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Cristiano De Matteis

Cristiano De Matteis (born in Rome in 1971) began his studies at Alessandro Caravillani Secondary Art School and subsequently graduated from IED School of Design as well as from the Institute of Communication and Image. He currently works in the field of applied arts as an interior decorator and at the same time conducts a painting research project based on the reprocessing of photographic images, often merging the two activities.
The dimension of his artworks strictly sticks to the various tonalities of black and white evoking thought on the duality of the seen and unseen, of what is obvious and what is implied, which aims to be a metaphor of the human condition, constantly being on the edge of what it shows and what, either out of its own will or inherently, conceals from the others and even from itself.
The photographs that serve as the basis for his paintings, which aren’t exclusively the author’s own shots but at times also other artists’, most of the times bring into this new dimension faces, also of international celebrities such as musicians and directors who are part of Cristiano’s life experiences and culture, along with those of family and friends as well as self-portraits, or places and metropolitan landscapes that affected him and appeal to his unique imagination. This is exclusively the starting point, as these shots are edited on the computer by the same author, who intervenes primarily on the proportions and areas of shadow and light which become chiaroscuro. It is only at this point that using acrylics, through the stratification of brushstrokes and glazing which reinvent the original perspective, integrate it and synthesize it, De Matteis gives rise to a new picture that has nothing to do with an act of simple appropriation.

Above all his portraits convey, to those observing them, a sense of indeterminacy given by the incapacity to seize the evidence typical of the photographic shot that, through the intervention of painting, vanishes to make room for a dematerialisation of certainties and of the image as a document, in favour of an inner perspective which however does not obfuscate the recognisability of the subject being represented.

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