Artists Reception: Saturday, March 16 from 6pm to 8pm
On view through April 13, 2013.
When Michael Bevilacqua arrived in New York in the early 1990’s, he immersed himself in the music scene and began to translate what he saw and felt onto canvas. There was rawness to his paintings, an immediacy that could only be fueled by the music. His canvases were chaotic and dense with references to the street, the music and the lifestyle of living in New York during the turn of the century.
For close to 20 years Bevilacqua had transcribed thoughts through music into his painting. He painted pop and counter cultural references with bold color and brushstrokes that cared less for being clean, but more sputtered and shouted loudly to be heard above a screaming crowd. His paintings were grand, sometimes reaching 20 feet in width.
Then one day something changed…as he explained,
“About three years ago a friend left a can of chrome spray paint in my studio and things have never been quite the same. Back then I was listening to an overdose of Joy Division. The paintings went from my usual explosion of color and graphics to a much more somber chrome, black and cream. I mean let’s remember where Joy Division was birthed, the grey industrial city of Manchester, England. The music usually sets the soundtrack to what you see on the canvas.”
Gone would be the catchy logos and punchy colors of his earlier works, replaced by scratches and long drags of sharp objects sketching a black and chrome surface in synchronicity. As time moved on the paintings became dense with text that seemed to dissolve into the space created within the canvas. The words Disorder and Society spray-painted in gothic font, etched and reworked. The terms brought forth Bevilacqua’s thoughts on our world system, how caste works, or moreover, has failed with society.
Deciphering Scars is a term Bevilacqua came up with while making these new works heavily infused with the bizarre, wary musical sounds of GRIMES. It refers to the scratching and reacting to a surface that is beaten and layered with grid like patterns and alien gestures. Bevilacqua’s method of playing a musical artist on endless loop, sometimes the same song for days, weeks, and months on end concentrates his attention into action. He has said that he remembers the music during a paintings session, but cannot remember how he painted the result.
New York based painter Michael Bevilacqua attended Long Beach State University and Santa Barbara City College, later continuing his studies at the Cambridge College of Art and Technology in Great Britain.
Bevilacqua has exhibited internationally including solo shows in Beijing, Copenhagen, Milan, Tokyo, Madrid, Barcelona, and New York. He has also exhibited in group shows at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece; The Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT.
His work is in numerous public collections including The Mitsuni Collection, Tokyo, Japan; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark; Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece; Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Norway; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX.
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