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The Art of Living in America

It Occurs to me that I Am America open until July 8 at The Italian Cultural Institute

vivere in america italian artists

Maria Rapicavoli, tracce#2

Eight young Italian artists tell of their living experience in the US through their Art, utilizing different languages and materials. Watercolor, sculpture, photography and installations become the means to investigate the ambiguity of the society between myth and reality 


Eight young artists that are actively working in New York are currently displaying their works at the Italian Cultural Institute on Park Avenue, on the elegant Eastside of Manhattan. They do not share the same stylistic principles, and therefore one cannot speak of an artistic “movement”; but that which unifies them are their critical views with respect to the Country in which they work in, and as the title of the Exhibit, It Occurs to me that I am America, indicates and as the brief descriptive poster explains, they would like to “discover the real nature. Inquiring and renegotiating the ambiguity, between reality and myth”.

With a completely new initiative, the Institute asked four Italian art curators that are currently working in the US, Ludovica Capobianco, Alessandro Facente, Veronica Santi, e Giulia Trabaldo Togna, to propose some artists. Therefore through a shared curatorial selection, they chose a group of seven painters, sculptors and one photographer that then presented reflective works, with their personal intentions of their experience in the US as foreigners and participants of community problems where they work.

The group of eight artists can be divided into three groups for the way they express themselves. The first, composed by Matteo Callegari, Alessandro del Pero and Andrea Mastrovito, operates in between the abstract and the figurative, with paintings that find in this duplicity a form of conformity to ambiguity that gives a glimpse into the American panorama. Mastrovito, for example, exhibits a huge collage with water color treated thin rice paper entitled, Philosphy of Composition, that with its shapes and colors of strange, almost musical, evanescence intends to represent a bullfight, with American and Mexican personalities that hint at the dominant problem of immigration. Callegari presents a huge painting, oil on canvas, flooding with minute, curvy forms that makeup the background where color and chiaroscuro scarcely allow a human form to show through, alluding to a story behind the story. Del Pero presents an acrylic on canvas that blends body parts like a mixture of vegetables, twisted in a hurtful and powerful moment where with no hesitatation he gives the title of, “Pieta’” intending it as a metaphor of the cultural and human environment encountered here in New York; like a man or woman, maybe a Christ figure and his mother, portrayed as plants in an alien space.

The second is a group composed of three installations with specific references to the location, Arianna Carossa’s work  entitled, The failure of American appearance,  is made out of mannequin parts and furniture by a well known American company known in the fashion world that recently went bankrupt. Maria Domenica Rapicavoli, from Catania, arranges fragments of German planes that crashed on Mount Etna during WWII and designs carved on alabaster depicting celestial immateriality all this to represent the military, political and economic relationship between the US and Italy after the War. Danilo Correale is even more ideologically explicit, by placing on a shiny shelf in the Institute’s Library, a very orderly stack of books, which have all been published by casa Ortica that defines itself an anarchic cooperative and alludes in an allegorical way to the work and life relationships found in the US by the artist.

The third and last group is formed by a photographer, Renato D’Agostin, and Gian Maria Tosatti, who for the sole purpose of this exhibition can be labeled as a quasi photographer. The aforementioned rode over ten thousand kilometers on his motorcycle photographing from coast to coast the panorama, the cities and the people living there, creating a series of images of compositional balances that reflect in a new and touching way the life of this Country. Tosatti instead researches integration between architectural structures and visual art through the installation of twenty Polaroids, each one representing chimneys on New York buildings with smoke output (emanation) that behind the familiar appearance, shows a disorder.

It is quite difficult to give justice in a few words to these interesting and entrepreneurial Italian protagonists of the cultural American life, even though their relationship with the Country in which they work and the ideological interpretation that they give to their products is surely open for debate; we must also mention a true appreciation to the Italian Cultural Institute that has brought them together for us. The exhibit will remain open until July 8.


Translation by MAM

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