In David Florimbi’s 2007 exhibition at Frank Pictures, noted critic Donald Kuspit singled out Untitled (Head) as a “tour-de-force of emotional expression,” which can be seen as a kind of an irony, since the image is almost entirely erased. He also points to a curious use of the appropriation of classical Renaissance forms towards a postmodernist end. This was most notable in how the image of the face was, in fact, a reduction or distillation of the essence of the subject. Appropriating form and then minimizing the subject through subtraction also references Robert Rauschenberg’s, 1953 “Erased de Kooning Drawing.” In Florimbi’s new show “Portraits” he investigates these same notions. His own erasures leave a longing and intuitive understanding of what remains. The key to this work is about that which is left out, that which is not spoken, the negative space from which one infers understanding. In these ‘portraitless-portraits,’ we find in their void the essence of the enigmatic complexities of the sitter without ever having known the subject.
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