Combining realism with an otherworldly aesthetic, these artworks remind us of the interconnectedness of all life.
Sometimes it's not apparent to our eyes, but everything on Earth and in the universe is interconnected and interdependent upon one another. This truth can show up in remarkable ways, like discovering that millions of tons of sand from the Sahara desert migrates each year over the ocean to feed plants in the Amazon rainforest.
This fundamental theme of interconnection can be expressed in art too, as Italian artist Nunzio Paci does with works, done with graphite and acrylic paints, and depicting anatomical details of wildlife, along with colourful explosions of flowers, plants and fungi.
Paci's artworks are realistic yet fantastical, reflecting the artistic traditions of the Baroque and the Renaissance periods, yet also incorporating scientific knowledge of anatomy, botany, medicine and taxidermy.
But in addition to Paci's fascination with "the body — human, animal, vegetable — in all its transitions: mutation and hybridization, decline and regeneration" — he also brings in more sublime themes of spiritual regeneration, as expressed in the ethereal luminescence that pervades his subjects.
At first, it might seem a bit macabre to depict life in such a way — with bones and entrails exposed — but there's a meaningful purpose behind all that, as Paci explains:
Anatomy’s fascination is for [me] anything but macabre and funereal: it is, in contrast, exertion and vital tension, muscle tissue and fibers, apparatus, hybrids, grafts, evolution. In illness and malformation, [I don't] spot the evidence of the inevitable decay and the sign of memento mori, but the fight and the strategy that life itself applies to keep on perpetuating through generations.
There is a wild beauty in the ravages of death and decay, and a ghostly magic in the way life regenerates itself, and Paci's work clearly presents this reality in an undeniable way. In our humanly finite way of looking at life, we often only see the "finality" of death, forgetting that death is merely a threshold in the ongoing continuum of life. To see more, visit Nunzio Paci, Facebook and Instagram.