Peter de Lorenzo

Portraits of desire
First Draft, Sydney
2 November - 13 November, 1988

Peter De Lorenzo has taken his images from the stills of the Elia Kazan film A Streetcar Named Desire. He has used the cool blue emanations of the video stills to enhance the emotion as he tries to identify and portray its essence.

The painting The Embrace is total acceptance, a symbol of the dispelling of our isolation, a symbol of renewal and re-creation. The Cry is total despair and rejection. Where only one character is portrayed as in The Conversation, we are moved to take the place of the other, and to interact in the play of passion.

Body language has been distilled into a set of visual cues. The point at which a sequence of movement is arrested gives it its degree of drama. The beginning of a movement can be quite ambiguous and give no indication of its final meaning. By painting the close sequential images subtle fleeting changes become apparent. Some of the gestures captured are ambiguous and create a sense of mystery, while others crystallise their final meaning and become universal symbols.

In these paintings meaning has been implied by gesture. If we trace the history of gesture an infinite sense of time is aroused. The first hand extended, left a trail of interaction across the centuries. That we can be moved and understand a work of art unites us with the past and potentially gives us a voice in the future.