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ABSTRACT art can say anything the artist or the viewer wants it to say and when the subject of the art is the content of the artist’s life, expect it to be big like a symphony.
Domenic Mico’s life is, you might say, all about the arts. Mico’s involvement and influence on Canberra’s cultural scene is almost unparalleled. Honoured with an Italian knighthood and this year with an Order of Australia Medal, he was in 2001 named as one of “75 people who had shaped the national capital”.
This exhibition, titled “Symphony in Colour”, at Form Studio and Gallery in Queanbeyan took Mico 18 months to put together. Influenced by his love of the theatre and music, you can see the impact of this stimulus come out not only on the canvas but also in the titles of his artworks. The paintings are divided into four sections named after Italian musical terms – Vivace, Affettuoso, Scherzando and Animato.
Starting out as a landscape painter, Mico says that he wanted to do something different as he grew tired of what he saw on his canvases, and then abstraction took fire in him.
Many of the 16 artworks on display have a feeling of movement and swirling through his highly coloured and non-figurative designs. Several look like they have hidden text underneath, but it may be just the way the brushstrokes have formed his shapes and marks.
There is also a certain gravitational pull in some, as several feel as though they are pulling you towards the centre of the artwork. As in all abstract art, beneath there is a hidden forest of meaning that is put there by the artist and by the viewer’s interpretation. The artistic ideas come across in Mico’s painting through his thoughts about creating art and how he sees everything is connected to everything else.
The colour and movement of the theatre, of music, of Italy and the Italian way of life can be seen in his paintings. In these works, he has created an abstract symphony out of colour.
Bill Wood, former ACT Arts Minister (2001-2004), who opened the show, described Mico and his art as “exuberant, creative and colourful”, and they are both that – and more.
Mico is looking into the future at further exhibitions and possibly even bigger adventures in the world of theatre to come.