There is no better place, other than an art fair, to do some scouting. In particular, at Rea! Art Fair, everything is fresh and new. The one hundred selected artists are all emerging and international. The perfect setting to connect with new talents, carefully chosen by a board of experts. Unlike traditional art fairs, such as ArteFiera in Bologna or Miart in Milan, it’s not galleries that represent the artists here, but they are selected through an open call. The absence of galleries, as surprising as it may be to regular fairgoers, allows Rea! to present artworks and artists in a more fluid context, reminiscent of Berlin-like atmospheres, far removed from what we are used to seeing in Italy. This year’s selection is particularly interesting and diverse. It ranges from video installations to oil paintings, from sculptures to analog photographs, and even leaves room for performative and experimental art. Among the numerous works on display, as is customary at any reputable fair, it’s not so easy to navigate. It’s normal that, once the “tour” is complete, ideas might be a bit confused. For this reason, after the opening on October 12th, we have chosen to introduce you to the ten artists who impressed us the most and whom we believe you should keep an eye on.
#1 Ana Julia Vilela (1996, Brasil)
The Brazilian artist Ana Julia Vilela, based in Milan, harnesses the instant language of social networks to create iconographies filled with fluid forms and non-linear narratives that intersect humor and pop culture. Graduated in Visual Arts from the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPEL), Ana Julia primarily develops her poetics through painting and drawing.
#2 Katya Quel (1986, German)
Berlin-based artist Katya Quel holds a degree in sculpture from the Weissensee Academy in Berlin and studied visual communication in Moscow. Her artistic practice focuses on exploring the inherent power of a fairy-tale-like imaginary narrative, using a variety of materials combined through the use of contemporary technologies. Her aim is to blur the boundaries between artistic and academic research, theory and practice, science and fiction, design and art, culture and nature, in order to make new modes of coexistence visible.
#3 Valerio Eliogabalo Torrisi (1993, Italy)
Artist Valerio Eliogabalo Torrisi, originally from Catania and now residing in Milan, studied Technological Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania and completed his studies at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where he graduated in Photography. His works often draw from his personal experience and serve as a tool to explore his complex identity within a broader sociopolitical context. They also represent the means through which he translates his personal emotions and stories into narratives that exist in a limbo between “extreme truth and fiction.”
#4 Lorenzo Zerbini (2000, Italy)
Lorenzo Zerbini, originally from Stra, has established his residence and workspace in Venice. His artistic practice focuses on the conception of nature as a cultural construct, aiming to challenge the dichotomies and power hierarchies that separate humanity from the non-human world and nature from culture. Lorenzo Zerbini’s art is primarily based on the use of natural materials and ancient printing techniques, with the goal of envisioning possible futures in which there is hybridization and coexistence among different realms.
#5 D la Her (1991, South Korea)
D La Her, born in South Korea in 1991, lives and works in Paris. After her studies in film, she pursued Fine Arts studies in France and the United States. She has a preference for painting but experiments with other techniques, influenced by her passion for cinema. Her works evoke transcendental atmospheres without spatial or temporal limits and reflect the relationship between the artist, the artwork, and the viewer, emphasizing the personal interpretation of the latter.
#6 Nera Branca (1994, Italy)
Nera Branca graduates in painting from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and lives and works between Valle d’Aosta and Milan. Her research explores decomposition as a way of understanding human life, with poetry as a means of transformation and enlightenment in a perpetual struggle between life and death.
#7 Rosa Frazzica (1999, Italia)
Rosa Frazzica graduated in Painting in 2022 from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where she is currently attending the two-year Sculpture course. The artist is fascinated by the various forms of living organisms, which has led her to develop a special connection with marine species and their habitats. Through the contrast between softness and hardness, organic and artificial elements, Frazzica’s research oscillates between science and anthropology and translates, through forms and materials, the divergences that characterize terrestrial species.
#8 Naufal Abshar (1993, Indonesia)
Naufal Abshar is an Indonesian artist based between Singapore and Jakarta. He received his education at Lasalle College of the Arts in collaboration with Goldsmith London and has participated in various exhibitions around the world. Abshar is influenced by the philosophy of Henri-Louis Bergson, who explored the role of the ridiculous in society. In his works, the artist uses humor and laughter as tools for social criticism.
#9 Matteo Brigo (1998, Italy)
Matteo Brigo, known by the name Effkai, graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, where he continued with a master’s program in Decoration. He employs various mediums, primarily wood and paper, and different painting techniques, favoring oil color. He experiments with a specific technique to define a personal language, rich in dark suggestions and intentionally filled with mysterious and elusive references.
#10 Marthe Wille (1997, Netherlands)
Marthe Willie graduated in Fine Arts and Product Design from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2021. Her artistic practice explores macro themes such as movement, science, nature, and the mind. Her works are actual structures that challenge the laws of physics, creating a sense of discomfort in the viewer’s eyes. Her sculptures and installations captivate through the use of unusual materials, which are either entirely natural or extremely environmentally sustainable. While the unstable balances in her works are truly intriguing, the viewer is also drawn to the harmony and pleasing aesthetics of each piece.
Finally, here are some installation views of the fair, which can be visited until October 15th at the Fabbrica del Vapore.