Thursday, November 1, 2012

the altered states of Amelie Scalercio

what strikes me first about Amelie's work is the playful nature of it. the waving mushroom man, the crumpled man-face with mascara and pencil mustache, the theatricality of the masks. in fact, the show reads like a masquerade of characters on the verge of coming to life or just moments after their animated existence.

 Amelie Scalercio, Fun guy (mushroom festival in hell), (2012)

it's this sense of identity, of transformation into and out of identity that is engaging here. the paintings of masks and costumes read like potential cast members from a ceremonial event. and there's definitely ceremony here, especially with the tribal influence of the paintings of headdresses among the group of works. it's a party atmosphere, with a sense of freedom and abandon.

after a while in the space, it's also possible to sense a ripple of loss or even separation from events. the masks are slightly eerie without people to be able to wear them. and they will always be that way, painted as they, one step removed from physical presence. the empty eyes stare out. the circular, mono-chromatic backgrounds of some of the works reads a little like peepholes or telescopic lenses. we look through to a place where identity shifts with the alteration to one's outward appearance. hiding the truth behind an outer layer. the world viewed now through holes in a filtered projection.

Amelie Scalercio, Plant life II (2012)

but the energy of the colour combinations and the caricature nature of the masks always bring you back to pleasure, to a willful desire to dress-up, play and dance. beautifully executed on wooden panels the works are totemic to a degree and are charged with energy. in all its gorgeous painterly execution, there is depth to be found, and a sheer pleasure in visual beauty.

 Amelie Scalercio, Death becomes her (image credit Paul Bottaro), (2012)

better get in quick - show ends this Sunday!