Ambiguous Bodies is Mattia Cicoli’s examination of the figure under duress in a new series of expressionist paintings. Evocative of past masters, Phillip Guston and Pablo Picasso, Mattia’s abstracted figures are interwoven by muscles. They are described in different patches of colour surrounded by violent brush strokes. Vibrant colours interrupt and fragment the picture plane, unbalancing the viewer, but then recapturing them with moments of clarity and calm.
The notion of balance is important to Mattia as the physical forms of his paintings express the reality of a recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Disorientating and chaotic paintings represent a place of uncertainty and obstruction; we are invited to consider the crack in the floor that throws out his balance, the slurred speech and the frustrations around needing others. Problematic limbs are a literal and figurative concern for this young painter. Rhythmically evocative, they are also beautifully fragile.