Artist profile

Nicolò Tomaini

Nicolò Tomaini

For some decades a profound subversion of language has been taking place: icons and symbols are IMAGES, which however refer to words or concepts. Pop Art has worked critically on brands and signs; yet signs, letters and sketches still permeate our daily life, from the macro-urban landscape to the desktop of our computers. Tomaini has been working for some time on this "crisis of language"; his work sometimes laughs at it, or exalts it. He transformed The F of Facebook into a swastika, the bird of Twitter into an (even) more disturbing leitmotif, setting up a show of signs degraded by the same concepts they convey, by their redundancy. It is not his fault that that terrible F dominates us, and he knows EVERYTHING about us; it is not his fault that the digital bird almost always chirps telegraphic nonsense. Tomaini denounces its omnipresence with lightness, achieving a balance between form and content that was once typical of some graceful advertising images. Tomaini's recent works have shifted his sphere of investigation into what is perhaps the true contemporary fulcrum of the clash between image and word: the mobile phone, in its most symbolic and identifiable model. The one that most rapidly devours reality and converts it into technology; the one who makes the photos, who "connects", who with a simple touch of the finger incorporates sunsets and love phrases and channels them into the torment of algorithms (the world's new secret grammar). The artist attaches to the heart this magic box of modern man, who has supplanted television: but he does not try to break it or to outrage it. He looks at it and makes us look at it, freeing it from function (which is perhaps still the only way to appreciate the shape of a urinal or a coffee grinder). Tomaini now makes paintings with Sky cables, with iPhones glued to the canvas and painted green, thus setting up images that refer to words full of images that are full of words. Images that are at the same time silent and irreducible like dragonflies of the Pleistocene. It will be beautiful and cold and paradoxical to see them shine on the screens of our iPhones, in a short circuit between sign and meaning. Days without a name will come, with sunsets full of sunsets.

Past Exhibitions

Feuerbachgasse 9, 8020 Graz

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