Roberto Rotondo


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Painting 28 Followers Member since 2009
Montreal, Montreal, Canada

Artist News Roberto Rotondo

Added May 28, 2015
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Up Kodaikanal. For more visit my UP YOURS

 

up kodaikanal   For more visit http://www.artsandopinion.com/2014_v13_n2/rotondo.htm

The bus trundled along the stony path hugging tight to the side of the mountain on its right with nothing in places but a few inches of dirt to the unguarded precipice on the left below.

A windowless vehicle.

I sat somewhat nervously at first but as the ride progressed I blended with the joyful chatter and laughter and confident ease of the locals on their way home.

A baby cries. The mother passes her child to me, and why not, as I was the closest to her, and proceeds to slip out her teat for her other babe to feed.

Meanwhile the music from the speakers up front is blasting full out, almost as loudly as the blast of the klaxon bleating at every turn.

A man in his thirties is chewing paan, spitting the red juices out the window. A spittle accidentally splashes my shirt. I tap him on the shoulder. A row of blood red teeth flash radiantly into a smile as his head bobs regretfully from side to side. Very sorry, very sorry. Do you have school pen for my child?

I stand to stretch my legs. I glance uneasily to the right.

Not to worry, yells out the driver. We’ve been this way a thousand times before.

Besides, if its our time there’s no preventing the karma.

There are dozens of little effigies dangling above his dashboard. So which is your god? I ask. Oh depending on my disposition, but my favourite is Kali. A devilish one, he says, giggling. Catch her in the wrong mood and she’ll chop your head clean off. Just like the wife, eh? Ahh, yes yes, absolutely correct, just like the wife. And yourself? Do you have a god? Yes, Jesus. And what does your god say? Oh, basically to treat others good and have a little faith. Ah, I like your god, I think I’ll put him up with the rest soon as I find an icon of him.

I think we need all the gods in the heavens, I tell the driver. It's very misty up ahead. Hard to see, don’t you find? Not to worry. I go by feel. Besides, we’re driving through clouds which means we’re there. Welcome to Kodaikanal.


Added Mar 11, 2015
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up the Ganges. For more visit my UP YOURS

 

She lay thin upon the pyre. There was a lull in the air. The sun melted scarlet at the horizon. The Ganges ran on.

A dead dog’s leg floated past the bathers. A topless buxom woman drank of the river, gargled then swallowed then spit.

A man knee-deep in water frantically rubbed his wet face with the palms of his hands. He then swam some ways, pushing a metallic urn used for the cleansing ritual.

The sound of water splashing and voices murmuring everywhere.

A dizzying sweetness filled the air like an atmosphere. A scent of incense and all else.

The ghats teemed with folk of all walks, both locals and pilgrims on their final journey, come from afar, everywhere life, people shaving, combing, grooming, smoking, massaging, drinking, eating, praying.

A blue boat drew past a pier by the pyre.
A wiry Hindu descended carrying a parcel wrapped in cloth.
Soon the chanting and a billowing smoke, a crackling fire, and a sending off into the early evening dimming distance where life’s vanishings resolve invisibly anew.

Indifferently solemn yet all in good form.
No big deal.

Just another day in the life on the Ganges.


Added Mar 11, 2015
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up your pit bull. FOR MORE VISIT MY UP YOURS

 

Just back from a pawn shop on old Craig Street, now Saint Antoine. In the old days most of us wanna be rock star kids used to hit the Craig Street pawn shops in downtown Montreal on a regular basis, scouting out the joints for a guitar that didn’t put your wrist out of place when holding down a bar chord. But them good old days are gone.

No, what I got myself today is a sturdy Gerber DMF Automatic, fast action switch-blade; the kind of knife that’ll get you in trouble with the authorities should you so much as flash it.

Thing is I don’t want no trouble, but you see, way I figure the only chance I got against a pit-bull attack is to stretch out an arm as bait go for the knife with the free hand , press the release button, switch the blade open and proceed to cut the beast’s throat straight clean. Pit bull attacks have been compared to shark-attacks: “pit bulls inflict more serious wounds than other breeds. They tend to attack the deep muscles, to hold on, to shake, and to cause ripping of tissues.”

A mere stab in the chest won’t do it. Pepper spray will only piss it off even more. No, unless you’re Crocodile Dundee you’ve gotta decapitate them mothers. OK, so you’ll probably never again have full use of your leg or forearm, but you’ll not be a cripple or a corpse.

In my exposed neck of town, it seems every second dog on the block is a pit. I’ve been lunged at twice in the last year alone. Fortunately both times the savage beasts’ owners were strong enough to hold back their drooling toothy monsters. Not so today.

“He never did this before. Must be your damn aftershave. He hates sharp smells,” she managed to yell out as her pet dragged her some twenty feet as I high-legged out of there. And that’s when I made up my mind.

The hell with the law.

If people can walk the streets with an unmuzzled beast by their side I‘ll carry a blade. The law is an ass? I am not.

As for those who blame the master for the dog being aggressive, may be so, but who gives a damn once my head’s bit off. What are we gonna do anyway? Have every dog owner undergo a psychiatric exam followed by a one year dog training course before granting Madame license to purchase her four-legged, foaming-at-the-mouth, witless body guard? Not very bloody likely. Until them pits, Rottweiler and the like, no less than tigers, lions, panthers, bears and crocodiles are banned from strolling city streets, I am carrying a Gerber.

Only persons who should object to this, other than the owners, are the plastic surgeons.

So take my advice, arm yourselves and your kids with a switch blade, or even a bloody pistol, for that matter. I’d rather have a thousand switch blade carrying gals walk past me than a pit bull brush against me any day.

And don’t wear cheap after-shave lotions, not ever, not in my hood


Added Mar 11, 2015
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up my modus operandi. FOR MORE VISIT MY UP YOURS

 

My inspiration could arise from something as trivial as a wet pebble on a beach, or a sulking donkey, or the rusty hull of an abandoned boat dry docked by the side of a lake, or even a young she goat frolicking about in the meadows.It’s all out there.

The palette of every artist is nature.

Themes? I am not as concerned with themes as I am with putting something together pleasing to the eye. If the work should invite viewers to revisit the seemingly ordinary with renewed interest, all the better. But this is purely incidental. I am not out to tell stories, provide morals, correct past wrongs or in any way change the world any more than the musician.

And as in music, whose beauty transcends significance, so with art. A painting need not mean anything for it to touch us. A piece of marble is beautiful not because we recognize something in it we can name, but because of its harmonious blend of colouring, texture and form. Art is in fact all the finer when it means absolutely nothing.

Style? When the artist leans too heavily on acquired technique style becomes imprisoning, and the work annoyingly repetitive.

Myself, I like changing it around. I am not a cookie cutter artist. When I become too comfortable in a genre I grow bored and go elsewhere. An artist must be an explorer, never for long content with his newly found abode, always pushing further, and absolutely never producing to please an audience . . . .or he’s no artist at all, at best perhaps a craftsman or a cook.

Which is why I prefer not to be pigeonholed stylistically.

What now? I am currently working on a series of aerial paintings. I was flying over the Prairies last spring. It was a clear crisp day. Not a cloud up in the skies. Below all was flat. Nothing recognizable. Not the silos, not the farms, not the produce of the fields, not the combines, trucks and barns. Nothing down under except for a seemingly erratic coloured patchy quilt, as only mother nature can weave. You asked for a source of inspiration? Well this was definitely one.

Where to next? I was thinking of going up to the Yukon . I love the sparse silent vastness of our Canadian hinterland, where light travels unimpeded towards ever distant sun-splashed horizons. And the way the skyline subtly blends with water and land in explosive hues of light vibrating colour. Yeah, I think I’ll be painting abstract north-scapes sometime soon.


Added Mar 11, 2015
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up your misplaced civility. FOR MORE VISIT MY UP YOURS

 

There was a time when I could take the subway home after a long day hanging out at the pub, grab a seat, read the paper and relax, or even take a snooze for that matter.

No more.

Before every stop, at every stop and before leaving every station, I’ve got to be loudly reminded by the same automated speaker voice of the name of the same bloody station about to be left or approached. Very annoying.

Yes I know, all for the benefit of the blind. Or is it?

Do the blind who perceive sensory stimuli much more sharply then the rest of us visually un-impaired, who can feel thread so discerningly that the best darners are blind, who can read brail, whose attention to auditory cues is so refined as to identify a person walking far behind by the most subtle of scents, fragrants or otherwise, who can tune instruments as precisely as the most state of the art technological gadget out there, and on and on, do you think they, the blind, need be reminded of every next in line subway stop? I suspect most blind persons find this very condescending, and as damn annoying as the rest of us.

You want to assist the blind? Boost up their pensions. Now that I am all for. But to drive the likes of irritable me off the rails every time I hop a subway train? No, that isn’t civil.
And besides, since for every blind person out there, there are literally thousands of neurotics (i.e. normal folk), numbers alone should dictate that a bit of peace and quiet be provided, at least on the ride back home from wherever.

Enough to drive even the most balanced, measured and restrained of souls to drinking


Added Mar 11, 2015
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up your bombay dawn. for more visit my UP YOURS



It was a bumpy landing that I’d never experienced before. The plane skipped on the strip like a flat pebble on water. I attributed the ‘miss’ to the night and let it go at that, grumbling.

Must have been 30 Celsius and the sun wasn’t up yet. My shoes stuck, squishing off the tarmac with every step towards the main building. Inside hundreds of immaculately coiffed Indians all in white shirts, flashing radiantly welcoming smiles. I felt happy to be there.

And desks everywhere laden with tons of paper, dusty roped-up stacks of tawdry documents lying forgotten on the ground, stacked in shelves up behind and beyond. No, you didn’t want to get mixed up with the law, not in this bureaucracy; you’d be forgotten and left to rot. Everywhere paper. Forests of the stuff. These were, after all, the seventies. No computers to speak of. Only paper.

And crows as big as cats flying overhead. And a lady clad in all the colours of the rainbow walking straight and proud alongside her goat. This was a weird-wild place, no doubt about it. I’d hardly got there and I already loved it.

Soon I’m out and hustling for a cab. I arranged to share a ride with a couple of guys from my flight into town. It was an old Bentley, worn down but spacious and classy nevertheless. Being a Montrealer, with the worst streets of any big city on the planet and the most run-down taxis anywhere, this was an unanticipated treat.

It was still dark out but the first light of day was streaking the horizon. The roads were poorly lit. Shadowy figures lying beneath a tree. Homeless dogs running about, seemingly anxious and confused. And the occasional cow, scrawny and bony, chewing newsprint. An intellectual beast.

Look, said Dean, pointing to the left at a wall, some 8 feet in height, that seemed to go on forever. Squatting on it were dozens of people, one next to the other, their bare asses pointing our way, dumping. I gaped in disbelief. The cabbie, who until now had kept silent, said: squatters colony, as if to remind us that it wasn’t all like that, that this was an undesired anomaly, that he wasn’t part of that, that they belonged to another caste, on and on. He wouldn’t stop lecturing, explaining, justifying. But so what. I then thought to myself. No different from our shit-huts up north. So they’re short on sewage. No fault of theirs. It would all get fixed in time, modernized, sadly.

We rode on. And the sun rose higher, and there she suddenly appeared, the Bombay Bay looming in the distance, spreading out far beyond a thousand sails, masts and ships moored forever along the shore, the warm white-yellow light surrounding the city like a halo, the skyline a wonder of Hindi-Brit architecture, the eerie birds swirling up high and above the ubiquitous spires, and the magnificent colourful scent -- no other way to describe it -- as it smelled like everything at once. One does not know the nose until one goes to India -- tantamount to the severely daltonic discovering colour.

As we drove closer to town the streets grew populated. Cows halting traffic, the drivers calmly accepting the wait. People everywhere, some leaning against the side of a building chewing paan, their coal-red teeth betraying their habit, others sitting about in a small circle, taking breakfast on a banana leaf, and jittery monkeys pouncing the rooftops erratically like a thousand superballs let lose upon the earth from way up high,. The urban monkey is coy and agile. There she is. And now she’s gone. And the pungent smell of spice. Spice is everywhere. India is spice. Everything smells like spice. You cannot get away from it. You become it. Spice.

And of course the early morning scrubbers, brushing their teeth with huge brushes, with thick bristles, brushes big enough to floss a camel, vigorously brushing, foaming at the mouth, walking about, holding their metallic water filled cups, sipping and unabashedly spitting out as though in a spit-the-farthest competition, loudly clearing their throats, inducing vomiting, as is the Hindu’s wont, part of their morning ablution ritual, a way of keeping it clean, of cleansing. They may wear tattered rags but they are a clean people. Always and everywhere scrubbing, washing and bathing. All kinds of people doing in public what we all do privately.

India is a public reality. It is an organism too concerned about survival, about the truth of life to worry over the niceties of western privacy. To the street-Hindu privacy is death. When he finds it, it is too late.. He is no longer wanted. Shunned. Even by his very own. He is contagious. Infected. A goner. And so he doesn’t t bother. He huddles up in his private spot, and dies, silently and acceptingly, as he must, for the sake of the rest, of the organism, of INDIA, an organic indestructible reality . Should a nuclear cataclysm, a global Armageddon occur, India would survive. The Hindu excels at survival. All other options are inconceivable to him.. His love and respect of life and of divinity too great for him to ponder over alternatives.

To the Hindu, that we are all merely passing by is a given. Everywhere the little statuettes of their gods, Shiva, the transcendent Lord who creates the cosmos, maintains it and destroys it over and over again, the ubiquitous Ganesh, the elephant god, the remover of obstacles, and Vishnu, one of the main deities, the perseverer and protector, and Kali, the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, Shakti, and Hanuman the monkey god, and many many more, all fascinating and tremendous in their own way, making up the most colourful mythology the world has known, and of course Braham, the highest and indescribable reality. And before their many gods are offerings and burning incense and solemn prayer, and powdered drawings.

To the Hindu there is nothing eventful about a ceremony. The ceremony begins at dawn and ends at death. To the Hindu life itself is a ceremony, a thanksgiving and preparation for the other side.. All this, driving the streets of Bombay, and it was still only dawn.

We decided to stay at the Seashore Hotel. We were led to our room, a spacious opulence affording a spectacular view of the Bay. I was tired. We all were. One of the guys, Marc, rolled a joint. Copped a tola (the weight of a silver rupee), he said, from the bellboy. Ten grams for 100 rupees, a mere ten bucks. I lied down and fell asleep, the morning’s impressions running through my head kaleidoscopically, and the cabbie’s last words before dropping us off, that it isn’t as ugly and bad as you might suspect – those people are happy.

And in time, having spent several months in India, his words proved prophetic, though after only having been there for a mere few hours I already knew

And I still remember how everything smelled like spice, but then you grew used to it and it smelled no more, and you missed it.


Added Mar 11, 2015
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up your eye-poke-arsey. for more visit my UP YOURS

 

Old clocks running fast
Beggars consulting menus
Priests scheduling confessions. The guilt ridden sinner arrives late and slits his throat.

Billionaires preaching morality
Anarchists demanding rights
Querulous female cops in army get-ups bent on keeping the peace
Priapic pedophiles beat the rap as the psychologist applauds.

The rich abet the poor to fatten up still more . The poor man’s lard appeases wealthy consciences.

Newspaper eye-bites weave the mantra.
High-jacked grave digger seeks redemption
SPCA hires chicken thief.
Six digit salary CEOs running charitable organizations.

Dumpster divers, pan handlers, can collectors, grocery-snackers, skin carvers, drunks and then the buskers, posers, whores, transfags, pimps and sleeky vendors glad-handing everywhere seeking favour.

A helter skelter and factitious morality.

A damsel and her pit on a summery afternoon stroll along the boulevard, delicate long anemic ivory skim-milk-white fingers twirl the handle of a pink parasol.

String theorists shooting craps
A diaphanous moonlight veils the evening sky.
The rabbi scuttles hurriedly to Friday prayers then pays a routine visit to his local massage parlour.
And the cock-eyed Cyclops throws another stone, and misses yet again, and blinks, and the fortunate miserable wanderer winks then slinks.

Psychedelic logic breaks the frigid silence with bad noise.

Sleepy felines mind the zone.
The mice were giving a lot of whingeing to the rats.
The mice were thinking the felines might have been fit to run on to the rodents.
But the cats weren’t having any of it.
They remained patiently indifferent.

Rain now coming down hard.
Jaundiced hands cling on to wet rail
I watch the flowing waters.
I miss the ocean waves. I sense they are inviting me to follow them along.
A mere illusion. But illusions help to keep the soul at peace. And then a slumpy fall and wrinkled skin and green monsters slurping down their bloody mead


Added Mar 11, 2015
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up your fish teeth. for more visit my UP YOURS

 

I hobbled along the stony slabbed waterfront where one of the fishers reeled up a two-footer. A trout, by the looks of it, though it might have been a salmon or even an overgrown sardine or a baby tuna perhaps. Not being an ichthyologist, I couldn’t quite be sure as to exactly what kind of fish it was, though it most definitely was a fish. Anyway, the fisher held the fish up by the gills, looked at it in the same way one might inspect a handkerchief after one has blown in it, or straight threw it, as often occurs with paper kerchiefs, or across it, as often occurs with small kerchiefs, or when the kerchief isn’t so small but the nose in question is enormous, or, which would indeed be most unfortunate, both a small kerchie and a cauliflower sized nose, and also depending on the various types of symptoms accompanying the cold, and, not unimportantly, also very much depending on the pulmonary force of the person doing the discharging, as well as the environment in which the nasal releasing is performed; after all, one would not quite expect a dainty mademoiselle of refined pedigree attending a dinner to blow with the same intensity and spirit as a pig-farmer at a he-ha folk festival, and so, having quite deliberately inspected the fish, the fisherman threw the fish my way. For you, he said. As the trout flopped about the pier one of the boatmen yelled out that I should lay my knee on it and pin the slimy thing down, which I did. The helpless creature panted for air, or whatever it is fish pant for when out of water panting , flashing a sharp set of pearly white teeth… Were the teeth extracted from the fish before their heads ended up boiling in the pot? Or were they left to slip off their gums straight into the broth for flavouring?

These questions and my missing socks were enough to keep my mind in a whirl for the better part of the week. For you see my socks had vanished. Now we all of course have had our socks gone missing in the course of our lives. But why of all my socks only the yellow ones. And why had they gone missing -- again.

And were the trout’s teeth left intentionally on its head for flavouring the fish head soup, as I had initially suspected, or might there not perhaps have been some other, more exotic, oriental reason for this strangest of culinary inclusions?

Were the teeth left in as a ‘hardening’ agent . . . for aphrodisiac purposes? Perhaps not as cherished as a rhino’s horn, or porcupine bezoars, or even pangolin flesh, or gecko’s skin, but certainly more accessible to mariners and way way cheaper.

Might this be why over the centuries sailors had acquired such renown as lovers? Is this why the most beautiful Canadian women live in the Maritimes?

Is the sailor’s celebrated virility attributable to fish teeth in his soup and not, as the literature would have us believe, from being months on end out at sea, womanless? In fact one might very well make the case that having been weaned on toothy fish soup our sailors’accented sexual prowess got the gals chasing after them boys so hard their only way out was sailing the high seas.

The more I contemplated the more questions popped to mind, though none as perturbing as the sudden disappearance of my socks. And why only my yellow ones.

From my bed where I lay, sleepless, I glanced searchingly into the offing.

The moon was long past the full, a beautiful round yellow moon, as yellow as my socks when quite suddenly I heard a screech in the night. I gingerly approached the window sill. And there he was. Don. My Chinese acrobat neighbour swinging from my clothes line. But of course, it now all made perfect sense . . . all those hours at the gym, honing his acrobatic skills . . . to steal my socks -- no doubt attracted by their colour to match his complexion? It would never have occurred to me had I not seen him with my own eyes.

And they say crosswords sharpen the mind? Rubbish. It's scrabble for me from here on out.

Or did the fisherman throw the fish at me cause he thought I might need a little toothy fish soup of my own to energize what he interpreted as an otherwise less than seaworthy masculinity?

Questions and more questions. Damn me and when I get to try linking words up.

And what if yellow socks, for some strangest of reasons, were as desirable to the oriental persuasion as the seal’s dried penis?

No. No bloody way. No more doing with word-link of any sort, no more.

Scrabble's out as well I thought to myself, sniffing at my last remaining pair of yellow socks


Added Sep 10, 2014
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Aerial Abstracts, Panoram Italia, August 2014

My inspiration could arise from something as trivial as a wet pebble on a beach, or a sulking donkey, or the rusty hull of an abandoned boat dry docked by the side of a lake, or even a young she goat frolicking about in the meadows.It’s all out there.

The palette of every artist is nature.

Themes? I am not as concerned with themes as I am with putting something together pleasing to the eye. If the work should invite viewers to revisit the seemingly ordinary with renewed interest, all the better. But this is purely incidental. I am not out to tell stories, provide morals, correct past wrongs or in any way change the world any more than the musician.

And as in music, whose beauty transcends significance, so with art. A painting need not mean anything for it to touch us. A piece of marble is beautiful not because we recognize something in it we can name, but because of its harmonious blend of colouring, texture and form. Art is in fact all the finer when it means absolutely nothing.

Style? When the artist leans too heavily on acquired technique style becomes imprisoning, and the work annoyingly repetitive.

Myself, I like changing it around. I am not a cookie cutter artist. When I become too comfortable in a genre I grow bored and go elsewhere. An artist must be an explorer, never for long content with his newly found abode, always pushing further, and absolutely never producing to please an audience . . . .or he’s no artist at all, at best perhaps a craftsman or a cook.

Which is why I prefer not to be pigeonholed stylistically.

What now? I am currently working on a series of aerial paintings. I was flying over the Prairies last spring. It was a clear crisp day. Not a cloud up in the skies. Below all was flat. Nothing recognizable. Not the silos, not the farms, not the produce of the fields, not the combines, trucks and barns. Nothing down under except for a seemingly erratic coloured patchy quilt, as only mother nature can weave. You asked for a source of inspiration? Well this was definitely one.

Where to next? I was thinking of going up to the Yukon . I love the sparse silent vastness of our Canadian hinterland, where light travels unimpeded towards ever distant sun-splashed horizons. And the way the skyline subtly blends with water and land in explosive hues of light vibrating colour. Yeah, I think I’ll be painting abstract north-scapes sometime soon.


Added Sep 10, 2014
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review

PANORAM'ITALIA, AUGUST 2014


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Arts and Opinion, April 2008

A critique of Abstract Art with one of artist's works in question


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Plaisir de Vivre, March -April, 2007 Vol. 18. No 1

2 works by artist exhibited


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Arts and Opinion, Vol 3 No 2., 2004 The Roamers

A review of artist's Roamers Series by editor in chief Robert Lewis


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Parcours, 2002, vol 8 No 3 .Roberto Rotondo et la renaissance de la lumiere.

A critique of the artist's work by editor in chief Robert Bernier


Added Mar 16, 2009
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GAM 2002 April May

A critique of portraiture


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Chateleine, april 2000

Landscape for Dupont of canada


Added Mar 16, 2009
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House and Home Feb/March 1999

Landscape for Dupont of Canada


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Montreal Serai, 1999. The Portraits of Roberto Rotondo

R.J.Lewis critiques the artist's portraitsTHE PORTRAITS OF ROBERTO ROMEI ROTONDO
Robert J. Lewis


[ Editor's Note: Artist ROBERTO ROMEI ROTONDO was born in Milan, Italy, studied at Academia delle Belle Arti in Florence, and later under Guido Molinari and the sculptor Tino Petronzio. After many successful years of painting in Italy, he now enjoys an international reputation, dividing his time between his studios in Tuscany and Quebec. In Canada his work is on permanent exhibition at Galerie Lamoureux Ritzenhoff, Montréal, Québec. ]

"It seemed that the mask imposed on human suffering was the lie of lies and must be torn away." - Andre Malraux.


* ****** ****** *

Title: MISS ALL, © Roberto RotondoWith all due respect to Vogue and Cosmopolitan, in case you have forgotten that unhappy women still exist, I refer you to the portraits of Milan-born, Roberto Romei Rotondo. Taken as a whole, the work would go off the charts if such a thing as a misery index existed. As a collection of art, it represents some of the most compelling portraiture I’ve encountered since Giacometti. I’m still not sure if Rotondo’s procession of miserable women have been given the day off from Dante’s hell, or if, in the bold and unsparing manner of a Dostoyevsky, he’s reporting on the reactions of these women in his relationships with them? Either way, their misery translates into what I would characterize as the misery of intelligence, that will have no truck with either pretence or dissimulation. Each portrait is a confession where every veil has been stripped away, leaving the Madeleine’s I and II, for example, exposed in the plenitude of the truth of their being -- and light years away from the womanhood portrayed by Hollywood.

Title: MAESTRINA, © Roberto RotondoIt takes no small courage to pursue the truth when that truth must always include the artist’s response to a world that reveals the magnificence of his soul as well as the secret torments he would otherwise conceal. My feeling is that Roberto Rotondo has undergone immense suffering in the act of creation, in bringing these unhappy but willing women into the world, each representing a rib shorn from him, a reminder that there is no escaping the metaphysical consequences of being in the world.
Titles Eleonor 1 & 2 © Roberto Rotondo


Title: TRISTINA, © Roberto RotondoBut the psychology, or narrative is only half the story; for it is the painterly qualities of the work that set it apart, allowing their effects to gradually grow on and engage the viewer. Employing a liberal and spontaneous brush stroke while avoiding the pitfalls of caricature, the final result belies his technical mastery. In works that may require a month before they are brought to completion, he treats his portraits as if dealing with human flesh, waiting for that spark of life to appear, for the woman to announce her presence and worldly experiences that will have informed her expression. Like life itself, often gray and fuzzy at the edges, where there are few consolations and absolutes, Rotondo's choice of a dominant color, upon closer inspection, discloses the presence of a myriad of colors, where borders dissolve into each other, and foreground and background volumes are equal in value, where subject and object are as inseparable as mixed paint, and aesthetics and metaphysics share the same palette.

Title: MADELEINE II, © Roberto RotondoTitle: MADELEINE I, © Roberto RotondoTitle: GIRL 22, © Roberto Rotondo
Be as it may that galleries and collectors have shown a decided preference for the artist’s quite remarkable landscapes, I’m convinced that when Roberto Romei Rotondo’s story is finally told, (with the help of Bacchus and tobacco) his portraiture, however unfit for our salons and living rooms, will stand out as his greatest achievement, and will distinguish him as one of Canada’s most original and compelling portrait masters.


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Galerie Le Royer, Montreal, Canada

2005-2009


Added Mar 16, 2009
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Galerie Klimantiris , Ville St. Laurent, Quebec, Canada

2005-2009