“I read the classics but didn’t read them thoroughly”
Exhibition by Darren Bonello at Filmhuis Oosterbeek, Netherlands, 2019-2020
Medium: Digital Collage
The title of this exhibition, a verse from Baetenberg’s song Ithaca is referenced here as a way to set the tone of what to expect: classical portraits of noble dukes, duchesses, and ancient Gods are torn apart; parts of their bodies replaced with middle eastern patterns, illustrations of flowers, and far away landscapes. The classics have been cut down to pieces and their fragments rearranged in a way that gives life to something new.
Darren Bonello (1984) is a self-taught artist specializing in digital collages. Having worked as a portrait photographer for over a decade in London, with various images published in international magazines, Darren has now moved to The Netherlands where he finds himself creating intriguingly whimsical collages.
Portraiture is a recurring theme in Darren’s work with classical portraits being deconstructed apart only to be reconstructed again as someone or something else. He usually starts with an image that inspires him, then manipulates it by cutting, distorting and mixing it with other cut-up images. He never knows what the final image will look like in the end. With the help of intricate layering techniques, he creates portrait images that appear masked and unconventionally disguised. His method shows a hint of playfulness and his compositions personal, honest and organically intuitive.
Darren works primarily with images from prominent museums, with many of these being from the renaissance and baroque era. Having been brought up on the Mediterranean island of Malta where elements of baroque are everywhere, Darren finds that his hometown, particularly the interior of churches influence his work heavily.
This exhibition features a selection of Darren’s work which he created in London and Arnhem where he now lives.