Giuseppe Veneziano | ALTER EGO
Dates: June 4 – July 3, 2020
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 4, 2020
Space Gallery St Barth is proud to present an exhibition of twenty new paintings by Italian contemporary artist, Giuseppe Veneziano. Animated by the artist’s signature wit, this latest body of work presents surprising, often shocking, commentary on contentious issues such as global politics, world religions, sex, and the role of technology in the modern world. In assuming the role of provocateur, Veneziano both literally and figuratively inverts familiar narratives sourced from Pop culture, art history, and social media in order to deconstruct the emotional, sometimes irrational, disconnect between reality and expectations. “Alter Ego” constitutes not only Veneziano’s New York City debut, but also his artistic debut in the United States, and the artist intends to make a splash.
Humor is central to Veneziano’s artistic purpose. In playfully violating mental patterns and expectations, the artist seeks to foster rationality rather than undermine it. Speaking about his work, Veneziano comments: “My ambition is to recount contemporary stories, but with a nod to the past and the history of art, this serves as a stimulation for new stories for me to tell and confront the present and past”.
The artist understands painting to be a tool for re-inventing the world, so while it may shock audiences to see beloved cartoon characters recast as perverts or art historical figures depicted in compromising situations, it is exactly this emotional connection to global cultural vocabulary of images and ideas that aides the artist in realizing his purpose. On this topic, Veneziano comments, “During my childhood, I created fantastic worlds in my head populated with characters which in some way fed my fantasy world. Superheroes from comics, Disney characters, and Japanese anime are those I am more sentimentally linked to”. Veneziano knows that a mugshot of Jesus Christ, an image of the Madonna cradling baby Hitler, and Ronald McDonald’s head replaced with that of Moa Zedong will confuse and perhaps even offend his audience, but this is his purpose. Veneziano forces us to rethink our understanding of these figures, often an understanding that has been formed for us rather than by us, in order to foster independent thought. For this reason, Veneziano’s international reputation has grown substantially over the past decade.