Using nothing more than a pencil, a piece of paper, and some swift and scrupulous cuts, Italian artist Andrea Mastrovito offers a contemporary depiction of martyrdom. Each image presents a different form of death, some rather torturous, that has been documented in historical martyrologies. The artist provides a conceptual visual of said manners of martyrdom through a unique practice of pencil on paper.
The series of multidimensional drawings titled Martyres utilizes paper as more than a simple canvas to scratch some doodles onto. The paper becomes part of the environment as imagined by Mastrovito. As a body is dragged off the page, he accentuates the pull through the crinkles in the paper as one side gets aggressively yanked with its subject. Cutting certain slivers of paper out to imitate the path of a slashing sword and removing a running bull from the sheet of paper and realigning it just off the page are only a few of the clever choices adopted by the artist in this series.
A selection of Mastrovito's work, including large-scale versions of Martyres, is currently showing at Pavillon Blanc in Colomiers, France through December 8, 2012.