Francesco Vezzoli has delved into the archival material of Radiotelevisione Italiana, shaping a narrative of the culture, politics, and entertainment of the period.
MIAMI — There are many stories about the origins of art: ancient Greek historian Pliny suggested art was born when a Corinthian maiden traced the outline of her lover’s shadow on a wall, while an Asian legend tells of a young man who could not paint the Buddha because of his enlightened glow, and so was forced to paint his reflection in a pool of water. What these two stories share is the emphasis on the rendering of people as a foundational element of art. Fast-forward many millenia, when the story of high-priced contemporary art is vastly different from those origin stories, and walking through the latest incarnation of Art Basel Miami Beach, I was struck by the marginalization of the human form in the blue-chip work on display. What happened?
NEW ORLEANS — The Piazza d’Italia generally isn’t high on many people’s lists of Things To See And Do In New Orleans; in fact, I’d guess that most of the tourists who stumble across it do so while getting lost on their way to or from the nearby Harrah’s casino or Hilton Riverfront. They probably no idea that this gaudy urban ensemble, designed by Charles Moore and opened in 1978, represents one of the seminal pieces of postmodern architecture in the country. In his Prospect 2 biennial piece, Francesco Vezzoli adds an extra layer of kitsch to New Orleans’ Piazza d’Italia with his “Portrait of Sophia Loren.”
The age of celebrity art has dawned and no one is a better example of that high-end marriage between the haves and the haves than pop singer Lady Gaga. It has been a long time coming for the maven of the dancefloor, whose every move feels like a tribute to 1990s club kid culture. Yet, her recent collaborations with Francesco Vezzoli and Terence Koh raises the question, does she desperately need an art teacher?