VISIONARY REVUE

Gérard Di-Maccio

      An undeniable affinity exists between Giger's and Di-Maccio's worlds, as if the former were as dark and haunted as the latter is light and ethereal. Their parallel worlds appear in a pale half-light where colours dissolve into the faintest of hues. Though Di-Maccio's early work appears airbrushed, the artist, in fact, harkens back to the classical techniques of the old masters:
      "I think we can revive classical techniques of Renaissance painting, and use them to express more contemporary ideas. When I paint, I use classical materials. First, on canvas or wood, I prepare a foundation in water-based media, then I go over it with glazes and varnish." (30)
      Nevertheless, the use of airbrush can be noted increasingly as his work has progressed. This has brought about a more 'transparent' quality in his figures and an almost monochrome approach to colour. Indeed, his latest works tend more towards black and white with only the faintest of colours. Still, each step in the painting's development contributes to its evolution as a unified whole. "I approach the canvas" he says "as a totally integrated whole." (31)
      His painterly output in Paris came to their climax in his largest and undoubtedly most ambitious work, the eighteen canvases that combine to form 'the largest canvas in the world'. At least, this is what the




 
 
 


PARIS - FALL 2004

Gérard Di-Maccio

artist has called it, though Di-Maccio (like Beksinski) never titles any his paintings. Perhaps it would be more correct to call it 'the largest world in a painting', for here Di-Maccio has gathered together many of his Visionary themes and pre-occupations, and presented them in one coherent work.
      Since his resettlement in Tunisia, his works have expanded in several directions simultaneously. On the one hand, there are the translucent female nudes, some still inhabiting his Di-Macciesque universe, others now seen through erotic French texts in transparent Gothic characters. These also possess an oneiric quality, as several momentary expressions are frozen in time, one beside the other (as if the model had moved her head in a photographic series of 'freeze-frames'). Then there are the exotically camaflauged fauna, of tigers and zebras, with emphasis on the evocative spot and stripe patterns of their fur.
      There is no doubt that these works lack the cohesive worldview that was once present in the Visionary works from his Parisian period. The timeless quality is gone, and has been replaced by a series of photographic moments. His once-isolated and unique universe has been invaded by animals and nudes which are more mondane than ethereal. His superior technique is still in full force, but the visionary quality of the earlier works has strangely disappeared.

 
 
 


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