Fondazione Spinola-Banna per l'arte
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HOME | Visual arts | Diego Perrone

Diego Perrone

As the master for the summer workshop 2007 the Foundation has selected Diego Perrone.

Diego Perrone (Asti, 1970) is certainly one of the most interesting artists of his generation. He is also the first, after his experience with Arte Povera and the Transavanguardia movements, to have exhibited widely and consistently at an international level.

Right from the outset Diego Perrone was picked out by specialised critics and knowing collectors as an artist with far-reaching visions and a fascinating and rigorous poetic style, whose individual approach made it difficult to pigeonhole him with any specific group or trend. However, his ability to unite different expressive techniques freely with new intuitive poetic voices, backed up with a firm grounding in and experience of traditional working practices (painting, drawing and sculpture), sometimes sees him liaise with neo-conceptual movements.
His work stands out through his intelligent reinterpretation of traditional themes and icons, many of which have their roots in traditional culture and recent collective memories. A clear example of this can be seen in La fusione della campana (casting the bell, 2005) which began life as a reflection on one of the oldest casting techniques – the working of metal during bell construction. The result is an extremely modern piece both formally and conceptually.

The same can be said of some of his video pieces, first of all Totò nudo (2005, shown on the occasion of his one-man show at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo). This sophisticated digital re-working of a renowned symbol of our own popular culture has been distilled and condensed into a hugely poetic work, free of cliché and any mannerist overtones.
Without exception, the common denominator in the videos by Diego Perrone is their ability to inspire conjecture, transform the superficial into profound melancholy and create surprise out of the obvious, whether it be a portrait of an old dog as it dies Vicino a Torino muore un cane vecchio (2003, exhibited at the 50th Venice Biennial in the same year), or in the perfidious games played by a group of kids in a park.

This shifting of meaning through a careful reworking of their message-bearing elements (see one of his first pieces, I cento re che ridono, 1999), has seen him gradually become more radical, especially in his most recent pieces, achieving results that bear an almost surrealist matrix. This can also be seen in the shocking, pointless machine The first dad turns around with his own shadow. The mother bends her body in search of a shape. The second dad pounds his fist on the floor (1st Berlin Biennial, 2006), or the entire series of pieces Pensatori di buchi (2002), which sees an estrangement of gestures and situations in the performance act.

This seam was already explored in some of his photographic work dating back to the beginning of his career (Come suggestionati da quello che dietro di loro rimane fermo, 2002), where the rural setting transforms itself into an aesthetic paradox and a mysterious, ritual symbol.
From a formal point of view Diego Perrone is an extremely sophisticated artist, whose subtle production makes him stand out as truly uncanny, capable of investing his video projections with sculptural dignity while charging his sculptures with a pictorial quality born from his dextrous manipulation of colour.

Photogallery Corso