AT THE GALLERY: The best art is a true dialogue between the viewer/participant and the artist. We can only hope, when writing about art, that we serve to bring attention to an artist who might just reach out to touch the corners of your soul-corners that might be dusty and neglected. To find the universe in hidden messages of the heart and mind.
What I’m getting to is Gianni Arone at Stone Malone Gallery in Hollywood. The small gallery is the home base for the work of the prolific artist and activist Stone Malone.
In a series of rotating shows, guest artists have the leeway to present their art in the manner they see fit. Gallery manager and curator Blaire Davies explains that this exhibit, entitled Audible/Exuberance is a showing of the work of two artists: Cecilia Romero, who’s work is vividly arresting and wildly graphic and the artist I am focusing on, Gianni Arone. Each of the artists has their own wall, she said, to construct their own mini-gallery of sorts.
Gianni came to my attention by chance through social media, specifically, Instagram with which I am shamelessly obsessed with. I love finding people by chance through the careful and uncareful ways they choose to document their lives.
I was pulled in by his nuanced multi-layered work and its harmonious interplay of contradictions. Delicate drawings and paintings: portraits of hauntingly familiar people floating or even emerging from a universe of precise shapes, words and faint images, seem to say something inexplicable, through their eyes while the words themselves, often incorporated into the work, only hint at the complete message they are trying to tell.
Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Up Gouache, enamel, aerosol and acrylic on cradled wood.
To say Gianni is a mixed media artist is an understatement, yet his tools are carefully chosen: enamel, ink illustration, aerosol, acrylics. Some of his surfaces are wood, found objects, Japanese art paper and books.
Self-taught, he has a passion for process: “Its definitely a well that gets renewed”, he says, referring to his inspiration. He often treats the work as an installation, incorporating elements as he sees fit and creating spur of the moment additions.
Its incredibly detailed work, with elements unseen unless you lean in closer. I remarked at the precise lines of the shapes and made some sort of lame joke about being bad at math. “I’m terrible at simple math but I love theoretical physics and I like the thought of all complex things… are made of very many simplicities.” he states.
Its this very nuanced flow of forms, angles and the written word combined with the soft features, soulful eyes and the imperfect faces which form the audible stories of our lives.
I felt viscerally connected to the people in his work-there is something ancient and insistent in their eyes. They want so badly to tell us the message we need to hear.
Being Present, Present Being Woodstain, gouache, aerosol, ink, cotton canvas.
Gianni Arone and Cecilia Romero in Audible/Exuberance at the Stone Malone Gallery through April 16th.