Beings of Light is an exhibition of mixed media works from the 1980s by Italian artist Silvio Merlino, on view from May 12 through June 12. Merlino’s works have been shown internationally, most notably at the Venice Biennale, Nohra Haime Gallery, and throughout Europe.
Inspired by Italian landscapes, Italian artist Silvio Merlino creates magical environments where the power of nature collides with man’s struggle to control it. Through his work we enter day-glo fantasies of a universe where beauty, elegance and grace are created through phantasmagorical collages utilizing fake fur, flippers, corals, glass candy and grated glass that shimmers.
This dichotomy between nature and technology is strikingly ominous. Scenes of fossilized creatures and fighter planes evoke a time-warping sensation of a different era. Mountains, volcanoes, and flames are illuminated against deep blue backgrounds, showing a glimmer of light against the darkness. On first impact our skin crawls as we feel the harmful power of man but later, as we get used to these textures, we reenter the realm of the magician and his disquieting beauty.
Merlino’s works explore themes of warfare, mass production, and ecological deterioration, all the while giving glimpses of satire and humor. The imagery sits on the border between dream and nightmare, reflecting the true nature of our modern world. Merlino’s use of mixed media and vibrant paints is innovative, a real tour de force that renders the viewer speechless.
Silvio Merlino was born in Naples in 1952. He lives in Treviso. He has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and is in museum collections such as the Dallas Museum of Art, Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Museo del Novecento, Milan, Museo Epicentro, Pinacoteca, Bari and the famous Lucio Amelio collection Terrae Motus, GNAM, Naples.
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