In 2008, Mario Alberico began a series of brightly colored, lyrical, yet dark paintings, with the presence of a character named LJ. The oil and mixed media series of paintings deal with the drama and complexities of the mind and mental illness. These paintings mark the beginning of his pursuit of a new aesthetic called Desolation Row – The Morrison Aesthetic of Attraction and Repulsion. These paintings were debuted April and May of 2008 in Chicago, IL at Artropolis, The Artist Project, and at Looptopia, The Spring 2008 Around the Coyote Festival.
LJ on exhibit in the national juried competition! "A Whole New Mind 2010 Brainstorm" at Governors State University
The Artist At The Ready
Below are some images from The Artrist Project at Artroplis in Chicago during the spring of 2008. Pictured is the Artist's life-long friend John Soss. Without his help the exhibit would not have happened. With the extraordinary assistance of the artist's wife Claudia they designed the booth, packaged the artwork, loaded and unloaded the paintings and hung the exhibit. They even "manned" the booth and introduced the attendees to the artwork and cajoled others to enter the booth.
It was said that some viewers looked at the work as "playful" and "fun" and "lyrically wonderful colors" that is the beginning of the Morrison Aesthetic of 'attraction'. Others went to a deeper understanding of the artworks (Transfiguration of the Commanplace, by Arthur Danto) with comments like "you listen to jazz, I see the improvisation", "...understand the disturbing titles referring to the mind", and "I've spent many years teaching my (art) students to to do what you've done...attract viewers to the work and then hit them over the head". The circle of the Morrison Aesthetic was complete with 'repulsion'.