Liminal is the latest solo exhibition from ALO at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. Featuring a series of portraits, it’s the third time that the artist will have exhibited in the space. Known for his work on the street, ALO’s abstract portraiture has become a familiar sight within the street art scene.
Mainly inspired by the expressionist movement his work is he says a mix of fine art along with the marker technique he has developed. It’s allowed him to create a recognisable style. Built on lines and colour his work is all about impact and how colours work and contrast with each other. Graffiti or at least the culture of graffiti has also informed his work through the approach. It’s the idea he says of “painting outside for free on walls to make a city an open air gallery”.
People I Know
Certainly it’s painting outside that has got him noticed as an artist. Moving from Italy around 2013 he started to paint and suddenly ALO was everywhere. His street characters, many based on real people or amalgamations of people, were all around. It’s the same now. Despite not being as prolific as he once was, his output on the street is still impressive. It’s a core part of his identity as an artist.
His portraits he says are of “people I know”. Some are just fleeting. He may have noticed someone on the street or randomly encountered them. Others are amalgamations of several people, features taken from many to create one representative image. The name ‘Liminal’ has it’s roots within this constant observation that ultimately leads towards his artwork. One interpretation of Liminal he says is “the occupation of a position on a boundary”. ALO is on that boundary looking to others for inspiration. He observes how different people live and interact together. Always looking for different traits that he could use.
Artist of the East End Interview
The result in Liminal is a wide series of works reflective of society as a whole. Many people are represented. Contained within a crowd they are all individuals. The work itself maintaining it’s similar look and feel but within each one there is a mass of difference. The impact that ALO himself says is so important in his work is striking. The colours and their combinations vibrant and exciting.
It is the third time that the artist will have exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery. Previous iterations in 2014 and 2017 have led to this latest series featuring pieces created from 2018-2021. “I’d like people to feel like the paintings are like mirrors” he says of this latest show. “I think that I paint characters that reflect me but I’ve seen in time that people recognise their feelings into those canvasses. I’d like people to feel something of themselves inside those canvasses”.
Liminal the exhibition from ALO will be exhibiting at the Saatchi Gallery from 3 November 2021 to 5 December 2021. ALO was interviewed on 27 November 2021 in the gallery itself.