On October 22nd, Matèria is pleased to unveil a new body of work by represented artist Giuseppe De Mattia, Esposizione di Frutta e Verdura, a site-specific project curated by Vasco Forconi.
On the occasion of his second solo show in the gallery spaces, Giuseppe De Mattia continues his ironic investigation into the ways of producing, selling and consuming works of art. The tricks and devices of the sale - observable both in flea markets and in gallery offices - are subjected to an analytical look, becoming tools to trace and develop a self-reflective narrative that exposes the artist, who is caught red handed, in the act of his eternal bargaining efforts with gallery owners, critics and potential collectors.
The fruit and vegetable market - a great place of fascination for De Mattia since his early childhood - becomes a repertoire of forms and practices that the artist selects, isolates and translates into a large scale environmental installation. Such fascination is above all aesthetic: the fruit market reveals itself to be a place characterised by a precise vocabulary of scents, forms, colours and compositions; where the artisanal taste of showcasing a product - through often elementary and ingenious display methods - becomes functional to the overall economic success.
When the above mentioned vocabulary is transferred into the gallery, De Mattia stages a paradoxical «beauty contest» between objects borrowed from the real market and his own produced works, inviting the public to briefly share his fascinated gaze for a world often relegated to our peripheral view. The overlap between the fruit store and the art gallery, two places where commercial success is closely related to the ability of exhibiting a commodity object, allows De Mattia to articulate an awareness of the structural conditions of his profession as an artist. It is neither an institutional critique, nor an attempt to expose the paradoxical mechanisms of the production of value, but rather the desire to declare what the rules of the game are, setting in (economic) reality the privileged gaze that the artist has on it.
By transforming the gallery into a retail space, De Mattia furthermore responds to a need for popular dissemination of his work, playing with the tradition of artist multiples as the main strategy for his operation.