Servadio – Quarantine
Oil on canvas
100 x 100 cm, 2020
Michele Servadio was born in Italy in 1986. He grew up in a small village in the Veneto countryside. Drawn to painting and drawing from an early age, Servadio attended the Art School in Padua and the University of Visual Arts in Venice. In 2007 he approached the world of tattoos, fascinated by its tradition and cultural phenomenon. He moved to London in 2010.
In his atelier in Hackney Wick, Servadio creates new projects which interconnect the different practices of tattooing, painting, printmaking, photography, and performance art. Merging these diciplines, feeding them back into one another, he creates a unique universe where he is able to explore and describe the human condition and his environment.
The aesthetics of his work is dark and melancholic; it embodies Folklore, expressionism, and the bleakness of a post-industrial scenario.
In 2014 he started to experiment with sound and tattooing. This gave birth to 'Body of Reverbs', a contemporary Ritual combining sound, pain, accupuncture and permanent marks on the body. Body of Reverbs has been presented in the form of live performances and instilations across the UK, Europe, Asia and America.
His artworks have been exhibited in England, Italy, and Germany.
Signed by the artist
This artwork was produced exclusively for Varsi Lab
“Just before the quarantine I began to make portraits of different people each week. I had felt the need to focus on human subjects grow bigger and bigger during the last months of 2019.
These weekly sittings were a way of keeping a routine around painting, and through routine a sense of heath.
I find it very interesting how the process of scrutinising somebody’s face for several hours, and indeed being scrutinised, seems inevitably to lead to more: There is an opening up to each other, a depth and honesty of conversation. This is the magic captured in the painted portrait, and this is the most important element in this series of works: The individual and the transformative process of sharing with one another through the sitting, and consequential absence of them during the isolation period.
What really sets these new paintings apart is the rhythm in which I have created them. I used to paint in a fast and spontaneous way because it reflected the pace of life I live in London.
My need to paint was always restricted by my busy schedule, including a great deal of travelling, so my painting had to be shoe-horned around my calendar.
Through lockdown, I have achieved and discovered a new way of working. I have discovered that longer periods of time allow you to immerse yourself in and work truly through the creative process.
Due to the forced break of Lockdown 2020 I have finally understood the value of time and human connection which are fundamental to my painting practice.” Servadio
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Ph. credits: Ivano Pagnussat
Model: Sorcha Finch Murray