Reimaging Caravaggio

I am interested in artistic representation of human reactions, behavior, bodily expressions, and gestures during traumatic and tragic situations represented in today’s media as related to the tradition of painting. I strongly believe the present day media images are deeply immersed in early Baroque painterly tradition. There is strong iconic presence of early 17 century painting in contemporary media imagery especially when it represents and dramatizes today’s human suffering, and social conflict.

There is striking similarity of human gestures and the staging and dramatization of depicted events and actions in the early Baroque paintings, and in photographs from front pages of the newspapers such as the New York Times, an evident influence of religious painting, specifically of Biblical content on present day media war imagery. I plan to develop a series of new media paintings that draw inspiration on especially these Caravaggio works that bare resemblance of contemporary media images.

In the initial stage of my work I would like to practically explore and experiment the ways in which new versions Caravaggio paintings could merge with media images and look as if they were immersed together in existential and social context of present-day conflict and trauma.This exploration will than produce new series of media paintings which as I hope, will successfully confront and convincingly expose the iconic interconnection between the dramatic power and mastery of Caravaggio compositions and symbolic structure of photographic and video expression of newspaper photographs and television imagery.

My previous paintings, such as the icons of war have been based on a technique of montage of painterly and media components. In these projects the painterly parts required a thorough study and application of the original technique, and craft of icon painting. In these works a draw on my professional background and experience in art restoration, as well on direct contact with original icons, such as the most famous one, “The Black Madonna of Czestochowa” of which I had made many painterly copies to learn icon techniques (Czestochowa is the city where I grow up and studied).

Artistic impact of my new media-paintings depends on striking accuracy in replication Caravaggio method and techniques in order to produce desirable powerful effect of both technical contrast and dramatic similarity between theatricality of traumatic compositions byCaravaggio, and expressions transmitted by present day media.

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