Mario Rossi is a Senior Lecturer in Painting at Central St. Martins. He lives and paints from his studio in Hastings.
Rossi’s seven epic ‘seascapes’ evoke the contemporary sublime, whilst celebrating the awe and majesty of the ocean, and the spirit of exploration. He taps into our primal fears to remind us that we are but flotsam to be tossed, or lost at sea, despite our best endeavors.
Against this backcloth, Rossi creates visual Haiku’s for the viewer to unravel. His compositions weave narratives of human trafficking and economic migration such as the cockle pickers at Morcambe Bay, where empty buckets drift over the waves like tumbleweed on deserts dunes. They are all that remain of workers lost to treacherous sands and tides. Victims of the Zeebrugge and other tragedies, are remembered in their fathomless wake, whilst woefully inadequate rafts bear witness to illegal immigrants lost at sea.
And yet, an unbroken or receding horizon, juxtaposed with the ceaseless motion of the waves, lends a meditative quality to Rossi’s work which recalls the spirit of Brice Marden’s minimalist sea paintings. Undaunted by the enormity of capturing the expressions of flow and undertow on canvas, his brushwork emulates a lattice of confluent rips and underlying currents that seduce and mesmerize.
SEASCAPES, an exhibition of paintings by Mario Rossi, was curated by Jenny Blyth at VILLAGE UNDERGROUND Holywell Lane London EC2 in MAY 2008.