Michael Bevilacqua : Dark Calm… Some Words in 3 Acts / Last Resort gallery, Copenhagen / January 17th – February 21st, 2015.

« Words, words, words and more words. You’ve made a rope of words and strangled this business »
-Sunset Boulevard

I have always been obsessed with the Billy Wilder film « Sunset Boulevard. » In college my roommates would come home and see me in front of the tv and ask excited « What did you rent? » I would reply « Sunset Boulevard » … Their eyes would roll and they would leave the room. A perfect noir portrait of Hollywood when it made its shift from silent to sound films and the unpleasant results as the glory days of Hollywood would never be the same. The film that is commenting on « no dialog » is in fact all about dialog. From beginning to end it is a non-stop train ride of poetic genius.

Ok, so that’s the first piece to the puzzle of these new paintings. The second begins with the work of Mark Rothko. I came across a book in my studio one day and thought « Hmmmm, what if Rothko had access to the vast array of spray paint like we do today??? Would he have used it to create his compositions? » So I started spraying layers of color as an experiment. Holy shit. They looked cool and they had a very different effect as opposed to the heavy quality a Rothko achieved. There is a heaviness and density to oil paint that is unavoidable but layers or veils of spray paint have a totally different effect. I am not out to « copy » exact rothko paintings but only to add to the dialog of color even though he blah blah blahs about they are not about color and the whole crying in front of his paintings crapola!! Enough. There is a Dark Calm to my work in the addition and subtraction of words layered among the abstraction. I use words to put another layer in the work. Mixing my take on dialog and abstraction.

And finally … Yes there always is the music. The soundtrack is what sets the tone and rhythm of the work. Who better than Lana Del Rey to represent these misty faux Rothkos. It’s not only her dreamy voice and persona but the amazing lyrics.

« He loves me with every beat of his cocaine heart

« My pussy tastes like Pepsi cola »

« Be young, be dope, be proud… Like an American »

In a weird way just like Rothko and Lana Del Rey these works are very American.

Michael Bevilacqua

Bevilacqua (b. 1966, CA, US) graduated from Cambridge College of Art and Technology (UK), Santa Barbara City College (US), Long Beach State University (US). He is represented in the collections of Louisiana, ARoS, Faurschou Foundation and many others.

bevilacqua 1

Michael Bevilacqua3


Copyright the artist / Last Resort, Copengague

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