Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Giovanni Gasparro

Contemporary Italian artist and devout Catholic, born 1983. His degree is in art history rather than studio, for a thesis on Van Dyck in Rome. It shows. Above, Amoris Laetitia (the joy of love), John the Baptist warning of the adultery of Herod Antipas.


St. Nicolas of Bari, 2016, detail.

Gasparro has executed a couple of large religious commissions, in particular for the rededication of Aquila Cathedral, damaged in the terrible earthquake of 2009. This work, The Vision of St. John of Patmos, was part of that commission. I find these paintings 1) a little clumsy, and 2) redolent of that sort of highly emotional Catholicism that makes me think, I'm too Nordic for this.

Detail of something. Certainly is interesting to see a prominent contemporary artist working in this vein. Alas, I have read that the habit of painting extra hands and heads, which Gasparro does a lot of, is a sign of mental illness. I haven't been able to find out much about him, but I worry.

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