Sol Robbins

Mario Minichiello


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In my experience, artists shun labels. It is a belief that if a label is applied to an artist's work, the work would lose will somehow lose its magic.

Located somewhere between Realism and Surrealism, Mario's art is neither prosaic enough for the former, nor irrational enough for the latter. Instead, Mario's art willingly admits that he is a Social Realist. This is fortunate since this category is so all encompassing. Whether he adorns the Royal Geographic Society Magazine's covers with illustrations whose content dissolves into richly colored batik-like forms, or hangs on Gallery walls with unflinchingly objective portrayals like the series he did on Amsterdam's red light district.


Mario's South Africa's New Dawn shows the use of a primitive folk art style that draws us into South Africa's recent past, a country whose "New Dawn" was founded on Apartheid.

Mario depicts a leader looking into the future "blindly". The reference point culturally, politically and economically is the horrific backdrop of Apartheid whose State sanctioned crimes are well known.

I hope this exhibition will invite you to take a closer look at what this versatile artist has to offer.

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Sol Robbins

September 2000