Armando Ara’s work has seen some significant stylistic developments in the past two years. His art has always enjoyed a unique combination of traditional Renaissance painting methods but with a modern abstract style. Many who know his work will be familiar with his fluid forms of figures in movement, veiled in mysterious layers of paint and glazes that at the same time obscure and accentuate the physical body and its energy.
The Renaissance figure is revisited in this exhibition with some courageous introductions of space – a stylistic feat for any abstract artist to say the least. Armando has now combined the figurative with his customary abstract style. One only has to read Kandinsky’s reflections on the difficulties of the abstraction of recognisable forms to realise the tremendous artistic challenge that this kind of stylistic coexistence presents on the canvas. Rules of perspective, direction of light, contrast have to govern abstract forms that would have previously been free from any association with space or recognisable forms.The symbolism in Armando’s art is accentuated with this introduction of the figurative.
The drawings in The Figure Revisited not only offer intimate insights into the creative processes of Armando’s art but are in their own right meaningful artworks imbued with draughtsmanship skills and intriguing reflections on timeless concepts such as love, hope and the meaning of our existence. In Armando’s art struggle is noble and the protagonist, even in the tragic myth, is not a victim but a hero.