The story goes that it started with a can of chrome paint left behind by one of Michael Bevilacqua’s friends. Then he began going over paintings with chrome, completely covering the picture plane with the dripping, lustrous paint. His new exhibition Ceremony, displays an entirely new body of work, at odds with his normally painterly, colorful style. The title of Bevilacqua’s show is inspired by his near obsession with the Manchester, England music label Factory Records and the alternative bands it promoted from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Bevilacqua, a New York based painter, approaches his newly simplified work by referencing his fanatical interests.
Ceremony makes use of text to carry through the artist’s musical inspiration. Words, dates and symbols, have a meaningful connection to how the painter interprets certain favorite songs. This is something Bevilacqua has embraced as a way of adding a personal touch to generally abstract artwork and can be seen in fairly recent paintings which reference bands like the Gorillaz. The motif of “Disorder” printed on the new canvases is borrowed from a song by Joy Division and the chrome recalls the industrial history of Factory Record’s hometown. Ceremony is up March 29 – April 28, 2012 at Kravets Wehby.