London / September 04 —October 08, 2014
Massimo De Carlo gallery is proud to announce the opening exhibition of its 2014-2015 season with a solo show of the Italian artist Diego Perrone.
Diego Perrone’s universal vision and poetics is deeply rooted in Italian values: it is drawn to a certain mysterious allure of provincial and suburban lives. The artist tiptoes in and out of the shadows hidden behind apparent flawless existences. In the same way his work is visually delicate but slightly unhinging as it sheds light on the fragility and dark side of life.
In this exhibition, by using diverse mediums, materials and particularly sought techniques such as glass casting and bas-relief sculptures, Perrone translates this sense of physical and mental void into a crude imaginary, which roots stem in the outer-world dimension of myths and legends.
In the first room, the red dragon graffiti that covers the flooring is the perfect host for the artists new cast glass sculptures, inspired by Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo shoes. Intended as portraits of ears, these new sculptures are casted in an almost alchemical process in which various substances are transformed and evolve with fire without the complete control of the artist: their appearance changes dramatically when hit by the lights. These sculptures are also complemented by a series of delicate drawings carefully created with ballpoint on paper.
The mythological leitmotif leads us in the lower floor of the gallery, where it becomes tangible in the recurrent theme of death, presence and absence, that takes the shape of the ambiguous shapes and colours of the debuting series of bas-reliefs: a manual crafting technique which roots are found in the Greek Roman tradition, where it was often used to depict scenes of death and war.
The artist here invites us to contemplate a contemporary idea of void, death and the myth: a row of unoccupied office chairs. As put by the artist “I was fascinated by the chair as it is an object that is born empty”. The poorly designed office chair is the trace of an imaginary monotonous and bare life; the dark shades of the materials used, pvc, iron and the sombre blue tones enhance the contrast between the classical technique used and the corporate inspired subject depicted. The bas-relief is transformed into a crude memento mori.
Diego Perrone describes the bas-reliefs as the representation of “a dark and constant research that doesn’t have to come to any result: my works often try to represent the emptiness of words.” The concept of emptiness, and the symbolism with in it, is the common ground on which these new works move: the ancient crafting techniques he has chosen to represent emptiness will leave the viewer questioning the relationship between aesthetic presence and content absence, and vice versa.