“I have always loved art. I am the son of artists and all my studies have been in the Arts: Liceo Artistico in Verona and then Accademia di Belle Arti in Venezia,” says Marco Battaglini, who moved to Costa Rica from Italy some twenty years ago. “There are many movements that have influenced me. During my training, I was into surrealism, followed by abstract expressionism and conceptual art. I think that my fascination for different artists, movements, concepts and techniques has made me bring together everything into a single composition.”
Marco’s “single compositions” are energetic frames that may contain everything from ancient Greek pillars to Renaissance nudes to modern luxury brands and urban graffiti. They smoothly combine a respect for tradition with a tendency for rebellion. The beauty of classical order and form goes hand in hand with wild and independent self-expression. It is as though these dissimilar modes of creativity aren’t really foes, but friends – two sides of the one same coin. Neither of the two can be suppressed or neglected. Both must always be put on display, permitted and engaged with.
“Almost everything that you see in my work already exists,” the artist explains further. “All I do is capture all these elements belonging to different times, places and cultures in one work with the aim of expanding the range of possibilities of the observers, to stimulate their imagination. I have concluded that IMAGINATION IS EVERYTHING, it is the vehicle that takes us where we want to be, it helps us create our reality and my art wants to be a way that can expand the imagination of the viewer, a tool for you to fly beyond the logical structures.”
He continues: “I would like to take the viewers and move them beyond the apparent. It is normal to judge a neoclassical work as something ‘noble’ , ‘refined’, ‘elegant’ and ‘beautiful’ and a graffiti on a wall as something ‘negligible’, ‘indecent’, ‘vulgar’ and ‘ugly’…I want to be the means to expand the perception of things. Through confrontation-union of diverse times, places, cultures, languages, ways of seeing reality.
“The multiplicity of readings, which combines graffiti, symbols linked to Western culture and elements of pop art in a harmonious amalgam, forces us to rethink the values linked to the reality in which we live, shows the impact that the consumer society has on our way of living and thinking. We are not only consumers of products but also of images, icons and symbolisations that are part of our culture. My work would be an invitation to see reality ‘without blinkers’, from above the forest, not as immersed in the specific context with limited analysis parameters. I want to create a cultural and semantic clash with a series of contrasts that induce the viewer to become aware of various contexts.”
Currently, Marco is working on a project called “Timeless Caravaggio”. It is an itinerant exhibition arranged by internationally active curator Giuseppe Ussani d’Escobar in which Marco will have the opportunity to create a “provocation” as a tribute to the great master. The show will be held in New York in May 2017, in Los Angeles in September 2017 and end up with Art Basel Miami in December 2017. “I am very excited to use my interpretative skills to renovate the discourse of Caravaggio,” says Marco, “and bring his language to an original and aesthetic game that will allow us to be aware of current issues.”
Images used with permission.