After nearly two weeks of blank walls at Progressive Grounds it is a relief to have them filled again, this time with the intricate workings from the minds of Grace Cooper and Luciano Talpini Aita. Although the two artists collaborated to show at the café their works hang separately with Talpini Aita’s in a diamond shape along the back wall and Cooper’s spread across the 21st Street wall. This has created a nook at the back of the café of fantastical horror which is equal parts fascinating as it is disturbing.
They are inviting in a way that comes across subliminally. You are drawn to the pinks, purples and greens as well as the mystery that accompanies these finely worked images. Its as if they have crawled out of the eyes, ears and nostrils of the artists to form an intricate lacework across the walls of the café.
Both have drawn inspiration from Charles Baudelaire’s disturbing description of the Chimæras, clinging to the backs of men. They are horrible and ferocious but also unconsciously part of oneself, carried without thought. In this way it is easy to relate to these dreamlike works, as they are not manifested for shock value but rather repetitious portrayals of personal symbols.
Due to these similarities between the two artists’ works, you would be forgiven in thinking that they came from a single mind. The colour palette and the attention to detail present across the two walls assists in creating a sense of unity. Upon closer inspection however, distinct differences begin to emerge. The raw, oftentimes grotesque sexuality that manifests in Cooper’s pieces is complimented by the staring eyes that surface in Talpini Aita’s figures. These eyes all seem to be focused to the right, perpetually gazing at Cooper’s work.
Continue reading "Crushing Chimæras" and see more images of Luciano Talpini Aita's and Grace Cooper's work at Julia Mendel's blog, Because I'm Critical.