Whitehot Magazine

Costas Picadas: Universe/Meta-verse at Donopoulus International Fine Arts

Costas Picadas, Universe/Metaverse 9, 2023, Print on Archival paper 3D model, 8X10 inches

By ROBERT C. MORGAN December 28, 2023

The art of Costas Picadas is equally persuasive in terms of its exemplary concept and course of development. Over the years, he has become a multi-media artist who works as decisively with painting as he does with photography and video.  The major aspect of the latter works focuses on digital prints in which photographs of human anatomy are based on 3-D models. Here the artist is particularly involved with showing cellular life both in microcosmic detail and macrocosmic form. From another more tactile perspective, his paintings function in terms of expressionist detail whereby they might re-appear as intense gestural markings. The enlarged dimensions of Picadas’ recent paintings inform viewers of a revelatory painterly content in which the cellular content on the surface reveals a heightened, though understated expressivity. 

Picadas’ concept of cellular life is generally true in his videos as well. These works add time to his images as shown in tapes featuring visual multiplications of cells that include delicately webbed images combining human and natural environments. Seen in this context, the paintings shown at Donopoulos International Fine Arts in New York, focus both on small and large-scale paintings. Herein the dimensions of his work focus on the initial creativity, the growth, and the delimitation of cells either within or superimposed from one painting to another.  In either case, it is a matter of how we compare human and plant anatomy as being organic forms giving way to what is called horizontal rectilinear elements that include respondent tones of green, turquoise, and pink, among other prints of human organs.

Costas Picadas, Universe/Metaverse 4, 2023, Mixed media on canvas, 40 X 60 inches

Picadas’ focus on the universe and meta-verse might also recall aspects of the everyday world jointly matched, thus giving a rise to borderline tendencies that play a major role in terms of how we think, see, feel, perform, and communicate on a regular, routine basis. It is within this context that such works as Picadas’ Paintings 1-5 (2023) include the mental stamina to overcome the refusal to separate the equalization of universal and meta-versal modes in Picadas’ discourse.

Even so, the question is raised as to whether a fixed methodology might be of any use in determining which direction this interpretation might go – if, in fact, there is a necessity to do so. For the most part, discursive elements in Picadas’ paintings are somewhat less than relevant. 

To elaborate is to suggest that the cellular structures being revealed by Picadas require both angles, not just one. Parameters, such as universe and metaverse, appear to function precisely in the context of anatomical life-giving organs as well as horticultural plants. 

Costas Picadas, Universe/Metaverse 10, 2023, Print on Archival paper 3D model, 8X10 inches

Herein Picadas’ paintings are open to interpretation at either end of the spectrum. Both organs and plants are equal on the video screen. Symbolically, the two combine to create a message of their own. Again, we asked to observe the universe and meta-verse within the context of what direction is being given and in what manner the message is being passed along. Not everything can be read from a fictitious point of view. Consequently, the overview is in the balance as to how the content of universe and meta-verse are revealed in relation to one another. 

The legacy of Picadas is not difficult to discern. Fundamentally, it argues in favor of giving our attention to reading the structure of the universe in relation to that of the meta-verse, each in the context of a holistic phenomenon. An obvious example would be seeing art not only aesthetically, but in connection to scientific experience possibly in relation to mathematical form. It would appear the artist is interested in working not only from the angle of separatism, but in direct relation to how these elements come to a focus during the course of everyday life. Runs November 15, 2023 through January 3, 2024. Curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos. WM 

Robert C. Morgan

Robert C. Morgan is an educator, art historian, critic, poet, and artist. Knowledgeable in the history and aesthetics of both Western and Asian art, Morgan has lectured widely, written hundreds of critical essays (translated into twenty languages), published monographs and books, and curated numerous exhibitions. He has written reviews for Art in AmericaArtsArt NewsArt Press(Paris), Sculpture MagazineThe Brooklyn Rail, and Hyperallergic. His catalog essays have been published by Gagosian, Pace, Sperone Westwater, Van Doren Waxter, White Cube (London), Kukje (Seoul), Malingue (Hong Kong), and Ink Studio (Beijing). Since 2010, he has been New York Editor for Asian Art News and World Sculpture News, both published in Hong Kong. He teaches in the Graduate Fine Arts Program  at Pratt Institute as an Adjunct Professor and at the School of Visual Arts.


view all articles from this author