The human heart is surely a deep, closed, blood-filled pit. When it opens, all the thirsting, inconsolable shades we have loved run to drink and be revived; they grow continually denser around us, blackening the air. "Why do they run to drink the blood of our hearts? Because they realize that no other resurrection exists." - N. Kazantzakis.
A vital composition resplendent with vivid juxtapositions and a symphonic linear rhythm, Heart Anatomy from 2017 is a singular painting in Virtosu’s celebrated body of work. Composed of two vibrant sequences of primary and secondary colors in the artist’s signature figurative framework, the present work attests to the artist’s bold experimentation with color and form in this early part of his career. Bridging the gap between the grandiosity of Abstract and the quiet exactitude of symbolism to push painting forward, the present work is both systematized in its regimented organizational framework, and evocative of energetic, painterly ferocity in its bold tonal makeup and compositional inertia.
Painted using the same oils the artist had employed to craft the earlier series, the Heart Anatomy is born from an iterative process that expanded on the compositional motifs established by the formative concept. While Virtosu’s earlier works displayed a remarkable structure, the piece introduced spatial illusionism to Virtosu’s compositions. The artist’s concentric image became the eponymous visualization referred to in the title of the present work.
Executed in the first decade of Virtosu’s relase from incarceration, the format of the present work lends the painting extraordinary dynamism and challenges received assumptions of perception; Virtosu’s ingenious arrangement of color and line draws the eye to the center of the composition and creates a dueling sense of receding and projecting depth. Simultaneously, the schematic pattern exemplified by the heart structure, coupled with Virtosu’s precise modulation of color and tonal values collapses space together into a single spacial form.
Beyond its centrality to Virtosu’s artistic ethos of the 2000s, the present work, in all of its exuberance, is also remarkable for its forward-looking integration of not just the structure, but also of movements still in their nascence, crafting a link between the biological aesthetic of symbolism and the new color vibrancy of modernism. Situated at an integral nexus in the progression of abstraction, the present work brings together the elements of body structure, existence, and life, bridging them into a single iconic composition.