Author :: Nazareth Kawakami
At an Alberto Biasi exhibit, the viewer is as important as the paint.
Alberto Biasi’s paintings are moving, in more ways than you think. His deceptively two-dimensional paintings use optics and perception to make it seem as though their patterns are spinning, shifting, or fluctuating depending on the viewer’s gaze and movements. Biasi also employs techniques ranging from layers of ribbon scoring the frame, to twisting and bending the canvas itself, giving the work a sense of ever-changing depth and dimension.
For example, people of varying height will view entirely different pieces as each angle provides a unique image-even the speed at which the art is walked past will provide a unique experience for the viewer, which is what Alberto says is the whole point. “Reality is what each person perceives it to be, in that moment,” he says. “Works are born, live life, and die with each viewer. The reality of that work and that moment is whatever the viewer makes it.”
Commonly called Optical art (shortened to Op art), of which Biasi is an innovator (he founded the famous Italian art collective Gruppe N), his approach to the form showcases a beauty and complexity that must be seen to be understood. From the precision of his technique to the deliberate manner in which they are displayed, his art is masterful. But, the true magic lies in the philosophy behind it all. At every Alberto Biasi exhibit, the audience is the component that makes his art come alive. By the very nature of his work, he engages his audience in a way that causes them to not only view, but interact with each piece.
At the Ravizza Brownfield Gallery on Nu’uanu Avenue in Honolulu, Biasi prepares for his upcoming solo showcase comprised almost entirely of new pieces, each drawing inspiration from an aspect of Hawaiian culture. In one piece, its design is based on traditional Hawaiian tattoo styles, another takes note from Hawaii’s tropical color scheme.
When asked about why he chose Hawaii for his next exhibit, Biasi, who has already shown his works all over the world (more than 100 solo exhibits and 500 group exhibits) thought he ought to explore new geographic territory: Hawaii. He recalled a show he participated in several decades ago, who’s title, translated from Italian, meant “Walk Without Following Your Footsteps.” By this, Biasi beckons us all to proceed off the beaten path, explore new possibilities, and to continue to push for innovation.
Op Art :: Alberto Biasi
The Ravizza Brownfield Gallery
March 2nd – May 19th
1109 Nu’uanu Avenue, Honolulu, Hi