Naturalism in art aims at precision and objectivity, through cultivating realistic portrayals of people and their environment. Focusing on the relationship between the individual and nature, with the treatments of forms, colors, and space, is Italian-born artist Marco Gallotta.
From his works on paper to his line of linocuts, Gallotta uses his materials skillfully to portray people in their natural state. His unique collection shows his intricate designs collaged onto facial drawings and distant imageries. Some portraits are up-close, serious expressions, their eyes communicating either peace or concern. Other designs are of bodies seen from a distance, like shadows.
He also has works that are inspired by his fascination with big cities and street culture. Linoleum figures of garbage cans and characters bouncing soccer balls, as well as pinstripe shirts hung from imaginary wires carved on black and white photographs.
Nature refers to the phenomena of the physical world. Its beauty has been depicted and celebrated in art, photography, poetry, and literature. Gallotta’s close examination of the details in nature encouraged works like Trees, Winds, and Voices in the Silence. These pieces are freehand, meticulous designs cut from paper. Waves and swirls resemble overblown leaves. The stencils on top of stencils are painted with soft grayish blues fading into crèmes, another an array of colors: red, pink, light blue, white, and purple.
A short film by Checco Petrone documents the creation of one of Gallotta’s works, Sea. Giving insight into Gallotta’s technique, the film shows him carving a wave-like design into a white linoleum surface with a thin, sharp knife. The linoleum sheet is then impressed onto a large piece of paper, showcasing the scenic design.
“When I take off pieces I create these negative spaces,” Gallotta said about his paper designs in an interview for I Italy TV, “They become so interesting.”
Gallotta moved to New York in 1998, where he lives and works in Harlem. He has a background in fashion and general illustration. For upcoming events, check out his website.
By: Sandra Almonte
Photo Courtesy of: Marco Gallotta