Not many people may know Donato Sansone's video work, but after dropping "Portrait," a digital acid-trip of a video, that should change. Sonato, who directs under the moniker MILKYEYES, renders a rotating cast of surreal and grotesque characters in eye-popping, slow motion detail.
Sansone's flair for the grotesque is startling, as is his use of sound, here crafted by one Enrico Ascoli. At first blush, Sansone looks to be working in Francis Bacon mode, but look closer and MILKYEYES has the turbulent, swirling vortices seen in Glenn Brown's reappropriated paintings. Chris Cunningham's Rubber Johnny film is another point of comparison. But, this guy is really up to something quite different than any of the above artists and filmmakers.
What Sansone can do that was unavailable to Bacon in his time, and to Brown by virtue of paint's stillness, is give the subjects in his moving images something approaching an electrical charge. Think Laura Dern's distorted, fucked-up clown face in David Lynch's Inland Empire, but pulsing with digital energy. It's as if Sansone started from the same pool of dark subconscious, but made his subjects move in elastic and sometimes glitchy ways.
What is the point of "Portrait?" Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be one, other than people undergoing a slow, digital disintegration of some sort. Sign of the times perhaps. Either way, it made Vimeo's Staff Picks.
Sansone has a bunch of other videos up on his Tumbler page, which are well worth a look. One of which is "GROTESQUEPHOTOBOOTH," an 8-bit-esque video that is really beyond words. From the look of his website, Sansone is storyboarding a short film. While that is sure to be interesting, someone should give this guy money to make a feature length film right now. Hell, if he took a project to Kickstarter, I'd give him my hard-earned cash.