The exhibition “As Days Go By” presents the latest body of works by Lawrence Canto.
The exhibited series of 8 paintings and 8 videos explores the precariousness of the human condition, developing a coherent reflection that delves deeply into different existential themes such as the relationship between humanity and nature, the uncertainty of life and the effects of time.
Through his particular techniques that mixes painting and serigraphy, Lawrence Canto creates dream-like images. The paintings appear blurry and hazy with excessively bright highlights: an expedient that wants to mimic that particular atmosphere linked to fading memories and lost dreams. By softening the outlines, the artist blend the figures with the backgrounds and it is impossible to understand if they are emerging from it or disappearing into it. In the same way, the human condition intertwine with nature. Nature gives life but creates also obstacles that humans have to overcome in order to survive. The pandemic brutally unveiled this condition and highlighted the ephemerality of every living thing. Starting from this nihilistic perspective, the artist focuses his research towards time. He explores themes related to youth and childhood that reinforce the idea that it all fades away and we are forced to live with nothing more than partial and vague memories.
The process of disappearing is well illustrated in the video series. The animations, in fact, give the artist the possibility to actually show the effects of time and to represent the nature controlling the environment. The videos therefore, complete the paintings and add depth to the research. Moreover, the relationship between these two art languages develop further the consolidate practice of the artist of integrating traditional and digital media.
Although complicated and harsh, the themes explored so far are nothing but a starting point. Lawrence Canto observes also the coping mechanism of humanity through the extremely difficult time of the pandemic and ultimately the exhibited artworks seem a celebration of human resilience. If the pandemic is a tunnel, hope is the light at the end of it and the artist plays with this idea by accentuating the highlights in the paintings. He also dedicates two paintings of the series to show the essential needs of humans in terms of physical surviving and emotional affection. In an overcomplicated society, the isolation forced us to focus on the basis and rediscover the essentiality of life. It taught us that as long as we cling to our loved one and as long as we keep our faith and hope in life and in each other, we are able to overcome even the most dangerous menace and we are even able to counterbalance the power of nature.
Lawrence Canto brings the viewers into a journey. He makes them reflect on mortality, memories and time but he also reminds them of the inner strength of human beings.