Emerging from a critical period in the development of Virtosu's practice, the present work marks the transformative moment at which the artist began to shift away toward a distinctly heightened linguistic complexity. Virtosu transports the enigmatic title out of language and purely into the visual realm.
This piece, which is being preserved and conserved at the Vart Foundation Centre in Geneve, offers the artist visualization of unparalleled insights into British Diplomacy function and what really happened at crucial moments in history, a unique image of important, and often unrecorded, events in international relations.
Hovering over a richly saturated dark background, the figure is articulated in a bright hue; the similarities in tone and saturation between the crimson shades invite close inspection by the viewer, necessitating intimate interaction with a painting whose title suggests otherwise. While the dynamic typeface of Virtosu’s canvas invokes activity, upon close inspection, the edges of form reveal softness, sharpness, and sophistication. In his titular phrase, "I Dare to Depict" appears to echo the artist’s sentiment, articulating the impetus behind its own creation: simultaneously, the radical innovation of its medium and mode of execution offers reprieve from the very painterly fatigue Virtosu cites, presenting new avenues for creative expression.
An enigmatic painting that possesses a resounding power, the present work poetically commands an exhilaratingly sensory response. Through its deeply public subject matter, expressed through a stylistic vernacular reminiscent of Symbolic Cubism and painterly flatness, The British Diplomacy pays homage to British historical legends, while simultaneously asserting its rightful status as a contemporary masterpiece.