The unusual support for Lauro Roberto’s Suite Voláctea is a material recycled from everyday life: the box of ultra-pasteurized milk in its globalized Tetra Pak box, opened to reveal the metalized inner lining. The technique, developed by the artist, involves an invented composition of black ink and unlikely utensils, such as delicate watch-repair tools that he inherited from his grandfather. He covers the reflective surface in black to then scrape it, creating intricate designs of silver lines that recall the book illuminations of medieval times. In some works, this removal of ink is made before it has dried, in fluid lines using a brush, or chunks of wood pulled off from vegetable crates, or even with his fingers.
Made between 1999 and 2005, Suite Voláctea has as its main constant the mutation of this inverted, always figurative drawing. Among the representations of historic and religious figures, Lauro’s boxes also contain human or anthropomorphic urban beings, portraits of people who do not exist, smokers, modern nudes and fragments of possible narratives for comic book stories. As a whole, these works are impressive for their graphic schizophrenia. Individually, they are treasures charged with virtuosity, which link the influence of different centuries of artistic production. The name Suite Voláctea is somewhat of an homage, a half-absurd joke, referring to the series of prints Suite Vollard, by Pablo Picasso. Dealing with different themes, the Spanish artist’s “suite” was an homage to his art dealer, Ambroise Vollard.