Steven Colucci's Iconoclastic Approach To Performance

Steven Image
Finding early inspiration in the New York school of abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock with his action painting, and then further by his professor -- a then young Vito Acconci while studying at the School of Visual Arts, Steven Colucci went from exploring the raw existentialist experimentation of New York's early painting and performance scenes, to investigating the other end of the spectrum -- the rigorously measured and controlled disciplines of pantomime and ballet; studying in Paris under the tutelage of world-famous Marcelle Marceau, and engaging with the concepts of dramatic movement pioneer and intellectual Etienne Decroux. Colucci has explained the difference between the extremes of pantomime and dance as being that pantomime forces movement via an internal capacity -- movement directed inward to the core of one's self -- a source requiring extreme mental and physical control. Dance by contrast is an external expression; likewise requiring great precision, although instead an extension of self or sentiment that projects outwardly. While such historical 'movement' disciplines serve as foundation blocks for Steven's artistic explorations, it is the realm in between that he is best known for his contributions -- an experimental movement and performance art that simultaneously honors, yet defiantly refutes tradition; rejecting a compartmentalization regarding art and movement, yet incorporating its elements into his own brand of experimental pastiche. Colucci's performance works manifest as eerily candy-coated and familiar, yet incorporate unexpected jags of the uncanny throughout, exploiting a sort of coulrophobia in the viewer; an exploration of a cumulative artifice that binds human nature against its darker tendencies; highlighting traditions of artifice itself -- the fabricated systemologies that necessitate compartmentalization in the first place.
It is evident in Steven Colucci's paintings that he has established a uniquely distinctive pictorial vocabulary; a strong allusion to -- or moreso an extension of -- his performance works. Colucci's paintings depict a sort of kinetic spectrum, or as he refers to them "a technical expression of physicality and movement". Whereas the French performance and visual artist Yves Klein used the human body as a "paint brush" to demarcate his paintings and thereby signify a residue of performance, Colucci's utilization of nonsensical numbers and number sequences taken from dance scores, as well as heat-induced image abstraction depicting traces of movement likewise inform his vocabulary. In the strand of the choreographed, yet incorporating moments of chance, Colucci's paintings represent an overarching structure; a rhythm of being and state, yet detail erratic moments -- moments that denote a certain frailty -- the edge of human stamina. Colucci's paintings dually represent a form of gestural abstraction -- and also the reverse of this -- a unique anthropomorphization of varying states of movement -- that sometimes present as a temperature induced color field, at others are juxtapositions of movement and depictions of physical gestural images themselves. Colucci's use of vernacular and found materials such as cardboard evoke his mastery of set design, and also reference a sort of collective experience of urbanity and the ephemeral. Such contradictions seem to permeate not only Steven Colucci's artwork, but also are reflected in his person -- one who grew up in New York's Bronx during a zeitgeist moment in visual and performing arts in the 1960s -- one who shifts with ease from happenings and experiments in New York City, to his meticulously choreographed megaproductions at Lincoln Center or starring in the Paris ballet, to his elaborately constructed paintings. Colucci is an artist that transcends both performance and the picture plane.
Mime Artist

Steven Colucci is a mime artist with several accolades to his name. He has been a part of mime theatricals starring world renowned artists Marcel Marceau and Robert Ruggieri.


Colucci’s work is a conjunction of various art forms and dance has been one of his major pursuits.