BY Shane Lewis POSTED 13th of JuLY 2018 17:00 GMT
Here we see a mysterious amalgamate structure of dorsal fins, tails and a snout that is redolent of the known and the strange creatures of the deep ocean. There is a destabilization of this oil painting 's abstraction from the visible world as these majestic creatures could also be seen here to be painted figuratively, however partially and inexhaustively. To be sure, these creatures are dealt with by Virtosu in the spirit of abstraction, for instance in his use of unnatural colors and the disjunctive 'joining' of body parts, but the shapes of the bodies are discernible and almost tangible as their colors leap out in thick gradations of impasto.
The disjunction of body parts by the contemporary artist also could be a comment on and a critical exemplification of the incursions of man into the realm of these sentient and intelligent creatures, the killing and harvesting of them for human consumption. The human-like face of gray-white and a red that functions as a sling of disguise over the face loom in a minatory relation over the dolphin head in this conjunction.
As these creatures and forms are incorporated into one figure, we see their ecosystem as an integrated whole that, in light of marine hunting, introduces a strong note of pathos. The majesty of these dolphins and all sea life being contrasted with their ignominious treatment. However, if we see a human face as part of this figure we can include man as part of this ecosystem, part of the full panoply of animal life. Just so, the yellowfin form on the upper right can double as a boat sail. Thus we are shown a panoramic view of all life that adheres or should adhere, together in an organic but wildly variant entity. Indeed there seems to be a resurrection of the myths of the ancients who positioned even gods and animals so closely with the appearances of the gods and goddesses as animals suggesting an aspect of their divinities, as noted by Virtosu when discussing the journey of Apollo to Delphi as a dolphin.
The century of harmony
Also noted by the contemporary artist is the music of dolphins and whales in their thalassic habitat, and accordingly the oil painting composition with its rhythmic drawing gives us a visual music as well as the natural forms that mark a harmony. So we have as well as an ecological concern a glorification of the immanent beauty of the animal in its domicile in this abstract art painting.
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