A retrospective: Marco Evaristti's work demonstrates the important themes behind the outrage he has created. The outrage his work creates stems from the way he subverts the idea of outrageousness, while at the same time he exposes the concept to a multitude of critical viewpoints. His work asks important questions about everyday existence in general as well as in the specific context of institutionalized art at a time when the oceans are rising.
Evaristti's works are included in several important museum collections such as: MAC, Santiago Chile; MONA, Tasmania, Australia; MBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; The National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; National Museum of Modern Art, Bangkok, Thailand; HEART, Herning, Denmark; Trapholt, Modern Art Museum, Kolding, Denmark; Vejle Art Museum, Denmark and The National Museum of Art, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Marco Evaristti's work can only be understood in relation to the logic of the avant-garde. The outrage his work creates stems from the way he subverts the idea of outrageousness, while at the same time he exposes the concept of outrage to a multitude of critical viewpoints. For these reasons, the response to his work is more than outrage.
Evaristti reveals that the frontier-crossing, avant-garde artist, who paints with the passion in his blood in order to challenge the existing social order, exists as the antithesis of citizens who are presumed to be respectable and socially useful, those who submit to the existing structures of the means of production.
Well-known works of avant-garde art and other famous works throughout history have taken up a lot of space in the public consciousness. However, despite claims to the contrary, few have had forward-looking political power, neither at the time when they were created nor later.
The sexist and classist structures of bourgeois society have been as much present in the art world as elsewhere. The notion that an artist has visionary power and an artwork has economically immeasurable spiritual value is a social construct that can neither be confirmed nor denied, especially because this notion is conspicuously used only for allegedly great art and only covers all other art with difficulty. The same aesthetic principles must, after all, be applicable to all art in order not to become elitist and lose all meaning.
In short, Marco Evaristti can be measured in relation to the logic of the avant-garde, precisely because he creates art that generates public debate. Through this debate, his art spreads its meaning, as opposed to being locked up in the stale discourses of the institutionalized art. He is an artist who, with precision, gets in the face of supposedly respectable society, putting himself on display.
Acting illegally and amorally, Evaristti exposes himself not only to the oppressive structures of the ideological state apparatus (i.e., the moral condemnation inherent in traditional art as well as high culture's hostility toward self-promotion), but also to the repressive state apparatus (arrest, deprivation of liberty, sentencing, bodily harm).
As an artist, Evaristti thus simultaneously exposes the logic of the avant-garde more consistently than other artists, for whom the avant-garde is just empty rhetoric, an elusive dream or perhaps even a lie that consumes their entire life. Very concretely, Evaristti paints not only with industrially produced color pigment on canvas, but also with his own and other people's blood, plasma, as well as self-purchased, melted heroin.
In this way, in Evaristti's work, transcendence and self-investment are more literally present than what average citizens have learned in school about art history. His work exposes important questions much more directly - questions about life, death, existence, democracy and identity - which for everyday existence in general as well as in the specific context of institutionalized art are used to justify the necessity of art at a time when the oceans are rising.