The Italian born, London based artist ALO (@alo_art on Instagram) is a portrait artist who works with bright primary colours on wood.
ALO describes the works as “portraits of persons I know, some are portraits inspired by people I noticed or randomly encountered, and some are a collection of features drawn from different individuals”.
His exhibition is entitled Liminal and is being held at the Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square until 12th December of this year. One definition of the word liminal is the ‘occupation of a position at a boundary’ or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process. This could refer to the uniform nature of his artwork which stunningly and by means of colour and dress manages to convey diversity and individualism while also celebrating our similarities. Through this, the artist observes different cultures living together in the city and identifies common traits bridging this diversity.
ALO’s style is not restricted by age, race, gender or sexuality identity. Differences are celebrated through colour and ALO’s choice of accessorising for each portrait but the form and style for each individual is uniform. This allows ALO to get experimental with queer dress as beautifully shown in his piece titled ‘Rimbaud’ – a modern interpretation of what the queer French poet (born 1854) would look like today and in ALO fashion. ALO adorns Rimbaud with Ziggy Stardust style earrings and gives him pink hair while the bow tie, hair texture, blue eyes and square jaw remain iconic and recognisable.
Liminal features over 70 works created over the past three years. Some works were created before the COVID pandemic and held back by the artist for this exhibition. Other works were created during the COVID lockdown periods. Almost all are being shown for the first time.
The painter is highly inspired by the Expressionist style. He works both in the street and in the studio. The artist created his first urban art works in Italy and London and then in Paris and Berlin. ALO describes his style as ‘Urban Expressionism’.