CYPHERS AND FLAMES a solo exhibition of artwork by Mariano Baino
SOAPBOX GALLERY is pleased to present renowned film director MARIANO BAINO's solo exhibition of mixed media drawings, CYPHERS AND FLAMES.
Exploring the artist’s fascination with half-glimpsed signs of hidden realities and forbidden tomes, CYPHERS AND FLAMES presents a series of brand new mixed media recreations of pages from lost books and secret grimoires, achieved through the use of fire and water painstakingly applied to the drawing surface before and after the artwork is completed.
“Someone with a vivid and savage imagination that Bram Stoker would envy”
THE DAILY STAR, UK
Mariano Baino is an award-winning film director and screenwriter hailed as “one of the great torch-bearers for expressionistic genre cinema” by Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival, where his film DARK WATERS won the Prix Du Public (Audience Prize). He's also the recipient of the prestigious Vincent Price Award for Outstanding Contribution to Fantastic Cinema and many other accolades. His work has been described as an “unholy hybrid of Bergman and Argento" by Film Review and prized for its “lofty aspirations and little sense of conformity” by Sight and Sound, while being compared to Bergman's for its somber atmosphere and depth of religious meditation.
Using drawing as a means of expression (and as a way to create alternative realities) is something Mariano Baino has been doing since early childhood, and something he continues to explore parallel to, and in conjunction with, his film work.
“I like creating alternative realities,” Baino says. “I enjoy inventing worlds that don't exist or that, maybe, exist only in the shadows between worlds. Shadows that hide secrets bigger than we are meant to comprehend and truths too terrifying to contemplate.”
Each piece of artwork will be accompanied by a story explaining each piece's alleged provenance. “You'll be able to see the only surviving page of the first edition of De Praestigiis Daemonum and some burnt fragments of pages from the famed De Furtivis Cryptomensis rescued from a fire that destroyed Barking Church, London, in 1666. There will also be a couple of pieces that reference my film work and add to the universe of Dark Waters.”
Although the main exhibition will be on show 24 hours a day in the Soapbox Gallery permanent exhibition window for two weeks (18 Feb – 3 March), some artwork will only be on view for a few hours during the opening reception on Friday, 18th February from 6 to 9 pm.
As Gordon Wyler, co-curator of the exhibition, notes, “his process, with its use of the destructive power of fire and water as an integral part of the artistic creation, is at once sophisticated and enthusiastically child-like. His recreations of pages from lost books, treated to resemble pages rescued from the flames of the Inquisition, show a desertion of the confinements of genre painting and horror illustration. His work transcends traditional fantasy art and bridges the gap between commercial illustration, prop-making, and fine art.”
Mariano Baino’s artwork and photos have been used in films, music videos, books and CD covers. His distinctive drawings and digital-art creations, have been exhibited in Italy and the UK. This exhibition marks the first time Mariano Baino’s artwork is on show in New York City, and is accompanied by a limited edition, signed and numbered greeting card only available at the opening reception.
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