There are so many things I love about Chamarelli’s work, the first being the level of detail. These paintings are almost Baroque (as in sculpture or architecture) in that it is the sheer amount of little details that make the piece what it is; they border on excessive (there is just too much going on!) but that’s what makes them so great is the insanity of the details. It’s like each piece, which seems to be a portrait of a god-like figure, is an entire world unto itself with mechanics and work going on at every level. That’s actually one of the things I remember vividly of my first reading of Kant’s First Critique: the sheer level of detail which becomes almost nauseating in it’s extreme nature. When I brought it up with my prof, he made the comparison to Baroque sculpture. Ever since, I feel like I’ve been able to at least appreciate it more.
I mentioned the portrait-like nature of these pieces. This brings me to my second point of admiration. Chamarelli’s work combines elements from traditional Aztec art (the thick black lines, the simplified colours, the shapes of the faces and the fact that there are often multiple faces) as well as Tibetan art (the lotus’, the decorative nature of the pieces, many of the head dresses), and even certain Egyptian elements (the bird faces on many of the miniature people, symbology bordering on hieroglyphics). I love how the style, in its combination of these radically different elements, looks strangely traditional, as if it belongs to a long forgotten culture. Perhaps this is the art of the fabled Lost Island (Atlantis, Mu, etc).
Finally, there is a certain child-like innocence at work here. The tiny figures appear care-free and playful, and the use of colours leads the character-landscapes to appear novel and easily identifiable. While these could be the paintings of a lost civilization, they could just as easily be the work of an imaginative child.
(Note: In an effort to broaden this blog to include as many of my interests as possible (it is my blog after all) I’m going to begin including these sorts of entries which I have been making elsewhere for some time. This will mean more posts (including more on architecture as well, I think) but with less focus. This is largely because I have a terrible attention-span and simply get bored of talking about the same thing all the time. More than this however, I’d like this blog to be more of a reflection of myself, and that includes many interests and not just the more theoretical posts I have been making. So I’m sorry if this bothers anyone, although I can’t really imagine it would, but this doesn’t mean I’ll stop posting on philosophical matters, I just don’t want this to be a single-use blog.)