Eric Mistretta, F_AIR’s resident January – May 2013
Apr. 30th – May 24th 2013
curated by Lucia Giardino
opening on Apr. 30th 2013, h. 6.30 PM
Eric Mistretta’s art goes beyond the undigested stoicism that is derived from the acceptance of one’s mediocrity and the ability to not take it too seriously.
The artist proposes a new “heroism of modern life” to redeem and give a new patina to reemerging traces of a bourgeoisie past, the remains of generational tendencies, and the memories of an individual life—however much collective (like a faded photograph of a fifth birthday party and candles that won’t quite blow out. The sneer of the stoic into the roaring laughter of those who know the rules of the Western world and its societal conventions are so invasive as to deeply permeate ones’ personal life and to condition ones’ behavior and decisions.
Paradox, implicit in the unusual combination found in the assemblage, doubles in Mistretta’s work: the distance between the initial objects he utilizes and their new handling is so admittedly immeasurable and contrary to the objects’ original function that the second paradox which follows produces a detachedly wistful awareness and a disillusioned romanticism. Born in a lower class context and with very little class, everyday brightly-colored utensils and items, old pretentious tapestries, trendy fake wigs, are salvaged and lacquered to appear as something they are not and can never be because they are second rate by nature. Even so, these gaudy pieces, ironic and seemingly ephemeral, declare their presence and shout their positive existence, despite the preconceived notions and ethical correctness that permeate the art which we see as contemporary.
Eric Mistretta (1985) was born in Queens, NY. He is a recent MFA graduate from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005 he studied in Florence and practiced art with Robert Pettena. He lives and works in NYC, where he has participated to many group shows, including the recent Virgins Show, curated by Marilyn Minter, at Family Business, NY. He is currently the artist in resident at F_AIR, the residency program of Florence University of the Arts. In Italy Mistretta is also developing numerous collaborations, such as the latest Opera Delocalizzata, a project by Nero/Alessandro Neretti, which displays in multiple venues in Faenza.
Photos by Anna Saint Ange