In his first solo exhibition with the gallery he dives headlong into the unconscious murk, returning to the surface of the picture plane with an augmented noir reality replete with archetypical characters. He bathes each painting in a narrow range of luminous hues, depicting his figures in stillness or mid-action; they are looking back at us, at once forewarning and inviting us through Biado’s color-filtered light.
Accordingly, each painting in Liquid Night is hinged around the crepuscular, or what Biado calls the “end of night feeling,” that hypnogogic state after a long party and before an even longer sleep; one that is at the threshold of the Dionysian stage on which archetypical personae appear with their eyes aglow. In Wallowing Elf, 2023, we witness one of their inheritors: Surrounded by lily pads and spindly water plants that stand on end like antennae, the elf is submerged to their nose. If deep dark water is an analog to the collective unconscious, it divulges a sliver of its contents at a time; each of Biado’s paintings are aggregations of this content, what is within a larger psychic pattern that gradually unfurls.
In An Ant in the Valves of a Seashell, 2023, an interior, this pattern manifests as a labyrinthine design on a carpet under which two figures sit, one out-sizing the other. The smaller figure is a recurring clown, suggesting a golem or a satellite self. One finds analogous companions in other paintings, fantastical animals that accompany elven figures as they bathe, drive, drink, or travel––or perhaps the other way around.
Because Biado’s paintings do not fully occupy the fantastic or the everyday, they frustrate our desire to know their secrets; instead we must enter their calibrated atmospheres as they are without demanding that our faculties of apprehension be appeased. They ask us to trust in the unconscious process of gradual recognition, teasing out parts of ourselves or of the collective matrix we can’t experience directly, or those parts we used to know but have forgotten; the same process by which Biado discovers what his psyche wants to realize and remember in a painted image.