An iconic Renaissance roundel depicting the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus is taken out of its sacred context, and pasted in the most unlikely of places. Situated within the urban fabric, amid rubble and rust, the circular image is severed in half by a thick, painted pink stripe. The lower piece seems forcefully pushed to the foreground, and the viewer is drawn to typically overlooked details, such as the ornate blue sandal worn by the Virgin. Abstracted lines jut across the composition with a shocking force similar to that with which the Archangel Gabriel delivered the news of the Annunciation.
The artwork is part of San Francisco-based artist Poesia’s latest exhibition, “Reflexive,” which opened at Shooting Gallery in San Francisco on August 16. A member of the “Graffuturist” movement, Poesia succeeds at capturing the urgent and direct nature of graffiti in his large-scale wall works. Old master religious paintings, classical sculpture, and the avant-garde are all victims of Poesia’s clever interventions, which thrust art history into the present and beg the viewer to re-consider the artworks in their newly christened contemporary context.