Ian Victoriano (b. 1965) presents a selection of portraits and figures from hundreds which he produced in recent years, drawing and painting almost daily in what he calls his regular trips into the subconscious. Beginning his process with random doodles somewhat like automatic drawing and “self-administered Rorschachs,” the results are strange characters or creatures which seem to come from even stranger worlds.
Influenced by Surrealism, Expressionism, and Abstraction, the artist’s works suggest cartoons and caricature and the humor these evoke, the spontaneity of children’s drawings, and the raw energy and aesthetic of naive art. The rough strokes, textures, colors, and shapes reveal an unconstrained hand.
The paintings may also be considered as preliminary notes or “sketches” for stories that he may write in the future. What sort of rogues are the persons in the hexaptych title piece “Rogues Gallery”? Was it force majeure or duress that has made the man in “At Sea” have red eyes and is he raising his arms in surrender or defiance? Is “Birdman” an animal metamorphosing into a man or is it vice-versa, like in the story of Gregor Samsa? The images seem to suggest narratives.
In addition to being a gifted abstractionist, he is just as adept at and passionate about storytelling. In “Rogues”, Victoriano makes sense of existential phenomena primarily through pictorial representation— lines, colors, and shapes — which he will then craft into fictions and non-fictions, ultimately turning the visual into the verbal.