Art Review of Antonio(By XU Liaoyuan)

Exploring the spirit of a material's physical properties

Visual presentation will often digest the quality of the materials used, allowing the artist to lose himself in the process of creation, forget about expression and make art that returns to showing the materials true properties. The opening of the spirit of a material transforms slowly to become a worldwide topic, the act of painting truly allows to lose symbolism, metaphors, hidden meanings or references, and to become liberated from any conception. In this way, every artists unique way of life will be revealed.

The exploration of the spirit of materials will open a new dimension that makes things visible in a new way, of different quality, presented in a state of full activity, and this - from a cultural point of view - raptures the sense and creates strangeness but at the same time, frees the viewer from conceptions. The material itself composes the painting with its strong physical properties. The physical properties themselvesalready show the specialty of the material. Working with the material itself gives way to explore new forms, in which often the original state of the physical properties will manifest. If the mission of the material is not lost, there is no more primordial features of an image in the painting. 

Antonio knows well how to use material in order to explore the occurrence of form. By observing his artworks, we can see that he uses the material in a way that opens mind and imagination. As example in the Gravity series, thick paint results in unexpected colors and textures by co-working with time and gravity. He shows that he understands the properties of the material, of the paint itself and can control it. Time and time again, he tests with paint and lures out a special life in this material. By observing the artwork repeatedly, the mind opens up: different states of happiness and feelings of freedom are released. 

A painting has no use if it is not shown, or we can say, only by hanging a painting on the wall, creating a relationship between the artwork and the wall, only then a contemporary space has meaning. That is to say, only when the work is placed on the wall, the entire space is activated. Space and artwork together create an atmosphere that allows the viewers to immerse in the perception of the work. If one of them is missing, the area becomes empty. From this perspective, a modern space has a special meaning, even if there is only an unpainted canvas in it. But a painting itself does not provide any meaning: if there is no context, you will just feel lost in philosophy.

At the time the painting hangs on the wall, Antonio is not important any more, allowing the audience to melt in the space, infiltrated by his colors that open a sense of activity in the material. Simply by looking at the painting‘s language on the flat surface, executed with rational production methods, Antonio’s artworks become logically meaningful in a developed world. 

For example, the Lotus Series shows a plan of graphical process and composition, making them concise and powerful works that convey a strong, unfamiliar sense. Thus we can see the unique perspective of a western painter in an oriental theme. 

Likewise, we see flowers, women and a variety of beautifully bright colors surging in Antonio’s paintings, it appears that they confirm the healing function of art. 

One way or another, the artist continues to explore the unknown world, to determine their own unique existence and that is worthy of respect.

Liaoyuan XU, Dean of Academy of Fine Arts, Chengdu University