Opening: Wednesday November 7, 2018. At 6:30 pm
On view: November 8, 2018 – January 31, 2019
A personal exhibition that presents Mauro Gottardo’s work, from the very beginning.
Gottardo (Bardonecchia, Turin 1965) lives in Turin. During a period of work as a typographer he discovers the love for graphic art and for the lettering to which he has dedicated himself entirely since the end of the Nineties. Lonely, he works on his “papers” in a small room covered with sheets. In his works he manages to create the illusion of typographic intervention, even if he does everything by hand, first with the Bic pen, today with the Pilot marker. With the dedication of a medieval amanuensis, he realizes narrative cycles, using long rolls of paper covered with captions, drawings and collages: works that also require years of work. Mauro is a symbolic narrator of a world full of esoteric references, icons, dreams and fears, cultural quotations. In his work he leaves his imagination free, aimed at “remembering or inventing details”, together with the need to create a total work of art in which the drawings with the ballpoint pen, the collages and the aphorisms are inextricably linked.
“Side effects”, the exhibition title, is a 2001 opera, composed of 19 sheets. On each sheet are listed the side effects of a drug (an amphetamine that would encourage weight loss) in red lettering . The writings are all connected to a work of art through the artist’s arm (the left one), drawn all the time by hand, with a Pilot marker. On the arm, repeated always identical, we see a tattoo that derives from a Japanese image of the carp (the fish that, like the salmon, goes upstream). And the artist remembers being fascinated by the tattoos of Frejus truck drivers when they passed near Bardonecchia. Gottardo is a ravenous reader who often takes his cue from his readings to create works like stories. The four sheets of “Inverno scettico / Skeptical Winter (2004) are inspired by the reading of Emil M. Cioran”, a decisive, almost therapeutic influence” says the artist as he unrolls the sheets and underlines “the sarcasm of the skeptical, doubtful, cynical, the grotesque that grins “. And then, the sentence of Ecclesiastes… “Il capriccio del perverso / The Imp of the Perverse” (2003) by the same title of a story by Edgar Allan Poe is a roll of about three meters where the man who delinque is seized by a self-destructive impulse. And then again “Il cuore è infido sopra ogni cosa e non vi è rimedio / The heart is treacherous above all things and there is no remedy” (2004) a phrase from the Bible, up to the beginning of his career with the scocthages (1993-1996) d’après l’art scotch by Gil J. Wolman.