There’s exuberant force and sparkling heat in Jorge Berlato’s acrylic silkscreen canvases, which seem the perfect synthesis of his Mediterranean upbringing and Pop art influences. Beyond Warhol, the Spanish artist’s sensitivity to the emotional properties of different colors and the universal legibility of pure form evokes no one more than Matisse. Berlato’s bold-hued compositions often repeat a face or body, turning it into more of a pattern than a fixed, figurative form. Reducing his palette to as few as three colors, he occasionally allows such shapes to become purely abstract, vaguely physical but stripped of contextual orientations.
Generally, though, his work remains figurative, taking up photos familiar from contemporary iconography. Whether hyper-sexualized or politically charged, Berlato transforms these culturally weighted images into bold-hued and intricately textured pieces. Indeed, one of the great thrills in his work comes from seeing a photograph familiar to the point of losing significance suddenly reinvigorated with a powerful visual energy and sensory richness. Berlato elevates his reimagined imagery with explosive form and tone.