all over my head or the economy is the psychology of the world, 2010 | glazed earthenware, wood | variable sizes
detail from | the skies of life or over the raindrops, 2010| glazed earthenware | cm 32 x 20 x 42
(R) this noise is your head? or this fart smells like a monkey, 2010 | glazed earthenware | cm 35 x 19 x 26
(L) motionless or black powder on me, 2010 | glazed earthenware | cm 30 x 18 x 25
detail from | r.g.b. or life teacher since 1931, 2010 | glazed earthenware | cm 40 x 23 x 22
detail from | don’t joke about me or where is my space cake!?, 2010 | glazed earthenware | cm 31 x 19 x 23
All you can eat or live
All you can eat or live assures already from its biting and lyric title the omnivorous and vigorous inclination with which the artist relates to history, community, religion and the surrealism of some real situations that surround us.
This cycle of works deals with the possible poetic inclinations and not with those typical of the human being, his public and private behaviours, the inter-relational dynamics within which he finds himself to act and operate, his social changes/hybridizations. Thanks to the colour he gives always more expressive features to the subjects, lightening the eyes which describe dreams, fears and fancies.
A stylistic research that is able to turn the shape and its ingrained concept into an image rich in renewed thoughts, which take new social and aesthetic hints from an unnatural zoomorphic iconography.
From these works derives a new and singular contemporary poetics, which hovers between an avowed uncertainty and immediate communication. It is like drawing a fine line between the human being and his course free from tradition and trends, managing to assign new coordinates to non-common works.
Carlo Berardi interviews Nero
NERO, born in Faenza in 1980, is one of the most exciting up and coming artists on the Italian contemporary art scene. A ceramist by training, his latest works have caught the attention of major European collectors as well as international curators. Artnesia has met him for a quick chat on his most recent series.
Carlo Berardi: Animals are a very common theme in your works. Could you tell us how, when and why did you decide to feature them?
Nero: Right at the beginning of my career, my work dealt with mankind and its intimate and psychological issues. I was working on monsters attempting to describe the daily life of humans in their private realm.
However, five years ago, there was an evolution. I am now using animals to discuss the human behavior and the dynamics of human relations with very subtle references to politics, economics, violence, religion, passion and cult…
I like to say that “Humans are animals, but not in their most evolved form”.
This is the main concept that brought me to modify animal forms in order to talk about society as a whole.
CB: The theme of transfiguration is often present in your works. You take the obvious and make it doubtful. What are you really trying to say?
N: My work bears the legacy of a huge part of classical, religious and contemporary iconography. All these references, funnily enough, very much help to make my work conceptual. I am trying to describe a reality that, although it might seem absurd and surreal, is always present. I am both a protagonist and a victim of this reality.
CB: The titles of your works are very witty. Do you think of the title before making the work or are they personal thoughts while looking at it? Where do they come from?
N: Titles come and go really. I look at them as a way to complete the works. My works are visually very direct, my titles aren’t as much. I like this clash. Often people question what contemporary art is really about and I think, through my titles, I am trying to give a fictitious solution to this puzzle. For me, what is important is to fake reality through surreal actions that bear real foundations.
A selection of Nero’s works will be featured in Heavenly Creatures, a group show curated by Artnesia at the Aubin Gallery from the 4th of November to the 18th of December 2010. The exhibition will comprise a selection of works tackling the theme of animals in Contemporary Art and will include works by artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Damien Hirst, George Lilanga, Pablo Picasso and Liu Ye.