The Artists "Review" Artists Project was launched on June 30, 2008. Below is a "review" of Daniel Mafe's work, Untitled, written by Gail Vollrath. Daniel provided the second jpeg, an image of Untitled (indigo), as well as a brief response to Gail's "review."
Daniel currently resides in Brisbane, Australia, and Gail lives in Washington, D.C.
If you would like to participate in this project, please email me at jtkirkland [at] gmail [dot] com.
Phantasmagoria: Sight Unseen
Coincidently, I had started a book of Walter Benjamin writings at the time I received this image for review. Phantasmagoria, as redefined by Benjamin is figural imagery derived from an illusory perception of our culture and inability to term our world. As with considering any work of art that is reproduced, it is difficult to separate what I want Untitled to be and remain open to what it may be.
Under the carefully placed web of bird-dropped white paint on the surface of this work appears layers of unself-conscious, highly energetic mark making and as the description reveals, collaged pieces of objects. Built from the inside out, the artist could require that some information be present at the onset of the process. I am reminded of and want to assign this work as similar to painting over photograph much like the works of artists such as Anselm Kiefer and Adrian Piper, among others. Though differing thematically, this artist takes the activity of careful covering as gravely intrinsic.
The gutsy crimson, no wimp lives here, marks on the right side suggest a unique skeletal build loosely bonding a group of elements in its wake. The spherical objects of differing size, density and color move in kinship rather than opposed along a vein red lifeline.
Tottering the brink of painting/drawing, Untitled is large in scale which probably and happily aided the artist in exerting the necessary body movements to create this wonderful entity that may have the power to suck you in (in the Gestalt meaning of the word) if you dare proximity. The visceral application of paint, overall rhythm and dark whimsy of this work on paper is perhaps exemplary phantasmagoria.
By Daniel Mafe
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