Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Vibrant and bright colours, glittering patterns and icons of our times in uncommon and desecrating garments. Paolo Pilotti's Pop works are impressive and difficult to forget.
Whether for his sparkling colours or for his irreverent iconological choices, the young Roman artist, born in 1982, has managed to carve out his own space in the complicated artistic scenario of the capital city with his works that, thanks to familiar and easily recognizable subjects, move a harsh criticism of contemporary society, its contradictions and the flaws that capitalist consumerism has created in the social system of our times.
any reproduction is prohibited. FMB Art Gallery While in the 1950s the Pop Art that exploded in the States wanted to revive the souls of a society that had just emerged from the war and witnessed the development of capitalism and the explosion of mass consumption, today Pilotti's Pop wants to shed light on the countless contradictions of the contemporary world and the consequences that the much cherished "well-being" gave birth to fifty years later.
any reproduction is prohibited. FMB Art Gallery In 1956 Richard Hamilton inaugurated the beginning of a new artistic movement with a collage that inserted "popular" features inside a classic English apartment. The movement takes its name from the English definition of "popular art" to indicate a type of figuration whose iconographic models are taken directly from the panorama of iconic images of the society of the time.
The style moves from England to the United States and Europe, taking on different shadings, with Warhol contemporary America consecrates the new Virgin with Marilyn Monroe's silkscreen prints and gives a new light to the drawings of the comics, inserting them in the artistic panorama thanks to Roy Lichtenstein's paintings; while in Italy ( mainly in Rome) the movement sees at the centre of the scene the painter Mario Schifano who overcomes the distance that screen printing had created between work and artist and, with a more traditional and technical approach, raises to Pop the logo of the drink symbol of the economic boom and capitalism: Coca-Cola.
Pilotti, on the other hand, does not intend to cross the line between artistic imagination and mass imagination, but to denounce all those attitudes of 21st century society that are nothing more than a consequence of the capitalist advent that has modified not only the economic order, but the community itself. What better way to make such a social denunciation than by drawing on the panorama of iconic historical images of the contemporary world?
any reproduction is prohibited. FMB Art Gallery And so, observing Pilotti's works, we come across rebuilt and made up superheroes, in pin-ups from the 1950s that show off, together with sexy lingerie, one of the symbolic faces of contemporary history: Adolf Hitler.
The ancient iconography of the three graces is reinterpreted and the features of the three little pigs are presented in the work LE TRE PORCELLINE (THE THREE PIGS), recalling the very topical problem of body shaming, curvy sizes and the whole context that has concerned the insane relationship that women establish with their bodies when this does not reflect the standards, almost always unnatural and absolutely unhealthy, especially imposed by the fashion industry in the last thirty years.
Another reflection on the connection with the standards of beauty is addressed in the GLOSS OF HEROES series in which the three famous superheroes (Daredevil, Superman and Batman) act as a mirror for the issue of plastic surgery which, thanks to technological progress and cost reduction, has often been abused by people with strong media power becoming almost a trend.
The BDSM world shatters the patina of innocence typical of cartoons, the mother of the most famous fawn on the screen turns into a "SadoMom", Grimilde and Malefica leave their fairy kingdoms and become queens of latex, while Snow White seems to prefer banana to apple.
In HE, SHE, IT the title play on words perfectly describes the meaning of the painting, It the clown par excellence wears with ease a sparkling pink gorget pendant with a Victorian bodice and behind the iconic balloon seems to look at the viewer with an almost threatening air, as if defending his choice to dress as he best believes and be whoever he wants. TRANSGENDER VIRGIN also defends the right to be whoever one wants to be by making a powerful character like the Virgin Mary, symbol of love and purity and icon of a religion that still strongly fights the right to freedom for anyone who does not fall within the narrow and fragile parameters accepted by common sense.
Pilotti aims to show the viewer the castle of cards on which the contemporary world stands, colourful and folk, but still fragile and unstable.
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