The work: Micah Rustichelli, Pandemonium I. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 76.5 x 102cm.
Brisbane-based artist Micah Rustichelli is a surrealist and expressionist painter with a flair for the expressive and theatrical. Taking human experiences and painting them as something new and strange, Micah’s practice calls into question certain societal norms and values that he sees as conflicting with the individual’s instinctual desires and needs. This interest in human psychology informed his painting Pandemonium I, which he explains is about, “the physical sensations of anxiety; the feeling of the mind being on fire and the physical body twisted, jittery and restless.” Born and raised in south-east Queensland, Micah is inspired by the varied and vibrant colours of the Australian landscape, from coast to desert. On the canvas, this translates to a dynamic, saturated palette, where aqua collides with radiant orange and lime green glows alongside bright red. In Pandemonium I, acrylics have been applied quickly and loosely with a palette knife, lending a textured quality and a sense of chaos. The resulting work pulses with vitality.