn from classic art alongside elements drawn from Pop art - an inter-textual puzzle rich with references. Here we see classic works of art transported to the present day, re-contextualized in a contemporary artistic and social setting where new messages are sent that require the cooperation of the receiver. This fusion offers us a clear view of the artist’s inclination toward exposing the intrinsic contradictions of the human condition, drawing inferences from the contrasts that result from the juxtaposition of essentially antagonistic artistic styles: the traditional current, with its general connotation of elitist superiority, merged with an art that emphasizes the popular culture of the masses, converging in an attempt to subvert and relativize the value we attribute to Art – with a capital ‘A’. Battaglini revitalizes the subversive qualities of Pop art itself by placing the elements of that tendency in a contemporary setting. The confrontation that Pop elicited in its moment by inserting mundane elements into the sphere of art has ceased to be what we would deem subversive, immersed as we are now in a context where mass culture has clearly achieved the status of phenomenon – a condition from which there is no turning back. From this perspective, the work of Battaglini represents a fusion of classical art with Pop art – the latter with its own connotations – and converts both to fragments of a new esthetic that is, in some way, a reflection of the eclecticism and the fragmentation that are hallmarks of post-modernism. This conversion is emphasized by the technique used by the artist, taking full advantage of the technical possibilities of expression that we enjoy today; he starts with a digital image that is transferred to canvas using high quality inks, followed by airbrushing and acrylics. At this point, we are no longer confronting Art with its capital letter, given that even these transformative relationships between diverse types of art are accepted within the new cannon of artistic expression. Rather this is an esthetic proposal that transcends simple diatribe, entirely linked to the new media for artistic expression; this work requires certain spectator background if the symbols and references are to be appreciated and if we are to discover motive for criticism and reflection, not in the images, but in ourselves.

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