AQUA Art Miami | 1530 Collins Avenue, Miami, Florida
America, curated by M. Corbetta
Artists: Laurina Paperina
Date: December 6th, 2017/December 10th, 2017
Opening: Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 @3 PM
The big earthquake, 2017 Mixed on canvas 195x290cm
The big eathquake is the biggest canvas that Laurina Paperina has ever realized, with mixed technique, in 2017.
This painting is extremely actual and it has a strong impact and it represents a lot of different characters, precisely 144, and this conveys it a unique and deeply attractive characteristic.
A wide range of several personalities animates the famous Californian landscape of Hollywood and of the Silicon Valley, interpreted by the artist in a ruinous and strong decline key due to an earthquake that lacerates the landscape and the compositive structure of the painting, dividing it in two asymmetric parts. On the left of the background there is the hill of Los Angeles with the monumental sign Hollywood, without the L. The missing letter is hold by the left hand of the Christ the Redeemer of Rio geographically placed in the American atmosphere thanks to the rap style nacklace, with the symbol of dollar, that he wears. The O is crossed by the strange and enormous subterranean creature, an enormous worm from the film Tremors. Over the solemn sign there is a completely new character, invented by the artist: the killer pigeon. This new horror character by Laurina Paperina eats human bodies lying on the Hollywoodian hill.
Climbing down on the left side of the hill there is the Silicon Valley, rich industrial area of the USA, specialized in the planning and production of technology. Among the industries situated in the Valley, Paperina represents the buildings of Google and Facebook that seem to smash and from those we can see people suiciding jumping down from the high floors, it is a metaphor of the prevailing technologic world that dominates the society and wins the humanity. The unique Golden Gate Bridge, broken in two parts, leads the observer to jump dangerously from the left side of the canvas to the right side, where on another hill stand out against the degrading burning 20 century fox invaded by the typical big worm of Laurina Paperina. Between the smashed red bridge and the degrading logo of the Hollywoodian cinematographic studio there is the Ronald Mc Donald, another fundamental symbol of the American culture, he is crucified. Linked to the presence of the 20 century fox, there are a lot of cinematographic landmarks on both sides of the painting: in the sky E.T. touches with his finger the cinematographic logo in the shadow of the film Jurassic Park. The artist paints also the ghost of the film Ghostbusters with a scared expression on his face, near the entrance of the Jurassic Park over the split of the ground (in the foreground), in the split of the ground caused by the earthquake (inspired by the Sant Andrew’s fault), down in the foreground we can see the link with the General Lee, the most famous car of the cinema, on the right of this one a free gift to the Men in Black film with the representation of the governative agents and the enemy aliens, in the middle, on the left, next to A bigger splash, film of David Hockney , there is Vincent, Jules and Mr Wolf of the film Pulp Fiction. In the swimming pool of Hockney there is the film of Jaws with the shark eating human beings and next to it the
aliens of the film Cocoon, on the edges of that there is Pamela Anderson from the soap opera Baywatch running to save someone, on the trampoline there is a boy sitting on it, wearing an halloween ghost face of the horror film Scream. On the extremely left side there is the alien of the film Alien, over it the artist represents the scenery of the horror film Pet Sematary. Another cinematographic link it’s about the protagonist of Terminator that emerges in miniature in the recess created by the arm of Elmo (Sesame Street). It’s raining frogs like in the film Magnolia and sharks swim like in the film Sharkando as they are under the sea.
In The big earthquake more than in every other canvas there are several quotations linked to the artistic world. Easily identifying the Bansky’s work Love is a Riot Flower Thrower where he throws a little blue bird of the videogame Angry Birds, in the foreground on the edge of the split a detail of the painting Triumph of Death of Peter Bruegel. At the foot of the Silicon Valley appears the Smiley of Ron English, American artist that plays with the symbols of the consumistic culture. On the left of the Smiley, Maurizio Cattelan becomes part of his work of art The ninth hour, substituting Papa Giovanni Paolo II, he is hit by a meteorite. On the same level, on the right, the Paperina represents in an ironic way the Balloon Dog of Jeff Koons, depicted in an intimate gesture. Going down we come across the smashing building of the MOCA The Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles. On the left we can see the painting of Andy Mouse by Keith Haring. On the opposite side, up on the right, at the gate of Jurassic Park there is the floral face of Takashi Murakami disguised of his character, going down we can find pieces of the sculpture of KAWS Passing Trough arriving in the foreground at the big pink rabbit a bit maniac, inspired by the Tenerone (Drive In) and by the Rabbit of the Gelitin artists.
The distinctive presence of the characters of cartoons endures, for example Elmo of Sesame Street bigger than the other characters, Jerry from Tom and Jerry, the head of Itchy (Itchy and Scratchy), there are also the robots Goldrake and Afrodite (Mazinga Z), we can see Peter Griffin on the hill of the 20 century fox eating Barney of the Flinstones, there is Robin Hood going out from the ground (cartoon of the 1973), down on the left the Minions, the Teletubbies lying dead on the route 66. On the high part of the painting there are Mr burns of The Simpsons and Skeletor (Master of Universe – cartoon). In the middle of the canvas there is Woody Woodpecker, character of the namesake cartoon with opened arms he seems to show to the public the whole canvas. Different and recurring references to the comics and video games: characters of the videogame of Super Mario, Spiderman (comics), Captain America (comics) and Wolverine (X-Men – comics).
At the end, essential is the self-portrait of the artist sitting on the cliff of the deep split created by the earthquake, illustrated like a suicide victim.
Boom valley, 2017 Mixed on canvas 150x150cm
The canvas by Laurina Paperina, entitled Boom Valley, 150x150cm, was made, using a mixture of techniques, in 2017. The main theme of this work, death and destruction, as the title suggests, is in clear contrast with the choice of vibrant, explosive colour.
The desolate landscape of of Boom Valley is filled with numerous characters of various sizes most of which are are without life. The highest rock in the valley stands out in the background on which appears the artist’s habitual, suicidal self-portrait. In this image she represents herself in the macabre act of decapitation, trying to remove her head which is depicted as a ball full of water. The language, typical of the artist, is both graphic and figurative and, along with the use of bold colour, moderates the dramatic theme of death which the artist seems to deride. Infact, it is with extreme lightness, simplicity and a distinctive sarcastic tone that Paperina illustrates a variety of lugubrious scenes.
In the centre background, next to the artist’s self-portrait is Super Mario chased and disfigured by the stings of a swarm of bees and holding in his hand Uan’s bleeding head, a character from the 80’s Bim Bum Bam. To the left a part of Beep Beep’s body from Road Runner is fired into the air by Rocket, a missile from the same cartoon which at the same time
represents the war between Corea and the U.S.A. To the extreme left of the painting the artist Martin Creed is killed by a cactus, the recurring subject of his work. In the foreground, on the opposite side, there are two parts of the body of the Pink Panther lying on spots of red blood, near to a skull with horns. On the same level the big head of Cookie Monster of the Muppets strikes with his eyes out of the orbits and the big worms by Laurina Paperina going out from the half-opened mouth. Down, on the left, there are pieces of an explosed Beep Beep in a lake of blood and Lumpy of the cartoon Happy Tree Friends with amputated legs.In the foreground from the peak of a western spaghetti mountain emerges an intimidating Clint Eastwood, Joe cigar and gun in the film For a fist of money. For the TV series the eternal second, the artist represents Robin like a cannibal that eats Batman or Wile E. Coyote that finally can catch and eat Beep Beep like a tasty meal. The western style of Joe cigar and gun, Paperina honours another film of the same kind (Rio Bravo), in the middle, on the right she inserts the actor John Wayne riding on his pony. In the desert landscape of the Boom Valley, without vegetation, only water-retaining plants grow like cactus of different sizes, placed in a widespread way all over the surface of the canvas. Among these there is an agave, a spiny cactus-like plant significant for the life of the artist. Recurring characters of this work are skulls, bones and skeletons, for example the ones of Snoopy lying on the roof of his little red house, those of Hello Kitty and the skull of Luigi of the Super Mario videogame. Instead moles appear from the arid land of Boom Valley characters like Ralph of The Simpsons (in the middle), boccalone, a fish with a very big mouth that eats a little bomb, on the left the brunette Butt-head and the blonde Beavis, protagonists of the cartoon of the 90’ “Beavis & Butt-head” and the little Mushrooms of the videogame Super Mario, Bender of Futurama, Slowpoke Rodriguez protagonist of Speedy Gonzales, Forghorn Leghorn of the Looney Tunes, head of Cu-culo character by Laurina Paperina and the pineapple like a homage to the artist Albert Pinya. Another artistic link and presage of the death it’s represented by the skeleton of Gino de Dominicis, artist that exposed a giant skeleton, of 24 meters at the Forte Belvedere of Florence.
At the end like symbology of the main theme of the canvas, the death, Paperina introduces the crocodile: the legend of a lot of asiatic countries tells that the animal is linked to the reign of the dead, in fact it is a psicopompo, this means that it has the function of guide of the dead’ souls.
End of the show, 2017 Mixed on canvas 125x145cm
End of the show is the title of the work by Laurina Paperina in 2017 using a combination of techniques on a canvas size 125×145 cm. Big Bird from the television program Sesame Street is the central character of the canvas. This figure is a symbolic representation of the artist, who metaphorically depicts her own dying body covered with wounds from which numerous cartoon characters emerge. In the artist’s typical humorous style bare pink intestines struggle to find their way out of the main cut.
Behind big birds appears the White House surrounded by significant characters emblematic of the USA: Donald Trump peering through the first window on the left, a Playboy Bunny and the Eagle (one of the symbols on the American coat of arms) are on the roof, lower down Abraham Lincoln in being threatened by a turkey (traditional Thanks Giving Day dish).
Top right creating a counter balance, the artist depicts the three UFOs present in Banksy’s work UFO Invasion which attack Duckland, the artist’s place of provenance. A ray of alien light hits the Muppet Animal gouging out his eye. The eye is one of the artist’s protagonists often presented in the artist’s work as a flaming meteorite known as Falling eyes (top left) or quite simply as Eyes.
From the Ufo of great dimensions the Vermoni alienoidi by Paperina’s imagination fall down together with some aliens depict as green spiders. Therefore characters by Laurina Paperina and icons of cartoons coexist in the canvas, mostly in this work are particularly numerous protagonists of Muppets and Sesame Street: in the centre of the canvas Cookie Monster (Muppets), Fozzie (Muppets),Elmo (Sesame Street),Oscar the Grounch (Sesame Street), on the right bloody Miss Piggy ( Muppets) and Gonzo (Muppets), on the left Camila ( Muppets), Kermit (Muppets), Beaker (Muppets), Telly Monster (Sesame Street), Bert beheaded ( Sesame Street), Baby Natasha crawling (Sesame Street), finally in low Baby Bear (Sesame Street), Grover who frightened escapes (Sesame Street) and Rosita laid down (Sesame Street).