MARCO PAUL LORENZETTI

September 27 – October 8 2022

The past? It just left. The future? Should be here any minute.

You know where that leaves us. But people who say we should live in the present probably haven’t spent much time there lately.

“Sure, live in the moment, sure — but what even is the moment right now? Where are we?” says the Brooklyn painter Marco Lorenzetti, throwing his hands up in a gesture of bewilderment (and perhaps speaking for at least two-thirds half the earth’s population).

The way Lorenzetti sees it, the first move is to make the present presentable — and the way to do that is with the carrot of aesthetics, not the stick of monotony. For example: his paintings, which are beautiful enough to catch the eye and cryptic enough to stoke the curiosity.

Fully embodied, and (mostly) sexless, raceless and faceless, Lorenzetti’s uncanny characters silently pull you in to their mysterious little games and behaviors and rituals. There is a sense of utopian pursuit that doesn’t align clearly with any past or future known. But it does align with Lorenzetti’s intuitive dreams of a preferable present.

These can be witnessed in his solitary figure studies who are out enjoying nature, planting a flower or reading a book, alongside a river or under the stars. But Lorenzetti’s visions are not about displaying some wouldn’t-it-be-nice placid getaway. Despite the paintings’ fiery pinks and yellows and their marine deep sapphires and emeralds, there is a disturbing air suffusing the world of Lorenzetti, who grew up in the rough streets of Detroit in the 1990s.
Hearing the 30-year-old artist ascribe some of his darkling imagination to his turbulent childhood, ideas swarm to mind reimagining his tableaux are dystopia scenarios — especially when considered the with unearthly glow that his characters seem exude day or night. Are they a cult of radioactive readers, à la Fahrenheit 451? A micro-nation of survivalist sovereign citizens abducted by aliens? The first true trans-humans and also the last ones left on Earth after the Yellowstone Caldera finally blows?

No. Lorenzetti’s gives them a sense of dedication or drive, even if an ambiguous one. There’s a couple with a dowsing rod, which seems reasonable—but why are they out at night surrounded by fireflies? His readers, the most common figures in his paintings, are the prime example.
“It's like the readers are getting ready for something or they're researching something,” says Lorenzetti. “It’s because we're in a time where I think that I—I don't even know what time we are in. But I wanted to express this feeling that we are preparing for something unknown and we need to gather our senses. That’s why the readers are really quite hopeful for me.”

There’s also the very sensible argument to be made that if some asteroid hits and the time comes for A Great Big Universal Do-Over, books will come in handy. Books can help you get a culture started; weapons will only help you end one.

In the end, it’s the filmy ambivalence of both Lorenzetti’s oil-on-canvas daydreams and the surrealist people in them is what makes the work. Like so many masterpieces of painting, these don’t craft a statement or make a critique; they balance the viewer on a wire between understanding and imagination. And they make the present a lot more presentable.

David Colman

Marco Paul Lorenzetti was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1992 and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Lorenzetti's recent solo and group exhibitions include "Procession" at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York, New York (2022); "Natural Selection" at Room 57 Gallery in New York, New York (2022); CAN Art Fair with Everyday Gallery in Ibiza, Spain (2022); "4041" at Galleria Richter in Rome, Italy (2021); "Love Forty" at Deli Grocery Gallery in Ridgewood, New York (2021); "Night and Day" at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York, New York (2019); and "The Brask Collection meets Willumsen" at the J. F. Willumsens Museum in Frederikssund, Denmark (2017).

Marco Paul Lorenzetti lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

The past? It just left. The future? Should be here any minute.

You know where that leaves us. But people who say we should live in the present probably haven’t spent much time there lately.

“Sure, live in the moment, sure — but what even is the moment right now? Where are we?” says the Brooklyn painter Marco Lorenzetti, throwing his hands up in a gesture of bewilderment (and perhaps speaking for at least two-thirds half the earth’s population).

The way Lorenzetti sees it, the first move is to make the present presentable — and the way to do that is with the carrot of aesthetics, not the stick of monotony. For example: his paintings, which are beautiful enough to catch the eye and cryptic enough to stoke the curiosity.

Fully embodied, and (mostly) sexless, raceless and faceless, Lorenzetti’s uncanny characters silently pull you in to their mysterious little games and behaviors and rituals. There is a sense of utopian pursuit that doesn’t align clearly with any past or future known. But it does align with Lorenzetti’s intuitive dreams of a preferable present.

These can be witnessed in his solitary figure studies who are out enjoying nature, planting a flower or reading a book, alongside a river or under the stars. But Lorenzetti’s visions are not about displaying some wouldn’t-it-be-nice placid getaway. Despite the paintings’ fiery pinks and yellows and their marine deep sapphires and emeralds, there is a disturbing air suffusing the world of Lorenzetti, who grew up in the rough streets of Detroit in the 1990s.
Hearing the 30-year-old artist ascribe some of his darkling imagination to his turbulent childhood, ideas swarm to mind reimagining his tableaux are dystopia scenarios — especially when considered the with unearthly glow that his characters seem exude day or night. Are they a cult of radioactive readers, à la Fahrenheit 451? A micro-nation of survivalist sovereign citizens abducted by aliens? The first true trans-humans and also the last ones left on Earth after the Yellowstone Caldera finally blows?

No. Lorenzetti’s gives them a sense of dedication or drive, even if an ambiguous one. There’s a couple with a dowsing rod, which seems reasonable—but why are they out at night surrounded by fireflies? His readers, the most common figures in his paintings, are the prime example.
“It's like the readers are getting ready for something or they're researching something,” says Lorenzetti. “It’s because we're in a time where I think that I—I don't even know what time we are in. But I wanted to express this feeling that we are preparing for something unknown and we need to gather our senses. That’s why the readers are really quite hopeful for me.”

There’s also the very sensible argument to be made that if some asteroid hits and the time comes for A Great Big Universal Do-Over, books will come in handy. Books can help you get a culture started; weapons will only help you end one.

In the end, it’s the filmy ambivalence of both Lorenzetti’s oil-on-canvas daydreams and the surrealist people in them is what makes the work. Like so many masterpieces of painting, these don’t craft a statement or make a critique; they balance the viewer on a wire between understanding and imagination. And they make the present a lot more presentable.

David Colman

Marco Paul Lorenzetti was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1992 and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Lorenzetti's recent solo and group exhibitions include "Procession" at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York, New York (2022); "Natural Selection" at Room 57 Gallery in New York, New York (2022); CAN Art Fair with Everyday Gallery in Ibiza, Spain (2022); "4041" at Galleria Richter in Rome, Italy (2021); "Love Forty" at Deli Grocery Gallery in Ridgewood, New York (2021); "Night and Day" at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York, New York (2019); and "The Brask Collection meets Willumsen" at the J. F. Willumsens Museum in Frederikssund, Denmark (2017).

Marco Paul Lorenzetti lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.