The human form is at the center of Marco Grassi’s artistic practice. Renown for his seductive depictions of women, Grassi’s models are at once delicate and determined. His portraits, suffused with vibrant colours, carry a complex sensibility. Devoting himself to portraiture, Grassi succeeds in challenging the typical standards of this genre through abstract colourplay and directional composition.
The artist forgoes preparatory sketches, choosing to apply his pigments directly on the canvas with a palette knife. In doing so, Grassi allows the medium to define itself, honouring its texture and character. In his recent works, backgrounds tend to gradually integrate themselves with the subject, softly blending the frenetic edges created by the palette knife. Grassi’s style is defined by his layering work, each strata of colour holding a unique energy and significance. The onlooker is invited to penetrate these layers to discover the emotional complexity of the artist’s subjects. His female nudes are provocative and inviting, distinguishing themselves from traditional figure studies.
Introducing a new thematic to his production, Kiddos is a collection of works featuring preadolescent subjects. Just old enough to have lost part of their innocence, they are on the cusp of disenchantment. The artist contrasts this fading virtue with the decadence and corruption of our contemporary society, covering his teenage subjects with the contradicting symbols, icons, and modern mantras of pop culture. With the series Kiddos, Grassi presents a wry commentary on the overwhelming social conditioning of today’s youth.
Born in Milan in 1966, Marco Grassi studied at the Liceo Artistico B. Luini, earning a diploma in Architecture. His works are found in numerous private and public collections in Europe, the United States, and Canada. He lives and works in Mariano Comense, Italy.