Hosted this week by All for the Gram is not just a serial profile but an actual archive that collects details of an aesthetic that, however decayed, still holds great appeal. Soviet Innerness is a journey into Soviet design through the interiors of abandoned houses, amid torn wallpaper and cold, chipped tiles.
The wallpaper has been replaced in some cases by newspaper pages bearing news and photos from the 1980s, the peeling walls look like a layering of now-faded colors, as do the flower designs that once probably appeared more colorful. The walls of Soviet Innerness are full of tired geometries, blocks of color and forms that always give the idea of unfinished, or of something that ended too quickly, leaving time for cracks to make everything look so beautiful and decadent.
The project curated by Elena Amabili and Alessandro Calvaresi describes the aesthetics of the Eastern Bloc and the themes that were present throughout the houses. There are illustrations on the walls of the countryside in USSR space, but also the great industrialization of communist cities and the memory of Misha, the popular mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
In her artist statement, Alexandra Mavrofridi emphasizes her ability to communicate the strength of emotions rather than attempting to inadequately describe them in words. The photographer grapples with society’s tendency to label and criticize women based on their choices, appearance, and behavior. Faced with this verbal violence, she hasfound refuge and strength through the lens of her camera. Mavrofridi’s photography becomes a sanctuary where she can embrace her sensuality and vulnerability without fear of judgment. Within this creative space, she confronts the violence that society often conceals beneath its expectations. Her work becomes a testament to her resilience, a visual narrative of her journey to break down the barriers between her innocent self and the seductive woman within her.
Every self-portrait she captures is a glimpse into her inner world, a safe place where fragility and strength coexist harmoniously. Through her lens, the photographer embarks on a nostalgic journey, a reminiscence of the reality she began shaping when she first ventured into photography. It is a journey untethered by direction but guided by deep emotions and the stories she wants to convey. Mavrofridi’s photographic adventure is driven by intuition, leading her to explore various mediums. Her goal is to create a versatile body of work, a growing masterpiece that paints a vivid universe populated by nude forms, enigmatic shadows, and human hybrids. In doing so, she challenges stereotypes and preconceptions, using her art to provoke contemplation rather than judgment.
In an era where words can sometimes be weak in expressing the depth of emotions, Alexandra Mavrofridi’s photography is a testament to the power of visual storytelling. It allows her to confront societal norms and reveal the vulnerability that often hides beneath the surface, creating compelling work that speaks to the human experience.
Gaia Caramellino, a very talented photographer, has embarked on a journey in search of the concepts of home, belonging, and identity through photography. Her creativity is reflected in an exploration of her nomadic past, transforming perpetual movement into a suspended and melancholic world where the concept of “home” undergoes profound reflection.
Born into a family of traveling wanderers, Caramellino spent her childhood in a home on four wheels with her parents, always on the move. It is here that her photographic journey began. Her photography is characterized by a bittersweet tone, seeking something stable within this perpetual motion. «My mother used to say that the melancholy of nomads is nothing more than the search for an innocent place, a place to protect,» explains the photographer.
Through her lens, Gaia Caramellino captures the fleeting moments of a nomadic existence and the deep emotions that arise from it. Her photographs tell stories of transience and the search for that elusive sense of belonging. Each image is a testament to the power of art to explore, express, and heal the soul. Gaia’s work invites viewers to join her on this journey, to contemplate the beauty of melancholy, and to reflect on the universal quest for a place to call home.
Ph. courtesy Gaia Caramellino
Discover more from her Instagram profile. Gaia Caramellino will be past of Collater.al Photography at Fondazione Matalon in Milano from 22nd to the 24th of September.
Deodato Arte brings Alex Katz‘s exhibition to Milan from September 14th to October 7th at its location on Via Nerino, 1. “Alex Katz: Ada” is a rather recent retrospective that focuses its strength on the muse of the American artist: Ada Del Moro, his wife and a biologist researcher who features in over a thousand works by Katz. It consists of two portfolios, one in color from last year and one in black and white from 2017.
«For me, it was very strange to be looked at so closely by the man I had just fallen in love with. The way he studied me, my face, my ears, everything. It was very strange and at the same time an overwhelming feeling,» says Ada, a model of her time and a figure in the artistic and literary scene of Alex Katz’s New York. Dark hair like Jackie Kennedy, intense eyes like Anne Bancroft. All framed by a matching neck scarf, large sunglasses, and a timeless lipstick.
In short, hers is a timeless gaze that penetrates the viewer’s mind. For Katz, Del Moro is never in the wrong position but exudes a naturalness that seems to come from old movies and continues to shine despite the passing decades. The summer residence of the Katz couple – a 19th-century farmhouse – is located in Maine. It’s a magical place where they move every June, and where the American artist returns to his studio, standing for 55 years. This seems to be the perfect backdrop for Katz, a safe place to enjoy the summer months and work on his favorite subject: Ada.
Art or Design? We often ask ourselves this question when confronted with a work of art. With the spread of collectible design – which we have told you about here – it is increasingly easy to come across unique pieces that oscillate between sculpture and design objects. Functionality seems to be one of the easiest prerogatives to cling to in order to make a distinction. Can I use it? If the answer is yes, then it is almost always a design piece. The same question arises when admiring the pieces of Parisian artist Côme Clérino. But he gives us the answer. «I am a painter,» he says. «My work consists of painting from an anchor point in reality and from there offering a different look at what surrounds us every day.» With these words, Clérino offers us an initial key to understanding his work and his research. After graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Clérino developed a multidisciplinary practice, challenging the academic definition of painting and combining photography, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and installations.
In Côme Clérino’s installations, the line between his works and the design sphere becomes thinner. Even in his neat sketches, one can glimpse his method, both design and technical. The scenarios that the artist creates are real sets, living spaces in soft colours – such as mint green and peach – within which the viewer can move around and search for a homely dimension. A further point of encounter with design lies in the choice of materials, which have all the characteristics to make the works potentially functional. MDF, plaster, acrylic resin, fibreglass, paraffin, fabric, thermoplastic glue, tile sealant, ceramic and polystyrene are some of the materials Côme Clérino chooses for his pieces.
From a structural point of view, fluidity is master. The lines are soft, the forms are imperfect. Looking more closely at his works and in particular his installations, it is evident how his research starts from an urban context. Clérino’s scenarios offer a new point of view to observe the city, bringing the transformations she undergoes – such as deterioration – into a living context. Exterior materials covering interior objects. Quoting Léo Marin, who wrote a critical text on Clérino, we leave you with a series of questions to ponder. «A sculpture of use? Final design by the artist-creator? A change in practice, as seems to be the current trend? Light shed on the importance of the material? So many questions are being asked by Côme Clérino: What if we threw the furniture out of the window? And start again from scratch?»