GIUSEPPE LO SCHIAVO: RETROSPETTIVA — Deconstructing Photography
Solo show of the London-based southern Italian artist. Besides the well-known series “Levitations” (2011), “Ad Vivum” (2013) and “Art Currency” (2014) in this overview exhibition will be presented for the first time six large-sized works of the latest series „Wind Sculptures“, using an emergency blanket that incessantly transforms into an unpredictable sculpture created by the wind.
23 January 2016 – 31 March 2016
On 23 January beginning at 7 pm 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 SCHIAVO: RETROSPETTIVA
“‘Deconstructing Photography’ refers to my photographic approach wherein I deconstruct the media in order to have infinite possibilities far from the classical and the documentarian’s style. Invention, not discovery.“ Hereby the Italian-born, London-based artist Giuseppe Lo Schiavo (born in 1986) describes his artistic approach. 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 perfectlystaged 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, three of which are present in the show. With the help of apparently realistic photography, Lo Schiavo immediately transfers them 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.”
Six works of the following series “Ad Vivum” (2013) are presented in the show. Once again, Lo Schiavo 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. Image and effigy seem to exclude each other reciprocally, the traditional definition of portrait likeness becomes undermined and replaced by archetypal figuration.
Moreover, three works of his series „Art Currency“ explore 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 lost the major part of its figural ornamentation to Great Britain.
The latest series „Wind Sculptures“ (2015) that is shown for the first time is represented by six large-sized works. It’s a photographic experience that present unpredictable sculpture created by the wind that only the instant of a high-speed camera can sculpt and keep it forever. The entire project was taken around Europe, Italy, Greece, France, Switzerland, Portugal, UK and Iceland. The artist is also a subject of this theatrical sculpture where human and nature collaborate in a performance with even changing results.
The material used for this series is a weather blanket, a special low-weight and very thin aluminium sheet, gold or silver, developed by NASA in 1964 for the US space program. It is used for emergency kits as a thermal insulation or as a locator beacon. “Only by collaborating with Nature our race could be safe, and the salvation is also a concept inside my project. The aluminium foil, wrapped on my body, creates ever changing shapes leaving all the control of our performance to the nature. The first time I saw the emergency blanket, the foil I use in my Wind Sculptures project, as a potential material for my series I was in the South of Italy where thousands of migrants from Africa arrive almost every week from the sea traveling with crumbling boats looking for salvation. When they arrive the first thing Italian coast guards rescuers do is to cover every migrant with a gold emergency blanket, in order to protect them from the cold or from the sun. So for me, this beautiful gold material developed by NASA is also a symbol of salvation and generosity of the human being.” (Giuseppe Lo Schiavo).