Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Luca Dipierro

Artistic violence sometimes reveals is true power in its ability to stand the test of time. A sensationalized video of gore and explosions, for example, may shock viewers one day, but after a few years it runs the risk of appearing campy. Consider, for a moment, how the sweetly disturbing illustrations of Edward Gorey or the videos of The Brothers Quay have been able to quietly provoke viewers long after their creation.

Such is the case with artist Luca Dipierro, whose paintings and video art are enchanting and macabre all at once. Aesthetically reminiscent of Mexican Day of the Dead Folk Art, antique circus posters and old comic books, Dipierro's work quietly infiltrates the mind through the disarming characterization of nuns, sailors, acrobats, hanged creatures, caskets and detached limbs. "The art I am interested in is one that is little, but adventurous," he says.

To produce his animations, Dipierro first creates paper characters using just acrylic paint and markers. Each paper cut element is rather small — no bigger than 4 or 5 inches, but often Dipierro must create multiples of something to establish movement in his work. Blood emanating from a hand in one animation required 80 red paper drops. "Some animators would just make a loop out of five or 10 drops," he says. "Instead, I cut the 80 drops. On a subliminal level, people understand that they're all different."

Dipierro plans to screen his videos in Asheville later this year. For now, his paintings are on display at Hip Replacements in downtown Asheville. DVDs of his videos are also available for purchase, and they are a must-see. The enlargement of his images through video adds dimension to the drawings, as does the haunting music/narration that accompany each vignette. Paper fibers, cut edges, brush strokes and shadows are more apparent at this scale than with the naked eye. "Animations are art plus time," says Dipierro, "it's not just telling a story — it's a painting that moves."

Read the full version of
"Animating the macabre through paper and paint." written by Ursula Gullow for Mountain Xpress 05/05/2010

Check out Dipierro's stop animation videos and visual art through his website:

His visual art is currently on display at Hip Replacements in Downtown Asheville.

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