Antonio Bellotti’s work is reticent but richly allusive; in its choice and use of motifs it is by turns insouciant and boldly decisive; it relies on effects wrought by the irreversible transformation of everyday materials.
These materials are commonly weathered, worn or used wood, metal, leather or fabric: articles of service deeply scored with the functionality from which they have now been magically released. More often than not, they are presented in juxtaposition with sheets of glass, the fundamental materials of display and of the segregation of culture from nature, the material whose condition approximates to the pristine in the most direst and economical manner. The combination of materials creates an awareness of two histories—the history of objects of use and the history of objects of display—giving the viewer two perspectives on any assemblage. The passage through time encoded in the materials turns the assemblage backwards and forwards, towards use and ornament, with an unresolvable ambiguity that derives a multi-faceted experience from the simplest of gestures.
Bellotti’s characteristic working methods are also those of transvaluation; as a draughtsman, he gives scrupulous attention to the detail of motifs that are offset by an all-over wash rather than located within a graduated field. And as a sculptor, he gives priority to rejectamenta in his search for materials, turning his work into a paradoxical statement on cultural capital: its value is conferred by incorporation into a system –it is a treasure trove of the unwanted. The transmigration of meanings and values, across materials, between contexts and through history, provides perhaps the most appropriate sculptural language for an artist in transit, uprooted from his native Spain