Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Rafayel - Battersea's newest art exhibition space welcomes Max Viccardi

Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.”-- So said Robert Motherwell, the late American Abstract Expressionist painter. Few are likely to disagree with such a simple, if not obvious, statement. A world without art is unimaginable and would be intolerable.

Of course what one considers art, and equally what one considers good art, is far too subjective and involved for a blog such as ours. We do know that art has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on our mental and physical well-being. Corporations understand this. Deutsche Bank has one of the world’s largest modern art collections. Hospitals now regularly install art in hospital wards, for the benefit of patients and staff alike.

At Hotel Rafayel unique works of art, from paintings to sculpture, have been installed in every bedroom and in the communal areas of every floor. We hope that these permanent pieces will add to the general sense of “wellbeing” which we seek to create at the hotel.

At its most powerful art can profoundly shake our beliefs and pose fundamental questions that strike at the very essence of our being. At its mildest, art can make a dreary space cheerful and bring a smile to our face. We don’t have exalted expectations here at Hotel Rafayel. We simply believe that good art nourishes the soul and stimulates the mind and, accordingly, we are committed to supporting deserving artists who reach out to their audience in a life-enhancing manner.

Art divorced from life”, wrote the great thinker Krishnamurti, “has no great significance. When art is separate from our daily living, when there is a gap between our instinctual life and our efforts on canvas, in marble or in words, then art becomes merely an expression of our superficial desire to escape from the reality of what is.

We at Hotel Rafayel are committed to supporting artists and arts that are able to bridge this gap and afford us the opportunity to integrate our life with art and so transform art into an integral expression of ourselves.

To this end we are very proud to announce that Hotel Rafayel will be hosting a series of exhibitions in our bar/restaurant, reception and conference rooms, featuring carefully selected works of art, from pictures to sculpture, contributed by a variety of artists.

The first artist to exhibit at our hotel will be the extraordinary Italian painter/sculptor, Max Viccardi (three of his works are illustrated in this post). Now based in London, Max Viccardi has exhibited in a number of notable galleries, including the GX Gallery and Charlick Gallery. Inspired by the complexity of human relationships and the vast array of emotions that accompany them, Viccardi was influenced most profoundly by Abstract Activism but has since developed his own style, philosophically altering materials into a style that he describes as Asbstract Actualism, with each piece “actualising” a spiritual unconsciousness by articulating emotions in a very physical manner. This spiritual unconsciousness has been defined as a “de-sexualised Eros” and “an undifferentiated ID”. Ultimately it is Viccardi's intention to explore the unconscious emotional forces that underpin spirituality and freedom. We look forward to hosting this fascinating exhibition.

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