Michael Butterly - The Critique

Michael Butterly, (aka Rebel Dante), is an exceptionally interesting abstract expressionist artist. Like Surrealists, he seeks to release the creativity of the subconscious mind by emphasizing spontaneity. His canvases swarm with abstract strokes creating an apparently chaotic pattern with a frenetic rhythm. Rebel Dante’s dynamic and loose style allows forms and images to emerge at times, and melt into the imagination thanks to the artist’s deliberate intention to represent the feeling evoked by the image/experience itself.
 
The passionate freedom of the artist’s style and bold approach to the subject remind us of J.B. Yeats, while the recreation of speed and movement, the evocative depiction of motion are typical of Giacomo Balla and Italian Futurism. The energetic technique, the freedom of expression, the dramatic gestures and the intrinsic subjectivity are all reminiscent of Jackson Pollock, a kind of Action Painting with an extra gear.
 
Rebel Dante’s canvases have no apparent reference to the real world but nonetheless capture a particular feeling, movement and atmosphere. They vibrate with an intensity of colour in which edges of shapes are blurred with emotion. The artist spans from harsh, dramatic areas of black that dominate pale, troubled backgrounds, to irregular patches of vivid colour that create lyrical images, or to splashing strokes of paint spontaneously applied in a loose expressionist manner, giving a strong energy and a forceful, vivid imagery to the compositions.
 
The densely layered kaleidoscopic mass of colour that explodes across the surface of Rebel Dante’s canvases form fantastical, unrendered maps that appear to epitomise pure emotions, feelings, sensations, more than mere representations or depictions of the world as we see it. This is a personal, intimate and subjective vision that the artist allows us to witness. It is a way of liberating us from our emotional baggage, even if for a short while, enabling us to live the adventure through the heart of this exceptional artist.
 
Theodor W. Adorno said: “The task of art today is to bring chaos into order”. Rebel Dante by name and by nature, has brought rebellion and chaos through his art, into the Divine order of the Comedy of life.
 
Karen Lappon
International Confederation of Art Critics