GIUSEPPE LO SCHIAVO – BEYOND REALITY BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY
Solo show of the London-based Italian artist. In cooperation with the Burning Giraffe Art Gallery Turin the three internationally well-known series “Levitation” (2011/2014), “Ad Vivum” (2013) and “Art Currency” (2014) will be shown in the exhibition.
11 December 2014 – 20 January 2015
On 11 December beginning at 7 p.m. all are invited to the opening reception at the gallery. The artist will be present.
The following works are presented in the show:
GIUSEPPE LO SCHIAVIO — BEYOND REALITY BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY
Using photography as a medium for the objective approach to reality, as an interpretation of the world in cut-out form, was never the main aim of the Italian visual artist, Giuseppe Lo Schiavo, born 1986 in Calabria. The starting point for the work of Lo Schiavo, who combined the studies of both architecture and photography, is always an imaginative reproach that by means of a perfectly-staged pictorial reality assumes its visualization.
Giuseppe Lo Schiavo achieved his international breakthrough in 2012 with „Levitation“, a series of pictures based on the works of the surrealist painter René Magritte: whereas Magritte relies on colour and canvas for the physical interpretation of the idea behind his painting, with the help of apparently realistic photography, Lo Schiavo immediately transfers these into the fantasy of the observer, thus replacing the obvious artificiality of painting by direct imagination. It is therefore only consistent that the Parthenon, the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal or the monumental statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) in Rio de Janeiro appear on floating rocks. For Giuseppe Lo Schiavo “these photos do not depict the actual reality but they illustrate a ‘universe’ made of thoughts, the freedom of imaginary potentiality of the unconsciousness to ‘levitate’ and achieve cognitive levels that surpass reality.”
On the other hand, his 2013 series „Ad Vivum“ celebrates the authority of historic pictorial repertoires, specifically 15th century Flemish portrait painting. Colour and form appear, however, strongly reduced and devoid of every individualisation. The term „ad vivum“ (Lat. according to the living model) used in the portrait painting of the 15th and 16th centuries to postulate the strongest possible likeness of the painting with the model, is therefore given a reciprocal level of meaning since Lo Schiavo’s photographs depict models, who as a result of their fair complexions and statuary poses, give the impression of anything other than naturalness: image and effigy seem to exclude each other reciprocally, the traditional definition of portrait likeness becomes undermined and replaced by archetypal figuration.
His most recent series, „Art Currency“ explores the indissoluble, ambivalent alliance between art and money: since money dominates all sectors of our life, art and creativity also become a part of acquisition through capitalism. Lo Schiavo transmits this tension in a picture series using ultraviolet printing technology to print the images directly on to US Dollar banknotes, creating the impression that the picture motives are indissolubly interwoven into the texture of the banknotes. The symbiotic relationship between artist or work of art and the art market is demonstrated, among others, through a portrait by Andy Warhol or by the Parthenon, which as a result of the economic interests of one individual, lost the major part of its figural ornamentation.