Federico Solmi created a major buzz in the art world at the 2012 Art Basel Miami. Since then he’s built on his reputation using powerful and grotesque imagery in his multimedia works, which combine painting, sculpture and video. In fact, the artist has named these works “video-paintings.” Solmi was born in 1973 in Bologna, Italy, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He is represented by Postmasters in Tribeca and will have a solo exhibition titled “The Brotherhood” with the gallery on beginning Tuesday, September 8th.
Solmi’s signature technique is evident in his videos, which combine several stages of hand-painted textures that are scanned into a 3-D video gaming program (Cry Engine) and then wrapped around 3-D models and backgrounds. His subject matter is often steeped in political or religious critique. For example, in the past he’s focused on various abuses of power within the Catholic Church (see: The Evil Empire), and corruption on Wall Street (See: Douchebag City). His gritty form and rendering of the figures bear some resemblance to the woodblock prints and layered mixed media paintings of Rhino Horn co-founder Nicholas Sperakis, who also took on similar themes of religion (in Sperakis’ case, the Greek Orthodox Church) and economic inequality. In fact, Solmi’s work fits in perfectly with the zeitgeist of Rhino Horn and presents a compelling discourse for the lineage of Humanist art.
For the upcoming exhibition Solmi is at it again with sociocultural critique and dystopian mythology. “The Brotherhood” consists of video portraits of historical figureheads depicted with burlesque animated expressions. These figures symbolize the darker side of power and how it has shaped the world. I saw some of these images (see George Washington on horse above) up close and personal in Solmi’s studio during Bushwick Open Studios and I can’t wait to see the powerful installation that will occur when all of these works are grouped together at Postmasters.