Doom and gloom is not all that encompasses Craig LaRotonda’s works, although at first glance it may be easy to write them off as such. Offering a keen insight to our humanistic nature, many of his pieces are retrograde in their contrarily modern portrayal of classic art, such as “Demonstration of the Code”. A clear nod to the image of the Virgin Mary present in the Christian religion, LaRotonda even takes it so far as to utilize the classic technique of oil on wood, as many of his predecessors did. The deeply rich and sultry tones of his works create depth that helps to act alongside the stark imagery he portrays. The themes of worship, of raw sensuality juxtaposed by the literal raw meats he showcases in many pieces, develop a sense of who LaRotonda is an an artist.
While many of his visuals create an almost uncomfortable feeling, upon further inspection, it is often due to the extremely precise message they are trying to illustrate. He brilliantly plays upon the correspondence of humans to primates, with interspersed touches of representatives of science and the human heart. This triggers cause for deep inner reflection, the true mark of the ability of a great artist.
Ranging from sculptures, to paintings, to illustrations, his views on the modern world as we know it are clearly reflected within his, at times, satirical take on many topics. With his captivating, yet crushing displays of the fallacies present in modern society, it is almost all too real, or surreal rather, to fully digest, and is a poignant way of drawing his audience’s attention to issues he finds important, such as politics or finance.
Craig LaRotonda’s works take the audience to a primitive part of their existence as a human being, and require us to regard ourselves as mechanical, as raw, as animals, as fearful creatures, awe-inspired by grandiose images of “good” and “evil”. These works inspire doubt, fear, love, and a multitude of other emotions that perfectly capture human nature, all with an underlying tone of what a truly holy experience said nature is.