The powerful works of Basik
For visual artist Basik, currently based in Rimini, Italy, hands are as expressive as a human face, telling fascinating stories with each particularity and gesture. Weird face expressions are also captivating, rising from a mix of lines, shapes and solid aspects of the colours. Painted subjects “are often idealized and slightly surreal. Strokes become bones, while paint’s matter turns into flesh.”
His works are defined by simple black and white figures, while the gestures of hands seem to relate to an ancient sacred universe, that we have forgotten. The black and white palette is often enriched with gold and sometimes an intense, contrasting choice of colours.
Space is also very important, as Basik loves to paint on useless, broken items, abandoned places or decayed buildings: “Painting becomes more intense and dramatic whilst the support gets a whole new dimension and dignity.”
Recently invited to Viavai, an unconventional public art project in Salento, Basik made a couple of paintings on decommissioned buildings.
Omnia Mutantur (Everything changes)
“Two black hands casting the shadow of a wolf serve as reminders for the famous Rome’s she-wolf featured in Racale’s seal, probably due to Eraclio, a roman freedman who founded the town.
XII and VI numbers symbolize the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who, according to Rome’s foundation myth, asked the Gods for a sign to claim the right of foundation of the city. Romulus saw twelve auspicious vultures, while Remus just six.
As a second theory about the genesis of Racale suggests that a Heracles’ worship site was once built in the very same area of the town during Greek occupation, the olive club at the bottom of the painting refers to the legend of the divine hero’s slay of the Nemean Lion, in which an eradicated olive tree was used by Heracles as a weapon against the monster. The region surrounding Racale is in fact filled with olive trees”.
Photos © Matteo Bandiello
Basik in Tunisia, 2014
In February, Basik had the Tabula Aut Mortem show at Avantgarden gallery in Milan, Italy.
“Tabula Aut Mortem is a tribute to skateboard culture’s visual art and includes a revisitation of some of the most famous graphics and illustrations on deck of the Eighties and early Nineties, throughout my personal view. It’s a true homage to masters of art such as Jim Phillips and Vernon Courtland Johnson, just to name a few”.
Photos © Marco Montanari
Reverse Balaclava for Dreamfloor Festival, 2013
“I’ve been quite into working with the concept of masks lately and I always love to play with their holes and how about the perception of what we can see beneath them changes significantly considering which detail we can see and which one not and -most important- how much we can see of one of more portions of a face.
Burqa and similar garments of the Islamic tradition and their roles and meanings in Islamic societies have been a huge inspiration for sure.
That being said, if we take away from the painting all this social environment what we get is nothing but an informal subject with its solids and voids. Hence the solid golden triangle facing the “empty” triangle of a black shape.”
Illustration for Fabric London, 2013
And here is Basik’s most recent mural – Multa Paucis (Say much with few words), in Bologna, Italy, part of the You Make It Easy project.
Photos: Christian Deligia / Oana Tatar
Thank you to Basik for the images.