Riccardo Matlakas is best known for his multi-talented capacity in different art forms including performance, dance, painting and sculpture. He obtained a degree in Sculpture at the University of Fine Arts in Naples and an MA in Social Sculpture at Oxford Brookes University.
Riccardo values the context he works in as the main inspiration for his work, finding a common ground with each culture he connects with. He creates cathartic actions and performances in the fore-front of current political, environmental and spiritual concerns by digging for the essence of humanity beyond race and custom. The artist often collects relics from his performances which later become objects of memory and contemplation. Amongst many residencies and exhibitions abroad Riccardo Matlakas has performed and shown his work in Moscow Biennale of young artists in 2010, Gwangju Biennale in 2014 and Prague Quadrennial and had his work collected by the museum of Modern Art in Odessa, Ukraine and the Museum of Palestine in Cape town.
Riccardo Matlakas performances are often the result of the analysis of a culture and the context he works in. As both a visual artist and a dancer, Riccardo creates physical engaging works often concerning human spiritual development and growth. The artist questions human behaviour and identity through his actions, happenings, paintings and performances. The artist journey in arts is to find a common point among every race and culture, where we unify as one race and gender, deconstructing political identity to bring all humans to the essence.
The Mural – Borgo Universo 2019
The mural painting is composed by pictures regarding space, constellations and galaxies, inspired by the tours offered by the observatory: On the sidewalls the teddybears represent the constellation of the Little Dipper (or little bear) and of the Great Bear, the pigeon, the moonshot, the horse-head ecc. The colours represent galaxies, while the white part stands for the obscure matter of wich galaxies are made of.
The upper wall shows objects of everyday life in Abruzzo and objects concerning the development of humanity. All the objects depicted in the mural result from the conversations the artist has had with the local people, who gifted him images as symbols of connection. In the mean time every image results from the artists’ conversation with the public. In the upper part of the mural a terrestrial globe represents the 1915 earthquake, highlighting Aielli as a better world. In fact the artist declares that Aielli is a place where he really felt at home, for him the town is different from the rest of the world. The ice-cream melting and dropping on the planet, represents the climate crisis afflicting the whole world except for Aielli. All the other images thematise the natural curiosity of human beings, driving us to explore and research the unknown universe.