May 6 – June 11 2023
Asia Art Center
1F, No. 128, Lequn 3rd Road
Asia Art Center is pleased to present New York based artist Carlo D'Anselmi's first solo exhibition outside his native country, the US. Point-blank range – the distance where a firearm cannot miss its intended target – also refers to the overwhelming power of love over human emotions in which there's no escape for the subconscious mind. Love is unpredictable, irrational and not without its dangers, yet it is also utterly irresistible and permeates everything. For centuries, writers and artists have been motivated by this indecipherable emotion and have been transforming such passion into their art. From Greek mythology to Shakespeare's sonnets and grand history paintings, this scientifically incomprehensible emotion never fails to inspire.
The traditional depiction of arrows in the history of art is often religious and fatal, as seen in the martyrdom of St Sebastian: yet its association with ardour and desire is more commonly acknowledged. Cupid fires arrows into lovers' hearts, kindling feelings that cannot be contained. Arrows are the symbol of love and fatality, and this dangerous metaphor is transformed by D'Anselmi into reality in a painting, as the artist's brush darts onto the canvas, creating scenes that reflect his contemplations on the subject.
From the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden which tempted Eve into committing sin to triggering the ten-year Trojan war in Greek mythology when Paris chose love over power and wisdom by giving the Golden Apple to Aphrodite in return for Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, the diverse symbolism of the apple in the history of humanity cannot be overlooked. It acted as the indicator of paternal love and trust in the legend of William Tell. The fruit also appears as surrogate hearts in Carlo D'Anselmi's complex narrative works. They are carelessly placed in a bowl, ferociously pierced by arrows, gingerly balanced on the heads or recklessly juggled in the air. The human heart is an apple that can be tenderly cared for or harmed in the most brutal manner, yet we still crave the excitement and the risks when infatuation overcomes the senses.
Animals are frequently depicted as companions that watch over the lone figures in D'Anselmi's works, and the creatures' actions often reflect their inner states. The peacock and the monkey in True Companions guard the lonesome figure deep in his dreams, as if wanting to protect him from the dream-like state seen in the other half of the diptych, where two figures are intertwined in a passionate kiss, yet the fragile tree branches may break and cause considerable damage should they fall. The birds fluttering in the background in I Have Something To Say indicate the unspoken agitation and anxiety of the sitter before she declares her love for someone. The unspoken words also reflect on the nature of visual art which communicates in silence.
The artist's intricate compositions and vibrant colours break the boundaries between reality and imagination. With the symbolic presentation of arrows, apples and animals of various kinds, D'Anselmi creates a world where chaos and order, safety and danger, tranquillity and drama can coexist. These sensations highlight one's vulnerability when it comes to love, whilst point-blank range is the distance from one love to another, from the heart to the mind, from the brush to the canvas, and there is absolutely no escape.
Carlo D'Anselmi lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens. He holds an MFA in Painting from The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting & Sculpture, New York, NY and a BA in Fine Arts from Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH. POINT BLANK RANGE is his first solo exhibition with Asia Art Center.
The artist has had solo exhibitions at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY; The Cabin, Los Angeles, CA; and Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, New York; D'Anselmi has participated in group exhibitions at Asia Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Kutlesa Gallery, Goldau, Switzerland; The Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas, TX; Eve Leibe Gallery, London, UK; Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York, NY; Monya Rowe Gallery, New York, NY; Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin, Germany; and The Painting Center, New York, NY among others.