1 MARCO BELFIORE
2 The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates. ( David Foster Wallace ) The stories within my work tell of how one can live within their own universe. Albeit videos, drawings, prints, watercolors, performances or animations, my work presents content from various ironic sources, which merge together like a kind of invisible network. The goal is to communicate my own sense of surprise, an awareness of the simplicity of everyday life, to conjoin my fears, failures and stupidities, and to ironicize a certain lack of awareness. Through irony, sarcasm, ambiguity, play and tragedy, my work is like a small universe made up of symbols that question normal modes of behavior. Human beings or animals are the main subjects in my works. Since they are living in an individualist society, they cannot perceive themselves as being part of the whole universe. I like to work with ideas of humor, sarcasm, and metaphor. I love to play with the banality of things. Drawings are often the starting point of my work, therefore is the technique that allows me to express myself with simplicity. A drawing may lead to a video, an animation, or may even become a performance, to multiply suggestions and different readings of the work. Several references overlap and what initially seemed banal and superficial becomes ambiguous, revealing disconcerting thoughts.
3 Donato, video full hd, This was the miracle which all those present had witnessed, like in Caravaggio s paintings where the transcendent light enters and illuminates the scene...but for me what was there apart from this? I took note of the fact that above the little studio I created a circle of light had formed, but in this case there wasn t a source that could give birth to it, it wasn t a reflection of the sun: there was just this circle white...out of light... Donato Vitiello
4 Something Russian, 2014 video animation, I spent ninety days in and around Moscow trying to understand something Russian but I was swamped by too much space, too many people and too many stories. In this short time it was impossible for me to catch something. What I found was that most Russian s don t really know what something Russian is, but for sure I am not the only one who is curious about what it could be. Now I think that something Russian is everything out there. It might be a place not far from here, but it will certainly be a little bit farther than where one might plan to go.
5 Something Russian, video still Something Russian, video still
6 Scherzi della natura ( Freaks Of Nature), gouache, watercolors, pastells on cotton paper, cm 35 x 50 each The Fenicano is a hybrid cross between a Flamingo (Fenicottero) and a Tucano; The Pappacano is a hybrid cross between Parrot (Pappagallo) and Tucano; The Fenigallo is a hybrid cross between Flamingo (Fenicottero) and a Parrot (Pappagallo)... from above: Fenigallo, 2013; Fenicano, 2013
7 Scherzi della natura, installation views at Crédit Agricole, Milano Ph: Andrea Rossetti
8 Pappacano, 2013, clay, acrylic cm 20 x 30 x 15 Ph. Andrea Rossetti
9 Clown White, 2012 video animation, 1 54 loop The video appears to be an impossible dialogue between dead celebrietes or an improbable concert of chimeras that, if at the first impression arouses curiosity and is entertaining, in the end become a little disturbing. In the circus the White Clown (or clown blanc from the original French) is seemingly dignified and serious and is the most ancient type of clown, he is the one who tries, uselessly, to restore order in general chaos. But far from metaphors and circus clichés, in Clown White video we find ourselves in a larger territory where every artist has to confront himself; a space crowded with obtrusive characters that have left an indeleble mark on our culture. During this video words and concepts become noise.
10 Clown White, still from video
11 Un attimo a Troia, 2012 raw clay, cm 19 x 15 x 31 My horse in clay is a silent interference, it works well especially when I put it in contemporary exhibitions.... in the middle of dinner, in the middle of a book, while studying the mirror, may suddenly be taken off to Troy. In the grand boudoir of a wink they all turn into beautiful Helens... Wisława Szymborska, A Moment In Troy, 1962 from above: installation view at Marselleria 2012, Milano; installation view at Museo Archeologico Eno Bellis, 2012, Oderzo
12 Un attimo atroia (detail)
13 Exotic Spleen digital prints on photographic paper, cm 70 x 50 each Games with words and the fascination for the cliché of popular and artistic imaginary return in his two latest personal shows, Life is A Beach (2010) and Exotic Spleen (2011): again, using different media, Marco Belfiore employs minimal visual directions to describe a disillusioned way of life that is constantly conformed with the fine example of art thinking; a way of life that at the same time tries to sabotage and filter, from the most naïve and banal point of view there is: the tourist s. And it is Exotic Spleen, the series of postcards shot by the artist on a trip to Florida that flirts with that imaginary, in the attempt to identify the typicality of some of his own shots. So we walk thought a gallery of fake landscapes, typical of the exoticism of the photographic viewpoint. But Belfiore gives them an absolutely elementary nature, as if to reduce them to their zero degree; transforming every individual visual souvenir into a minimal object, commenting on them with short slogans which, despite the poverty of the image, hint at a multiplicity of interpretations and a cultural density under the surface, that represent just as effectively the elusive essence of the Italian character. Riccardo Conti Italian Souvenir, Pizza Magazine 2011
16 Exotic Spleen 2011, installation views at Spazio Morris, Milano
17 From the series Les poissons sur le visage Antonio digital print, watercolor, cm 18 x 13 This series title Les Possins Sur le Visage is the literal translation of fishes on the face - an Italian phrase (a pesci in faccia) which in Italian alludes to public humiliation. The series title is in French because it sounds elegant, ironic, and adds the allure of surrealism that is clearly evident in my work in general. This series articulate my current interests very well. They show an elaboration of existing images, an aesthetic derived from symbolist and surrealist black humor, here represented in the enhanced and plastic look as well as in the pictorial nature of the image itself. This is a series of photographic portraits that I have found on the internet, and then reworked. Mixing digital media with drawing, these images are then printed on ivory colored cardboard. These are portraits of figures that have given considerable contribution to our cultural history. I have chosen only those who have influenced me directly, theoretically I could pay tribute to all of those who have struck me over time. Another example of how the artist is capable of using the instruments of irony to detonate the commonplace and suggest new meanings, can be found in the series Les Poissons sur Le Visage : a series of photomontages in which the popular expression prendere a pesci in faccia (editor s note: literally take fish in the face, meaning to treat someone rudely or unkindly) is applied literally by the artist, who overlays fish onto a pantheon of famous personalities, who are also in some way his cultural and artistic references. Beyond the provocation and the easy joke, the chimeras that derive from these surreal pairings evoke new interpretations, mysterious analogies, and secret narrations that the bizarre fish-masks conceal and reveal at the same time. Riccardo Conti Italian Souvenir, Pizza Magazine 2011
18 Les poissons sur le visage digital prints, watercolor, cm 18 x 13 each clockwise: Raymond Carver, Ian Curtis, Flannery O Connor, Bruce Lee, Antonin Artaud, Antonio De Curtis, Nikola Tesla, Buster Keaton, Michael Jackson, J.D.Salinger
19 From the series Ghost Duchamp Appeared On The Bottom Of My Toilet acrylic on wood, cm 30 x 25 Love of paradox, of the magical properties of words and the fragility of their meaning, is a constant element that is evidently in Belfiore s heart and seems to contain and support every other theme present. His work very often presents itself as a Dadaistic synthesis that reconciles Duchamp and Totò. Riccardo Conti Italian Souvenir, Pizza Magazine 2011 Houdini was quite possibly the most famous escape artist in the world, but he was also fascinated with the supernatural and what waited on the other side. He turned to Spiritualism after his mother died and tried every way possible to contact her. Those close to him claimed that he was also convinced that spirits from the other side were helping him with his tricks and they were the ones responsible for his death defying escapes. On Halloween night he passed away from complications due to his condition. Houdini promised a few special people in his life that he would make contact from the other side after his death if there was an afterlife. His wife would see a number of people who claimed to receive word from him, but none were able to give her the code they decided on before he died. Following Houdini s death his wife Bess continued to live there for a number of years before selling the Laurel Canyon house to a female writer. She would later leave the house and it sat empty for several years before it was destroyed by a fire that ravaged the area in Though the house is long gone, some still believe that Houdini walks the ruins that remain. Many people have seen a dark shadow in the area, but only on Halloween night. prairieghosts.com
20 Ghost, installation acrylic wood, view cm 30 x 25 each clockwise: Michael Jackson Jackson Appeared Appeared In The On Wallett a Wallett Of A Of Bullfighter, a Bullfighter, Paintghost Appeared In Curator s Mind, Harry Houdini Appeared And Not Seen, Abraham Lincoln Appeared During Superbowl, Peggy Guggenheim Appeared On Max Ernst s Door, John Lennon Appeared In The Closet Of A Baker, Max Ernst Appeared On Peggy Guggenheim s Door, Laszlo Biro Appeared On Marcel Bich s Bank
21 Statement, 2009 video dv, 3 12
22 Tutorial, 2009 stop-motion animation, 1 02 loop In my Tutorial various forms and meanings are intertwined creating alienating feelings. The final sequence - the suicide of the anonymous protagonist - is a personal tribute to Hitchcock s Spellbound movie. Tutorial is a geometric, surreal and ironic interior-landscape created with black humor and a freeware software. A tutorial is a method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of a learning process. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture; a tutorial seeks to teach by example and supply the information to complete a certain task. Depending on the context a tutorial can take one of many forms, ranging from a set of instructions to complete a task to an interactive problem solving session (usually in academia). Wikipedia
23 Statement and Tutorial, installation view at Acme Project Space, London 2009
24 From the series Encyclopedia Mammals Of The Order Cetacea And U.F.O. digital print, cm 18 x 24 The series of prints Encyclopedia (a work in progress started in 2007), derives from a collection of old German etchings and illustrations. Existing images become dilated and amplified through minute and almost unperceivable interventions in which I introduce unexpected, uncanny details. The interferences are sometimes minimal and difficult to locate, once they emerge they make the image surreal. The titles are helpful in resolving this enigma. Using Photoshoshop mixed with pencil drawing, the images are scanned and photocopied to produce a unique and somewhat strange collection of new ideas in an old style.
25 Encyclopedia digital prints, cm 18 x 24 each clockwise: Mammal Of The Order Cetacea And U.F.O., Artist And Birillo, Phenomena Of Clouds And Death, Pyramidis And De Dominicis, Anatomy Of The Slave, Pacific Leather
26 Patampa, 2005 video dv, 3 13 After the presentation of the third workshop, we went to visit Mi-Art, a Contemporary Art Exhibition. From there I saw one video: Patampa, by Marco Belfiore.This is a very short video. In the video, a boy is trying to get through a hole in a fence like all the other kids do. He cannot. Other kids are waiting, he let them go. An easy move to everyone seems really hard for him. He did not give up. After tons of trying, he finally get through, but tirped and fall. He get up, simile, proudly. A simple story, I sat in that room, and watch 5 times. I saw a reflection. unknown blogger found in the web, 2006
27 MARCO BELFIORE Born in Rovereto, Italy, 1971 Lives and works in Milano. Website: marcobelfiore.tumblr.com SELECTED SOLO SHOWS 2014 SCHERZI DELLA NATURA, Careof/Credit Agricole, Milano 2011 EXOTIC SPLEEN, Spazio Morris, Milano 2010 LIFE IS A BEACH, MARS Milan Artists Run Space, Milano 2007 OH, LES ITALIENS!, Galleria Le Case D Arte, Milano 2007 Short Show #4 ENCYCLOPEDIA, Neon>fdv, Milano 2005 PATAMPA, Galleria Le Case D Arte, Milano SELECTED GROUP SHOWS 2014 ITALIAN SUMMER, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Zuoz, Switzerland 2013 SPAZIO RISS(E), Varese 2012 PREMIO TERNA 04, Tempio di Adriano, Roma 2012 SHORVISIT, Marselleria, Milano 2012 TAKE THE LEAP, Peep-hole, Milano 2012 LACUNE, Museo Archeologico Eno Bellis, Oderzo (TV) 2011 OFFICINE DELL ARTE, Viafarini, Milano 2010 THE CLIFFORD IRVING SHOW, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp 2010 IF YOU DO KNOW THAT HERE IS ONE HAND, CAC Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius 2010 AN ELABORATE FICTION, Acme Space Project, London 2010 MANIMAL, Kaleidoscope Project Space, Milano 2010 LOOPS, Chelsea Project Space, London 2009 CURATOLOGY, DOCVA/Viafarini, Milano 2009 STUDIOVISIT, GCAC, Monfalcone 2009 ROOTS/RADICI, Instituto Italiano de Cultura, Madrid 2008 A, B, F, G, M, N, O, R, Z, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venezia 2008 IL RIMEDIO PERFETTO, Galleria Riccardo Crespi, Milano 2008 NEW SEASON_NO REASON, Neon>fdv, Milano 2008 VIDEO.IT, Accademia Albertina,Torino 2008 BODY WORKS, Galleria Le Case D arte, Milano 2007 NEW ENTRY, CareOf, Milano 2007 VIDEOART YEARBOOK 2007, Chiostro di Santa Cristina, Bologna 2006 FRAME, Gertrude Art Spaces, Melbourne 2006 fiera MiArt Milano; presented by Sprüth-Magers Projekte, München RESIDENCIES AND PROJECTS 2013 Winner of Terna Prize 04; three months residency in Moscow 2010 Cover Project, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milano