Antony

Valerian.

About the artist.

Born in Hamburg in 1992, Antony Valerian at the age of 26 has already acquired the capacity to relate to the canvas like a seasoned artist. His studies at the Vienna Fine Arts Academy led him to cross paths with Daniel Richter, alongside whom he continued his training, becoming interested in a profoundly emotional painting style, where there is a constant exchange of figuation and abstraction. If in Richter's work, however, there's an almost literal adherence to the themes of Francis Bacon (the deformation of the body in the continuity of the line, the conflagration of the human figure as a symbol of an atavistic suffering), Antony Valerian rereads the interpretation filtering it through the gaze of his generation. His figures therefore - solitary cowboys, wandering men in the night - have disenchanted but not desperate faces. Profoundly contemporary, therefore, Valerian doesn't however forget the tradition behind him, that of colourism, powerful child of the first avant-gardes, that of the decomposition of shape for geometric scores taught by Cézanne and Matisse - simply look at works like Cacti or Pool - and that of the gesture.

The high proportion of instinct present in his works (he himself tells of sometimes beginning to paint without yet having a project) is clearly legible in the assurance of the brushstroke, a characteristic that he shares not only with the great fathers of action painting but with figures capable of unbridled pictorial freedom like Jean-Michel Basquiat or like our Mario Schifano. Anarchic colour, without rules - expressed in blood-red skies or hazy and bituminous like an apocalypse - in only a few brushstrokes defines inscrutable faces like masks, solitary palms, cactus tangles, glimpses of buildings, perhaps the detail of an airplane cabin or an abandoned chair, as if in a sort of admiring contemplation of the universe, where every little thing is worthy of becoming the object of our interest, because reality - after all - is nothing but a wonderful tank of shapes ready to be sculpted by the brush's skillful gesture.