Argentinian artist Donato Grima renders enigmatic, primal scenes as if his paintings are the genesis of myths. Forced to flee to Venezuela during the Argentine military dictatorship from 1976-83, Grima utilizes painting as a visceral visual language to recognize humanity and examine society. His works often incorporate animals and human bodies overlaid with text, his subjects floating precariously in disorienting non-spaces that produce a permanent sensation of vertigo. Further, his unsettling works rarely include his subjects’ faces, creating vague and dueling feelings of anonymity and familiarity.
In El Dia Que Dionysos Descubre Que Es Un Mito, Grima creates a spiraling composition, the central focus of which is the Greek god Dionysos riding atop the back of a formidable black panther. Dionysos, the god of wine and harvest, is depicted in the European tradition of the reclining nude, but against a neutral, impastoed background, the setting of the scene remains mysterious. A floating, red orb represents the horizon, as if the subject is standing at the cusp of the unknown. Indeed, Grima’s mythical god exists in a void, a space that is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere.