Robert Lazzarini, Rated M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs (The Last of Us Part II), 2021
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 17 x 22 inches (image source: Lowell Ryan Projects)
Robert Lazzarini's latest project consists of a series of paintings depicting the pervasive red title signs displayed in movie trailers. Specifically, Lazzarini depicts the warnings in order to highlight the notion of violent spectacle of entertainment as well as the denotative language used to describe it. Alongside the "cinematic" paintings, Lazzarini also produced a set of smaller works depicting video game ratings by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). "Rated M for mature content" message mirrors the warning of the rated "R" movies, highlighting the visceral nature of the sampled video games, which include The Last of Us II (above) and Yakuza 5 (see Lazzarini's tweet):
Yakuza 5 pic.twitter.com/1cWLA102ng— Robert Lazzarini (@lazzarinistudio) May 18, 2021
As Frank explains:
Lazzarini applies mathematical distortions to the image as a way to offset the observer and complicate the space of the composition. The horizontal fields of red within each painting are filled with an ever expanding and contracting text. The artist refers to the diverse mark making in the language of bodily injury such as nicks, scrapes, cuts, and abrasions. The repetition of specific loaded words within each of the paintings generates a sense of unease. The scale of these works are realized in two aspect ratios: 1.85:1 known as Flat or Theatrical Widescreen, and 2.39:1 known in the film industry as Scope or Cinemascope. Here the paintings tether to the formats that the corresponding films are shot in—a way for the artist to refer to the space of viewing films.
Robert Lazzarini (b. Denville, NJ, 1965) lives and works in New York, NY. Lazzarini uses the language of mathematical distortion as a way to question the conventional, acritical way we view images and objects. The artist’s themes include societal decline and America’s obsession with violence and criminality.
LINK: Robert Lazzarini