Dani Marti‘s work deals with the impossibility of portraiture and unveils the frenetic desire in each of us to capture through a photograph, an object or a video the essence of a person. In his work, Marti pairs different mediums such as painting with video, to construct a portrait of someone with whom he has had a personal, creative and/or sexual relationship. Marti transforms this very intimate encounter, however ephemeral it may have been, into an intricate pattern, a woven account of image, text and object that transcends the traditional notions of painting and portraiture.
For his most recent solo show Bacon’s Dog, currently on view until August 14th at Breenspace (Sydney, Australia), Marti constructs an intimate portrait of Peter Fay, an art collector and curator in Sydney. The exhibition is comprised of a painting made with plastic objects collected by Fay during the course of 10 years, video stills, and two videos; one of extracts from emails exchanged between the artist and Fay (November 2009 to April 2010) and another that details gestures of the hands that seem to be searching for something but at the same time holding on to each other.
The title Bacon’s Dog is Fay’s recollection of Francis Bacon’s 1953 painting Man with dog (The Albright Gallery, Buffalo, New York) in which a grayish dog on a leash stands near a street drain, with only the black-trousered legs of his master visible. At the time, Bacon was also painting erotic images of the male body, and in personal sexual relationships that summoned forth sado-masochistic desires. As Bacon’s dog, Peter makes explicit his submissiveness to desire and want.1
Dani Marti (1963, Barcelona) holds a Master of Arts, majoring in sculpture and installation from the College of Fine Arts, University of South Wales and an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art. He has exhibited his work in numerous international institutions such as The University of Queensland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, and the Museum of Moderne Kunst (MMK), Arnhem, Netherlands. He lives and works between Sydney and Glasgow.
1 Jason Smith, Exhibition Essay
Images provided by the artist
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