Melbourne artist Riccardo Angelo has been painting for 30 years. He paints in oils and acrylics and is inspired by the landscape with a surreal, expressionistic and imaginative style.
Riccardo’s paintings defy gravity, capturing intersections of time, space, landscape and history - a world of weightless figures in trees and rocky outcrops. These visions of temporal places document ever-changing stories where landscape holds the activities of human habitation.
The paintings capture a temporal sensation. Time and space. Transience. Light finds forms – images are lost and found. The human form inhabits the spaces with all its frailty, splendor and perversity.
Painting and drawing field trips to Hanging Rock in the Macedon Ranges, Victoria, have inspired my artworks in recent years. It’s an awe-inspiring and majestic place. These landscapes are captivatingly strange and in many ways, quite theatrical. The giant rock formations stand side by side, oddly positioned in clusters, as if at a gathering.
Some parts of this landscape resemble figures conversing, some have their backs to me, some look like they are conspiring or watching as if witness to something sacred and important. Some sit in stern judgment. My imagination runs wild! It leads me to ask questions: What’s going on? What does it mean? What’s happened here?
I often visit in early morning, when no one is around. It’s quiet – things appear dormant or in slumber. A burst of sunlight can change the whole place. Whatever it was I was looking at is now something else. I’m in a different space – the characters have changed. Faces appear. New angry forms dart outwards from the sky. Trees are full of knowing. Clouds are endless possibilities and configurations.
To the landscape, I bring my own present feelings, as I do in the studio. Compositions begin from sketches or memory. Faces appear and disappear on the surface as I apply more paint. I react to marks placed – decide what to keep, take risks and lose some in order to find others.
(Riccardo Angelo 2019)