Interiors & Exteriors
They can be found indoors and out, the beautiful people that populate Mario Sughi’s technicolour worlds. Their natural surroundings are the places we all want to be: parks, beaches, poolside, galleries and cafes. It would be too easy to judge them, out of envy. However, they may be highlighted by intense colours, but when we take a closer look, we see that it is their air of mystery that has been set off. This comes as a surprise – the strong colours suggest openness, but Sughi only nudges us past the superficial to a narrative just barely exposed.
The artist is deft. Before we realize it, we have moved away from the backdrop and the props to a quest to uncover the plot. Our gaze, once it takes in the scene, moves to the unspoken dialogue between the players. There are soliloquies to be read in a glacial facial expression or a sometimes stiff stance. We no longer wish to judge but to delve deeper, to understand.
At the same time, we are afraid to disturb the projected peace. Can we deal with the confrontation under the surface, or the turmoil that threatens to bubble over if teased out? Behind the ice blue eyes and swaggers, there is an energy that speaks of living life at full volume. The world around these players takes on the life that they emit. The honesty, the awkwardness, the longing and the self-absorption – Sughi serves up many flavours of being. The colours may be saturated, but no one is really satiated.
Would we do a double--‐take if we passed these people on the sidewalk? Perhaps not, but Sughi gives us the chance to stop and stare. He captures the intrigues intrinsic to all of us. By bringing what lurks on the inside out, Sughi shows us that there may be no such thing as ordinary.
Sabine Modder, Mocolo Magazine, Montreal, Canada,
published in Mario Sughi, Interiors and Exteriors, Greyfriars Municipal Gallery, Waterford, April 2012