Silence is Sexy. Fascinated by the societal implications and all-encompassing nature of music and the music industry, the artist intertwines strong references to his art historical predecessors with diverse musical genres. Implementing the latter's visual vocabulary, he constructs a dichotomy of what would commonly be conceived as 'popular' and 'avant garde' culture.
Silence is Sexy
BUIA Gallery is pleased to present Silence is Sexy, the New York solo debut of Italian artist Nicola Di Caprio. Fascinated by the societal implications and all-encompassing nature of music and the music industry, Di Caprio intertwines strong references to his art historical predecessors with diverse musical genres. Implementing the latterâ€™s visual vocabulary, Di Caprio constructs a dichotomy of what would commonly be conceived as â€œpopularâ€ and â€œavant gardeâ€ culture. What results is a conflation of culturally produced phenomena whose construct and evolution share in common particular key elements- the notion, for example, of the artist (musical or visual) as hero, profit or shaman, and the corresponding concept of the sublime, as well as the resulting cultures and subcultures and physical manifestations that each produce. The success of the relationship between the two art forms in Di Caprioâ€™s work lay in the fusion of the strengths of each, ultimately generating a reified critique and vision of universal culture.
For Nicola Di Caprio, music -the presence and absence of vibrations, long or short, large or small, and by any means relative- is life. Offering a quote from German avant garde industrial band, EinstÃ¼rzende Neubautenâ€™s, Blixa Bargeld, â€œ... Silence is sexy, so sexy. Just your silence is not sexy at allâ€¦â€ Di Caprio insinuates that music is both sublime and intimately individual. Investigating the romantic qualities of music as well its larger than life commercial culture, Di Caprioâ€™s works range from large-scale Warholian paintings of the sides of cd jewel cases to conceptual installations such as a manipulated record player on a putting green. Formally speaking, Di Caprioâ€™s bright, bold colors and vivid text, form, and material reinforce the heroic side of both musical and visual artist. A Brancusian pairing down of form and content reveals the most key artistic and musical elements that create the essence of the combined whole, the only element left out being the actual sound. Christian Marclay, another artist who focuses on music, but with more of an emphasis on sound commented, â€œMusic is usually more democratic than art, so I feel I can touch more people with it, even if I make a piece that doesnâ€™t make any sound, but deals with notions of perception of soundâ€¦ we donâ€™t question sounds as much as images,â€ delineating how the use of musical signifiers infuses Di Caprioâ€™s work with greater power and universality- once again underlining how the strengths of the visual and the musical combine to deliver a powerful statement.
Nicola Di Caprio lives in Milan, Italy and exhibits internationally, most recently at the Stabile Ex Calida in Chiasso Switzerland for the IFDUIF Video Festival and at the Caserma De Cristoforis in Como for ALLARMI zona creative, with his most recent solo show at Galleria Pack in Milan. Other recent shows include the The Black Album curated by Luca Beatrice at Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea in Milan, Melting Pop curated by Gianluca Marziani at Castello di Masnago in Varese and Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, and Franklin Sirmansâ€™ traveling exhibition Mass Appeal: the art object and hip hop culture in Canada. Di Caprio also participated in Aperto Italia â€™97 at the Trevi Flash Art Museum in Trevi. Recent press includes an interview and write up in Rolling Stone Magazine on his recent book Second Skin. And in addition, Michele Robecchi, senior editor of Contemporary Magazine, London -and former senior editor of Flash Art- recently wrote an essay on his work for the New York show.
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