Have you ever seen a ghost? You may come close this month, thanks to the new Miaz Brothers’ exhibition “Dematerialized: A New Contemporary Vision”at London’s Lazarides gallery. The show features new large-scale paintings from the fraternal duo’s “Antimatter” series, a haunting mixture of Old Master silhouettes and unidentifiable sitters that cast a haze over conventions of traditional portrait painting.
Employing their signature style of deftly-layered spray paint on canvas, Roberto and Renato Miaz wield their dark arts to blur the boundaries between abstract and figurative art. The sitters are familiar but unrecognizable, almost wraithlike. Visages emerge and recede into the canvas, as though they were peering through a fog-streaked window. These diaphanous faces nevertheless conjure an intensity; standing in front of one of these portraits may incite chills or cause the tiny hairs on the back of your neck to prick up. But chances are, you won’t be able to look away.
Extensive travels and a propensity to exhibit their work in unconventional spaces, likes nightclubs and office buildings, make a solo exhibition of this scale in London even more unusual. But, then again, the Miaz brothers have always worked just out of grasp. Their gentle apparitions leave you wanting to know more. Gallery labels remain elusive, and playful titles such as Old Master 12 and Lady G yield little clues. They only deepen the mystery and quicken the exhibition’s pulse.
Catch them if you can. Before they disappear before your very eyes.
“Dematerialized: A New Contemporary Vision” is on view at Lazarides Rathbone, May 16–June 14, 2014.