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The New English

Saturno Butto

He was born in Venice in 1957 and started his exhibition career in 1993 when he published his first monograph titled ‘portrayed from Saturn: 1989-1992.’ Since then he has exhibited his work in Italy, Europe and the US (New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco). His artwork is characterized by a personal, formal interpretation of European sacred art and technical skill, that portrays one of the great masters of our pictorial tradition. Figurative rituals, tableaux vivants, neo-Gothic altar pieces are the skilful creations with which Butto extracts the fascinating mysteries of an “obscure, dark religion. This concept is brilliantly illustrated by the juxtaposition between the body’s innate sensuality and its deeper spirituality. Through illustrating the conflict between eroticism and pain, transgression and rapture, Buttò’s valuable paintings on wood examine in depth the strict and conflicting vision of Western religious iconography by comparisons with the body. The body is, on one side exhibited like an object of cult, while simultaneously being denied its value of nascent erotic beauty. It’s a fascinating tension that above all exalts the human figure, to the centre of the exhibition. The human figure, which in Buttò’s poem, is constantly represented as sacred, is depicted in its physical and psychological decadence. It is sometimes illustrated by instruments and/or medical tools, that represent human pain on one hand while simultaneously highlighting the will to defeat death in a Utopian way. It also manages to vividly depicts the inescapable condition of physical decline, more accurately than ever. This way, a beautiful girl’s parade consecrate from a golden halo, as the Byzantine icons, shine from a lively and sensual physicalness, but are hidden from a mysterious demoniac fascination, as if they were wedded in purity to destruction and decay.

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