Carlo Magno creates mixed media artworks on canvas and sculptures. By rejecting objective truth and global cultural narratives, he creates work in which a fascination with the clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal art can be found.
The work is aloof and systematic and cool and neutral imagery is used. His art practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for maneuvering with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of mixed media art.
These meticulously planned artworks executed in an almost spontaneous manner are borne out of years of refinement from his time as a hyper-realist where the use of light and shadow, proper composition, and creating visual interest were much more straightforward. But in abstraction, the very same principles are still at work but are more indirect yet nonetheless integral to the narrative and aesthetic success of an artwork.
Though his work does not often reference recognizable forms, the intention of form and narrative is there, coinciding in an almost formal parallel to the aesthetic and emotional dynamic of the work. Though the correlation between the two is not easily seen, it is his job as the artist to create, maintain and perpetuate the balance between those elements.
Magno’s works are based on formal associations or parallels to the human condition which may or may not necessarily be narrated in a precise and formal manner. This in turn opens a unique poetic vein in the narratives and expositions of each artwork.
Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned, the fleeting moments of unbridled joy celebrated, and the resilience of the human spirit become celebrated triumphs.
By applying abstraction, Magno tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer at each instance to make new personal associations and correlations to their own existential nature.
Though the artist has veered away from formal representational work, his time as a hyper-realist focusing primarily on portraiture and architecture has become the foundational cornerstones of his abstract and mixed media practice today.
To deconstruct an idea or an image to its many different components, one must first begin from a fully formed whole. To fully be able to appreciate the various elements, one must also begin with an understanding of the whole. Indeed it is impossible to create abstraction from nothing.
One must learn the rules before one can break them, it is how one earns their due to be able to delve into abstract work. And that is how Magno finds, reconfigures, and redefines the formal parallels between the real and the abstract.
Formal Parallels exhibition runs from December 1 to 18 at Art Lounge Manila – Podium and at Manila Bang from December 8 to 11 at UGF, Expansion Wing, Civic Drive Hallway, Festival Mall, Alabang.