MixTape, curated by Rossella Farinotti
From May 28th 2016 to June 18th 2016
“Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. This is a delicate thing.”
(Nick Hornby, High Fidelity)
To develop a show is a delicate process, especially if the chosen artist has a substantial, complex and vivid expertise of works as Laurina Paperina. (Rovereto, 1980) The artist displays for the first time a solo exhibition at Martina’s Gallery near Milan. MixTape shows different bodies of work which go through drawings on paper, cardboard and wood, pop canvas, comics and pictures. These are all works of art minutely studied, “dissected” and selected from that macro world(s) that is made up of little characters, cultured transpositions and creative visions held in the Zio Pork Studio, where Laurina works, to be kidnapped and brought to the gallery to Martina Corbetta, where is going to be developed where a summary of a ten-year career is developed.
After recent exhibitions in California, an artist book publication, a group show at the Centre for Contemporary Art of Basque Region and at Fabbrica del Vapore a Milano, the solo show at MIC in Faenza and the famous purchase by Mart in Rovereto of two pieces of art from the “How to kill the artist” series, Laurina with ironic energy gets back to work, by opening the complex and animated treasure chest that encloses her most known, sarcastic and desecrating pieces.
For MixTape the artist has been expropriated of a part of this macro-organism that never stops, because her main characters, her creations, never sleep. To tell a story starting from the main characters is like cheating while playing cards, like spoiling the ending of a movie. But it is not a real cheat if we already know these characters, because they already are in our memory. They are fictional characters that we know and that have been absorbed and re-elaborated by Laurina Paperina’s hand which, with no filter and a cruel and ironic mark, that is clearly recognizable, tells stories blending past and present. And, why not, also the future trough the premonition – or desire – of the end of evil. So, to start from the end Laurina allows to take a step back and study a unique artistic path for a child that, at the age of five, had produced her first cartoon: the story of a badger, which was created and drawn in her time off between kindergarten and junior school. A badger as an excuse to tell about herself and about her feelings. A sort of alter ego that, during the years, has changed, multiplied, got angry, and grown up by becoming more cleverer, ironic, irreverent and funnier. But has always the same purpose: this alter ego wants us to smile, and to think.
So Laurina creates a compilation – a mixtape as was popular when she was a teenager – where these characters are brought back to life through a setting up that follows their own stories, from historical works until the recent ones from 2015/2016. Her “friends”, her heroes and anti-heroes, all those subjects invented or took from the 80s and 90s pop culture in which Laurina grew up parade on the walls, in a continuous dialogue between thematic chaos and narrative order: video games; movies; cartoons and animations; music… all environments that inspired the artist and in which she has always put herself in personal relationship through self-portraits. (The video series How to kill Laurina Paperina is a perfect example) Characters such as her “Losers” – the super uncool Marshmallow, Shitman, or the Unicorns -, the “Braindead” like Sponge Bob or the“Heroes” (who are actually not that heroic!) such as E.T. or Ninja Turtles, Bansky’s mice (rats) and again the legendary artists who inspired Laurina – Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, Marina Abramovich, Gina Pane etc. – with a funny self-destructive behaviour using their own art that Laurina, with no pity, reworks with an incessant productive rhythm. (The video animation series How to kill the artists collects hilarious episodes).
The path that Laurina Paperina develops at Martina’s Gallery is funny and diverse, with new appearances such as drawings painted directly on the wall of the gallery; photographs taken during journeys, always by using her irrepressible cynical and attentive eye, with a mood between a horror/splatter b movie and the surreal atmospheres by David Lynch; black and white drawings that recall illustrators such as Raymond Pettibon and a video from an old cathode ray tube tv. The gallery becomes a different reality: an escape into which immerse and smile a little.