Mattia Paco Rizzi (1983, Menton, France) is an hyperactive person in many creative fields, ranging from music to graffiti, this last one a passion thas has been with him for more than 15 years giving him the cultural and visual background that has nurtured his imaginarium. From 2006, he has focused on using photography and digital media as the base for his artistic exploration, commencing a series of portraits of enigmatic, solitary figures that apear to come out of a surrealist painting.
Beggining with a physical transformation of his subjects, Mattia makes a graphic re-interpretation of the main elements that arise in their dreams to reveal an underliying common thread to both dreams and nightmares, expressed not through a description of events but with a language of colour, shape and objects.
Without knowing the origin, context or meaning of these symbolic elements, the artist aids the manifestation of an oniric world which then poures back as an artistic shape onto the subject, according to his/her personal characteristics, creating a portrait that exposes the innermost part of themselves, a part that is often hidden by ‘filters’ such as social codes, fears, and any other brakes to the release of the unconscious.
This technique brings to life new beings as hybrid and grotesque figures in which the subjects can materialize a less known part of themselves. This type of intimate portraiture doesn’t aim to showcase a standarized beauty but instead turns with fascination towards the unusual aesthetics of the morbid and abnormal.
The procedure used by the artist to reach this imagery seems to borrow from the dadaist and surreal movements –from automatic writing to random acts – and even if the approach is not psychoanalitical the result is, as in the oneiric state the uncertainties, fears, desires and all that we can’t overcome, confront or fulfill become manifest -as it has been extensively reseached by psychology from Freud to the present.
By interpreting elements from the unconscious of his subjects, the artists places them face to face with themselves, without shields or conditioning, so they can discover new aspects of themselves. To achieve an artistic interpretation of this process, the tools are both the digital or real transformation of the body (referencing tribal or modern body art) as well as the manipulation of these new significant elements. The artist as well becomes an instrument through which the subject’s uncouncious takes shape and is made into a grafic interpretation.
Digital media allows the artist to free the imagination from the boundaries set by reality and matter. This constant dichotomy between tridimensional and bidimensional, internal and external, surface and matter, conscious and unconsious, is a constant struggle in which none of the polarities prevails.
Perhaps a prophecy of of the new idols to come? If it’s true that the artist is a mirror of society, these totemic beings represent a small victory of humanity, and therefore of an uncouncios feeling that becomes universal in its totality.
Text by Daniela Legotta // KoJiKu