By Patrick Eccles-Williams, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Italian artist Fidia Falaschetti is currently displaying his first exhibition of works here in Brazil, at the Graphos Gallery in Copacabana until June 21st. The name of the exhibition is “Pop-Panties” and is inspired by some of the major players in the pop art movement such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns.
Falaschetti’s exhibition consists of twelve works in which twelve different artists are presented as babies in diapers. Next to each of his own pieces he has placed an original work of art by the artist being depicted.
Having the two pieces next to one another creates an interesting synthesis and Falaschetti’s thought processes are often evident when seeing the two side by side.
Vik Muniz, the Brazilian artist at the center of the critically acclaimed documentary, Wasteland, is depicted as a baby crawling around on a scrap heap while Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is painted on a background of yellow and black polka dots, which are so closely associated with her work.
Falaschetti explains that the name of the exhibition is a play on the Italian word poppanti, which in English means baby child and the themes of childhood and innocence are central to his work. The artist explains, “I think [childhood] is the most important time of life which we must pay more attention. […] On the other hand, I think all artists are kids inside, cause someway we are not aligned to rules, otherwise we try to express everything that is happening inside of us, as kids are used to indeed.”
Although the pieces are supposed to be fun and good-humored there is evidently a social and political message at the core of Falaschetti’s work. He is not only expressing his delight at childhood innocence, but also demonstrating that with age and knowledge comes the corruption and contamination of minds.
In a reference to Jasper Johns’ most celebrated painting, “Three Flags,” the Italian artist inverts this image to depict a baby holding the flags upside down with the stars falling off the bottom of the canvas. Seemingly a reference to the economic crisis that was sparked off in the U.S. and has affected the entire Western world.
Falaschetti tells The Rio Times that his work is not purely aesthetic, “My art is very social, since I feel it is necessary to communicate and start a social conversation with the audience. Every artwork hides lot of small details, which will bring the visitor to get somethings wider than just a child on the wall.”
On how he came to have an exhibition here in Brazil, he explains that Ricardo Duarte, owner of the Graphos gallery, saw his work at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and loved it so much he invited Falaschetti to produce a whole series of the “Pop-Panties” pictures here. Falaschetti says that he jumped at the opportunity and is very fond of this country. “I love Brazil and I lived here between 2002 and 2003… I feel home here.”
What: “Pop-Panties” : Fidia Falaschetti exhibition
When: May 8th – June 21st Monday to Friday: 11AM – 7PM Saturdays: 10AM – 4PM
Where: Graphos Gallery, Rua Siqueira Campos 143, Sobreloja 129, Copacabana