IN HIS PROJECT IL CANTICO DELLE CREATURE EURO ROTELLI DEPICTS ANIMAL SLAUGTHERHOUSE BODIES, INSPIRED BY THE BYZANTINE FRESCOS.
CARMEN HUST | ARTICULATE PROMOTE | MAY 2020
The projects of Italian artist Euro Rotelli (b. 1955) are born from his reflections about life and the world, and his vision of the world. When he travels it can happen, seeing landscapes, situations, people, or when he simply thinks of his soul, his sensations, his feelings. Ideas comes to him.
The preferred media of Euro Rotelli is primarily camera and film, depending on the project and idea he wants to realize. The media is just the means for realizing the project. He began using black and white film, which he developed in person in darkroom, experimenting different processes and techniques. Polaroid instant film constitutes a key stage of his journey: this procedure, in fact, allowed him to intervene and work upon the picture´s surface manually, with different results. He used different films and materials to experiment with techniques such as Transfer, Emulsion Lift, Manipulations, Painting and Collage, and inventing and perfectioning personal proceedings that enabled him to transform the objective reality into an intimate personal language.
After his Polaroid experience, Rotelli came back again to traditional film and digital camera, color or black and white depending on final realization of his idea. Rotelli also uses painting interventions in some projects, like in IL CANTICO DELLE CREATURE, to get more dramatic feeling and elaborate his message.
When asking him if his work is pre-thought, or emerges by itself, Rotelli answers that it depends. Sometimes he thinks of a feeling, a concept that he feels strongly, and he needs to communicate urgently, and he creates photographs that convey these emotions. Other times they can emerge when he travels, getting inspiration from situations he meets and sees. After he comes back home, his thoughts and images are linked into ideas and the project is taking shape. In this way Rotelli created IL CANTICO DELLE CREATURE.
When choosing his subject, Euro Rotelli uses models, objects or even selfportraits, while depicting a feeling, a philosophical concept or telling a story. He creates a series of photographs large enough to represent what he wishes to communicate. If he wishes to represent and tell a story in his own way, for example for a social aim, focalized in a raportage, he travels to the same place many times, even for years, until he feels that the project is completed and he has nothing left to say.
To Rotelli, the key element in a good composition is beauty. He can take pictures of people, landscapes, or work on complex concepts, expressing tragedies, problems, negative human behavior, while the aesthetic composition, allows the concepts, and even the harshest message to be expressed in an aesthetic enjoyment, a sort of hope, his romantic vision of life. Another key concept in the work of Rotelli is his conflicting relationship with religion.
Euro Rotelli is influenced by many different artists. The American photographers Richard Avedon (1923-2004), Irving Penn (1917-2009), Robert Mappelthorpe (1946-1989) and the French photographer Bettina Rheims (b. 1952) for their portraits and nudes, and the American Joel-Peter Witkin (b. 1939) for his composition of bodies and relationship with death.
And the French photographer Sarah Moon (b.1941) for her Polaroid poesy and research of beauty. Among painters the Italian Giorgio De Chirico (1888-1979) for surrealist inspiration, the Brittish Francis Bacon (1909-1992) for his hydiosincratic approach to the human figure, the French Chaïm Soutine (1893-1943) for the dramatic quartering animal pictures. Last but not least Rotelli is inspired by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) for his philosophy upon life and death.
In his project IL CANTICO DELLE CREATURE, Euro Rotelli has been inspired by the Byzantine frescoes showing Christians being cruelly martyred. These images remind him of today’s martyrdoms of animals in the slaughterhouses where their flesh becomes meat on our tables. The photos were taken both in abattoirs and meat markets. The mélange of photo and paint has a dual effect: the red paint stresses the spilling of the blood, signifying the dramatic slaughters; the solid gold leaf – which recalls the Greek icons and the Medieval wooden altar-pieces – makes precious the scene by giving a mystic refined aura to oppose the image of death.
In short, despite the effort to present it as a necessity and a cultural expression, it is not anymore possible to hide the true sacrifice carried out for which too many of us are responsible. Beside the photos focused on animals only, there are a few ones where the human being is the protagonist. The large sized imagine symbolizes the main role played by man in this tragedy which is emphasized by the golden frame surrounding the scene. One photo shows a woman holding the result of the full sorrow of the world and of our souls. It is a grief that has no unique definition, since it includes all the different painful feelings deeply fixed in each of us. The maternal torment in bearing the martyred son, reflects the sorrow of all the mothers in this world. Both her posture and dress reveal the eternal female struggle between the vanity of this world – subjugated to a please the men - and the incommensurable pietas. Both the woman and the animal are united in a common destiny. The man - criminal author of all this - is depicted in another photo. Apparently strong and fierce, men are struggling to wear the weight of all their doubts, but no physical strength can help them to reduce their anguish. The gold element reveals a divine moral presence, in front of which men cannot hide.
This article about Euro Rotelli takes part of the ARTICULATE promote plan. The plan seeks to showcase artists and their work process in order to promote these, and support the artists to grow their audience. To visit his website, please click here