Sergio Sarri, Turin 1938
Studio per Belle de Jour (omaggio a Bunuel), 1985
With a vivid and contrasting colour palette of orange paired with purple highlights and striking black and white details, ‘Studio per Belle de Jour’ presents an enigmatic vision inspired by Spanish surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel. As the title suggests, the composition contains visual references to Bunuel’s iconic 1967 film starring Catherine Deneuve. In his work, Sarri recalls the bold lines and bright colours of Pop Art – a parallel heightened by his references to cinema and popular culture. Taken from an archive of images amassed over many years for inclusion in his paintings, the fragmented images of this collage-like painting explore an unsettling space between the erotic and the mechanical.
The disorienting asymmetry found in the enigmatic black-and-white figures encasing the scene is offset by the bold diagonal lines in the patterned foreground. The viewer’s eye is drawn towards the luminous white teeth of an off-centre mouth floating above the composition, recalling a Surrealist motif employed by Dali and Hoch, among others. Resting at the centre of the composition, an arresting pair of disembodied legs signals the visual deconstruction of the female form. Sarri’s bodies are typically uncanny in their blurring of the boundary between the human and the mechanical, but here it is the physical fragmentation and depersonalisation of the human body which provokes a surreal and disconcerting tone.
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