Matteo Basile is considered one of the foremost protagonists of European digital art. For the past decade he has been blending digital culture with classical iconography, re-inventing the portrait. The artist uses digital photography in order to develop and expand his personal code for contemporary painting, utilizing the computer as linguistic prosthesis in order to expand each vision and lend depth to the splendid surfaces of his artworks. Basilé’s world is an iconographic universe extending between technological mannerism and artistic surrealism. In his case, these two historic art movements mark a novel use of citation that tends towards synthesis and the affirmation of art as a meta-language. Captured within the digital frame, his subjects become timeless icons. Marks traced upon their skins recount the geography of intimate memories. It is the face understood as voyage, memory as the warehouse for that which Basilé defines as the “archive of the soul.”
His collection of faces and bodies tells the tale of a humanity dear to the artist. Women, children, men and the elderly are catapulted into the artist’s timeless imagination with the goal of passing on a three-dimensional verb capable of uniting painting with cinema, writing with material, photography with sound, and scenic space with an audience. Basilé tests, manipulates and synthesizes his subjects’ DNA, transforming them into martyrs and saints within a world parallel to our own. Startling beauty and marvelous ugliness are blended together within the digital era. Reality and fiction travel side-by-side, ultimately blossoming into a new collective imagination.