Oil on Canvas Chris Rea’s passion for the Arts is obvious. As an accomplished musician, he has an inherent ability and understanding of how to convey the power of emotion through music and lyrics. If you have been lucky enough to see one of his concerts, you will see that his sense of theatre is another tool that this artist uses to great effect, helping to embrace his audience and draw them into his world of words, observations and deeply held emotion. Thus, when observing his paintings it is no surprise to be drawn into a profound and often dark world that is full of deep colour, history and strong emotion.
The spiritual cord that still connects Chris Rea to the revered Italy of his childhood feeds an almost religious undertone to the way the subject matter of these paintings are expressed, dynamically displaying a deep reverence for all that is holy in the act of engaging with the great cars from Maranello and their spiritual settings. Chris Rea’s technique is quite unique.
Using paints and pigments acquired in Florence, he applies these to board and canvas, often using found material to layer and build the surface, demonstratively bringing the mark of man into play, as with the construction of the cars themselves. In the great majority of these works, the artwork is purposely sealed with a multi-layered glaze – almost medieval in application. Often, works are also encapsulated in a heavy framework – as if protecting a precious Icon.
This theme of the Icon repeats itself throughout this Series, the ‘Cavallino Rampante’ motif being repeatedly executed and revered in the same manner as one would perceive in a sacrosanct medieval Icon. Thus, these paintings are very precious objects as they hold and keep safe the DNA of a very great passion.