We are a flawed creature, always have been, probably always will be. We are a creature that dreams the impossible, of worlds within worlds, of endless scapes of wonder and ingenuity, and we are also a creature that shits regularly. We seem incapable of combining the two, of understanding the two, and that is our fatal flaw. We cannot have one without the other, no matter how hard we try.
We are indeed demon and angel, we are beast and divine, we have one foot in the mud, one hand amongst the stars. We are a creature that believes itself to be a god, and we are a god that cannot reconcile itself to being a creature.
Many artists have addressed either side of the human equation that is creature and god. Some have even attempted to address the complexity of the two, whether it be through a relationship of struggle, estrangement, rapprochement.
All are creative and valid viewpoints as to who we are, this strange creature cast adrift on a world of infinite possibilities, but also a world full of mud and ooze. This visceral cerebral creature that is human.
The Italian artist Andrea Galad is an artist that has taken this dichotomy of humanity on as his raison d'etre. He is, to all intents and purposes, a Neo Romantic artist. He is steeped in classic cultural enrichment, from formal piano lessons to art history, from a passion for mythology to Victorian literature.
The title Neo Romantic artist might well make you think along the lines of languid sensual scenes reminiscent of the great romantic Victorian artist John William Waterhouse, with his compositions of classical mythology, but you'd be wrong.
Although there is a sense of the languid, a sense of the sensual romantic about Andrea's work, there is also something that is visceral and ambiguous. Andrea's world is one where there is as much darkness as there is sweeping romance.
One of Andrea's favourite tags of himself is a truly telling and revealing one: "All Monsters are Human." Andrea's compositions span both the horrors and wonders that are fairy tales, classical sculpture, Victorian visceral horrors, and ambiguous Christian iconography.
They are all here, and they are all wrapped up with much more as well, and that is the beauty of Andrea's work. Everything is included, because we are what we are, creatures of multiplexity, from demon to angel and all steps between.
To enjoy the full panoply of what it is to be human, means enjoying, experiencing, or at least acknowledging the fullness of that humanity. Anything less would be seeking some form of denial, which of course we do all of the time. We don't shit, we don't rut, we don't die. We are portrayed in this twenty first century as hermetically sealed, vacuumed, fluidless androids, and yet we still need a full, functioning, and comprehensive sewer system.
We are indeed cavernous in our needs and in our desires. We are murderous with intent, possessed of endless loops of jealousies and hates, and yet we are also supremely spiritual, selfless, compassionate.
If we refuse to accept both poles of who we truly are, if we don't embrace, or at least understand the complexity of the theatre that is humanity, then we are doomed. Andrea shows us that theatre of drama and expectation, that little earth ape that is weirdly demon and angel combined. It is exquisite and it is dirty and we should love every moment of it. We are indeed human monsters.
More of Andrea's superb work can be found at: https://andreagalad.tumblr.com/
Please also be aware that the artist kindly supplied all imagery for this feature article. Therefore, all work is copyrighted to the artist. Thanks!