WILL ALIENS BELIEVE IN ME?
In the works of Andrea Martinucci, painting meets contemporary media, photography, video and new digital imaginaries. The images that spread and multiply in the sites of modern communication, the Internet and social media are extrapolated from this context and reassembled in daring combinations, covered and revealed by gradients and backgrounds, thereby becoming digital relics of a present that already becomes the past, continually reworked into a post-modern palimpsest.
Originally trained in multimedia design and influenced by a family background tied to traditional painting and sculpture, Andrea Martinucci has developed a very personal language and his work questions the prescriptive, formal and aesthetic nature of painting. How does one express, through a pictorial medium, an area of communication that has become entirely digitised, in which images lose their analogue, unchanging nature and are exchanged, compressed and damaged when being shared, often to the extent of making them inaccessible? Beginning in 2016, Martinucci’s series jpeg lays several pictorial layers on the image, until it is almost completely hidden under the new colours. As a result, in the pictorial medium, the temporality and changing nature of the image in the digital world is reproduced.
For the exhibition sponsored by Banca Sistema, Will Aliens Believe in Me?, Andrea Martinucci exhibits work that traces the many years of experimentation behind the jpeg series, as well as never-before-seen works and new pieces that complete a concept show designed specifically for the futuristic building of Palazzo Largo Augusto. Turning the question, “do you believe in aliens?” on its head, the works highlights a focus on the future, a vision that is not afraid to explore the boldest of theories. The themes of good fortune, the challenges posed by future projects, and new visions also refers to Banca Sistema’s commitment to supporting business and development, as well as new forms of art.
Do aliens believe in us? Are we inferior to “them” or are we already somehow superior in how we rush towards new challenges? The narrative development of the works spans the floors of Palazzo Largo Augusto, the new headquarters of Banca Sistema, bringing together a common narrative thread in which the figurative images featured across the paintings are hidden by layers of colour, creating “another” world waiting to be discovered by the viewer.
Human figures and animal forms inhabit the canvases, sometimes covered by a palimpsest of colours similar to tears on surfaces, which hide and reveal symbols that are open to interpretation. Entities and objects seem to chase one another up from the large paintings on floor -2, to the ground floor, and then finally to the 7th floor, where the rooms bear the names of classical deities or planets: Jupiter, symbol of wealth and success, Mercury, that stands for communication, ingenuity, invention. There is also Diana — the Moon — representing sentiment and femininity, while Ceres is Demeter, symbol of growth, fertility and abundance.
The title of the exhibition, Will Aliens Believe in Me?, ironizes the theme of the discovery of new worlds, the courage to embark on new paths, and the leap towards new visions and the future. The golden wrapper of the fortune cookie becomes emblematic in the piece on display in the Jupiter Room. On the cookie is printed a dragon, a Chinese symbol of success and good fortune, while the message found inside is blank, giving way to endless possibilities. A pigeon peeps out, looking out towards the Milan Duomo that stands out in the windows not far from the view of Torre Velasca: the past, present and future united by the human drive to always go upwards, towards new ambitions and worlds waiting to be conquered. The theme of “the challenge” becomes the common thread between the artist’s work and Banca Sistema’s daily operations.
Andrea Martinucci was born in 1991 in Rome, Italy. He lives and works between Rome and Milan. He studied Multimedia Design at Accademia delle Arti e Nuove Tecnologie in Rome. Recent solo exhibitions include: Glory Black Hole, Dimora Artica, Milan (2018), in partnership with Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea; The Court – “Voyage au bout de la nuit”, Law firm Di Pietro Lucchi, Pescara (2017); Re-azione, Fabbrica Borroni, Milan (2012).
Recent group exhibitions include: A Glass is not a reference for an amount, In De Ruimte Space, Gent, Belgium (2019); Naturalia et Artificialia, part of the Bologna Design Week, Bologna (2018); Everytime you switch me off, we die, a little, FOOTHOLD, Bari (2018); FOREVER NEVER COMES, Museum of Art and Archaeology, Grosseto (2017); Moneypulation, in ArtBasel, Basel (2017); “Endless Backup” – Outer Space, during miart Fair, Milan (2017); Vis-à-Vis, Institut Français, Milan (2016); È così difficile dimenticare il dolore, Macro Museum, Rome (2013); Cartabianca, Villa Croce Contemporary Museum, Genova (2012); Quadratonomade, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2012).
He developed several projects, such as I HAVE NO BUDGET FOR THIS WALL, part of Spazi 2018, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, and Tech Gleba for “Una Vetrina”, Rome (2018).