ARTUNER is pleased to announce a solo presentation of new works by the artist Gabriele De Santis at the Italian Cultural Institute in London. De Santis’ practice explores the narrowing dichotomy between the synthetic and natural and the increasingly pervasive cross-cultural influence of social media. The show’s title reflects De Santis’ interest in the idea of moving images, not in a cinematographic sense, but quite literally as canvases, sculptures and installations that refer skateboarding and are hence: On the Run. The title is also a nod to the eponymous Beyoncé and Jay-Z tour currently travelling the world.
The idea of movement and stasis is not limited to palpable skateboard references; it is invoked through painted marble panels, coated to expose typographical elements. Each panel undergoes a double metamorphosis: the first is geological, where the marble is formed out of liquid magma and the second is semiotic, where De Santis transposes the work into the immaterial realm of social media through the application of # and [ ] symbols.
Comparable to Jay-Z’s notion of “What you see is what you reflect” (Men’s Health, 5th October 2010), De Santis’ brand new faux marble works recreate the rock’s surface through a delicately textured acrylic-on-glass emulsion. However, this presentation with it’s pronounced pastiche to classicism is contrasted through the use of Ikea frames, limiting the new body of works to predetermined dimensions that are mass-produced by the company.
Through De Santis’ interventions, the Italian Cultural Institute becomes home to a series of contemporary ‘monuments’: skateboard rails covered with t-shirts and backpacks high-fiving each other, faux marble and canvases with skate wheels. In a time where Jay-Z returns to Renaissance imagery,1 De Santis answers with these and many more altered pop-images, declaring them the sculptures of our time and his.
The solo presentation thus covers a diverse range of material, highlighting Gabriele de Santis’ versatility and the wide-ranging interests of an artist who is always On the Run.
The exhibition will be shown in tandem with an online component viewable at ARTUNER.com with dedicated articles, interviews and catalogue notes.
The exhibition will be introduced by a panel discussion on Monday, 13th October 2014 at 18:30pm, which will feature the artist in conversation with Gregor Muir, Executive Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, London and Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, Founder of ARTUNER.