Giuseppe Lo Schiavo Wind Sculptures.jpg

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:


“‘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).