BUILDING BRIDGES ART EXCHANGE
ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE
OPENING RECEPTION: NOVEMBER 19TH 2016 - 6 PM
After their successful presentation and exhibition at the Italian Institute, Alex and Elena are joining us for an Artists-in-Residence and intervention at Building Bridges Art Exchange.
Come and visit us to interact and experience the artists at work.
A myth is a narration that is invested of the sacredness, whose protagonists are gods, heroes and Saints. Which naturally does not imply if it is true or false.
ALEX FOLLA'S PROJECT
Christian martyrs. Revisited into a iperpop optic.
Based on the idea of martyrdom seen through the psychological and artistic key, Alex Folla's latest paintings are dedicated to the martyrs of the Christian tradition but reinterpreted in a contemporary way. The figures of the Christian martyrs are revisited (often using the self-portrait or the portrait of loved ones) with a mix of techniques that are affected by the seventeenth-century tradition (in the hatch of the human figure) and Byzantine '300 - '400 (in the gold leaf background). At the same time, the paintings are full of "special effects" from pop culture, which are linked with the cinematographic world, such as the "bullet time" technique, from which the series takes its title. This technique is a typical escamotage of Hollywood cinema and video games, allowing you to see every moment in a slow motion scene (for example when you see a darting bullet in
slow motion, allowing the character to dodge it).
The "bullet time", typical of movie culture, allows Folla to focus on the figure of the martyrs, who, in the represented scenes of the paintings are moving from their position to avoid the object trajectory that would have ultimately martyred them. The focus is on the difference between fanaticism as a vocation to sacrifice and on individualism as the spirit of conservation. Folla himself says: "My opinion is that the real dichotomy stays in the difference between striking sacrifice, which is consumed with a resounding gesture, fast and violent, and the systematic-pragmatic sacrifice that is consumed slowly every day, with the patience and perseverance of a hidden sackcloth. As Dostoevsky says in The Karamazov Brothers novel it's the difference between the two starez, the one who fasts till almost dying and the other one that perseveres in his daily activities of praying."
Folla believes that even the figure of the artist has a personal vocation of martyrdom, in which the artist is the unconscious patriot that serves his idea (and therefore its culture, and consequently his homeland) unknowingly, with the best talent and work he has to give. For this reason, the ultimate goal is to stay alive in order to continue to glorify his homeland in his own way.
ELENA TRAILINA'S PROJECT
The work of Elena Trailina was born as a reflection on the concept of the icon, which is a mystified image that is able to go beyond the relationship between realism and the represented subject.
In her works, the artist borrows the images of famous art history masterpieces and depicts them as golden silhouettes. Thus emptying them of their subject, their technique, the historical context and their intrinsic artistic value and emphasizing the role of the abstract icon which exceeds the work itself, while at the same time obeying the basic need of representing the landscape. Trailina represents the most significant architectural monuments of the most famous cities in the world. Monuments that become a representative icon, which help those cities to spread their global importance. Specifically, Trailina dedicates this series to the work of Iranian-born architect, Zaha Hadid, who recently passed away. Due to her works and experience, Zaha Hadid becomes the icon representing a new way of conceiving female architecture.
Trailina takes her cue directly from the production of the traditional Byzantine and Italian '300 icons, an ancient technique of puncturing the halos of Saints in gold leaf. She literally overturns both the concept and the form, developing this technique using an absolutely new and unique copyright know-how. In fact, in the Byzantine icons, the punctured gold leaf is covering the subject in order to underline the sacredness. In her work, Elena melts gold and pours it onto the subject itself, leaving the outside completely empty. In the piece dedicated to Venice Beach (life-style icon of Los Angeles) the void becomes the wall made with another ancient technique, true fresco. The irregular vibrant wall is just like the atmosphere in Venice Beach. In this traditional and irreverent way, Elena presents her personal concept of myth as a contemporary icon that celebrates itself
through the representation of its silhouette.