What does it mean to create art as a pair? Being an artistic duo is not just a sporadic or temporary collaboration, as often happens, but it means working in harmony, resulting in a single artistic identity. Two individuals, with different tastes and cultural references, come together in a unique journey, pursuing the same exploration and giving life to works that are the result of the exchange of ideas and compromises.
While the contemporary art scene is rich in artist collectives, there are fewer artistic couples, who are often spouses, relatives, or close friends. Today, we discover some of the most interesting duos in the contemporary art scene, all with contrasting styles and research.
In the realm of painting, the Milanese duo bn+BRINANOVARA stands out, composed of Giorgio Brina (1993) and Simone Novara (1994), formed in 2017. Observing their canvases reveals the combination of academism and abstraction in a gentle dance of bodies and colors. Their research starts from a conceptual study, during which the two artists reflect on “a history of painting freed from chronology and iconography.” References to classical art are decontextualized and absorbed by vibrant colors and graphic elements that make the paintings dynamic.
In the field of installations, the young duo Piano A stands out in Milan, consisting of artists Alvise Decastello (1995) and Francesco Perrini (1995). Following a strong friendship born during their studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera, the two artists decide to pursue a specific artistic research. They create site-specific installations in the most unusual and underground places, such as train stations, kebab rotisseries, parks, and even adult shops!
Staying in urban and unconventional contexts, we find the artistic research of Mozzarella Light, a duo formed by Giulia Ciappi (1997) and Marco Frassinelli (1992), based in Rome. Their individual research converges and finds a common path in the study of space and light. Their first project, “Intermediate Spaces,” best describes their research. The artists bring light to places where it no longer exists, those abandoned and empty places that exist in a different dimension. Establishing a relationship with the place becomes the starting point of their artistic process, which then develops with laser beams of light.
In the realm of sculpture, let’s analyze two pairs of artists who approach this medium in completely different ways. On one hand, the duo XAARCHIVE approaches it from an organic and technological perspective, utilizing mushrooms in some cases, as we extensively discussed in a recent article. On the other hand, the duo Genuardi/Ruta reflects on geometry with a historical and sentimental attitude.
XAARCHIVE is an interdisciplinary studio founded in 2020 in Buenos Aires by Nayla Cefarelli (1997) and Sofia Lorenzo (1998), two artists with a background in architecture who aim to create a relationship between nature and the non-human, both functional and critical. Technology and bio-design are fundamental components of their work.
The duo Genuardi/Ruta, composed of Antonella Genuardi (1986) and Leonardo Ruta (1990), is based in Palermo and engages in a dialogue with architectural space. Their past painterly research is evident in their works, which now invade spaces with the intention of liberating them, suggesting new perspectives through the use of colors and geometries.