Pietro Terzini‘s art (1990) has become a phenomenon on Instagram. With over 500,000 followers, the artist owes his success to his pop language capable of speaking to Gen Z and Millennials. It can indeed be said that his works lead a double life, one physical and one digital, one tangible and one viral. Terzini, through his art, intercepts human emotions and synthesizes them into phrases that resonate with people’s hearts. The ease with which the audience identifies with his works is also influenced by the choice of medium. Terzini uses the meme format, replicates Instagram Direct Message chats, and in other cases, employs the shop windows of high-fashion brands or their packaging as backgrounds. This is the case with his new exhibition “(TRA)SH,” the first in Switzerland. Opening today, December 14, his “popular and democratic” art also reaches Lugano, with a personal exhibition curated by Chiara Canali, showcasing unpublished works not previously displayed at the KROMYA Art Gallery.
The concept of TRASH
With the title (TRA)SH, Pietro Terzini plays both on the English term widely used among younger people but also, and especially, on an emblematic pun for this new series of works. The title refers to the expressive medium used to create the background of the works: bags, boxes and containers from major international fashion and design brands. These materials, once considered waste or “trash”- definable as a type of “luxury garbage”- are reactivated and transformed into “art” (TRA=ART). Through a Dadaist process of recovery, deconstruction and reconstruction, Pietro Terzini transforms them into valuable objects while exploiting their communicative value.
Are brands the new religion?
In fact, according to Terzini, brands in fashion and other industries, such as technology for example, are considered the new pervasive entities in society, similar to modern religions. These brands, with their ubiquitous logos, amplified by the advertising system and social media, play a dominant role in today’s popular culture. In this sense, with his works Terzini highlights the spirit of our times. An era characterized by consumerism, globalization and extreme connectivity. For Pietro Terzini, the imagery of brands becomes the canvas on which to interact with a unique and personal touch through his personal tone of voice. Each word or phrase devised by the artist acts as an ode, an irony or a paradox with respect to the identity of the brand with which he enters into relationship.
The exhibition at KROMYA Art Gallery
The (TRA)SH exhibition at KROMYA Art Gallery displays about thirty works, which include both new and already well-known subjects. These include the famous acrylic inscription on Louis Vuitton polka dot bags, which reads The Best Things Are Not Things, and the iconic work on the orange Hermès shoppers, titled Love didn’t meet her at her best / it met her in Her mèss. Among those already known, we see a new neon sign that reads Touch only with your eyes, and many others visible until Jan. 26, the closing date of the exhibition.
Pietro Terzini was a guest on Spigola, a Collater.al podcast. Listen to the episode here.
Courtesy Pietro Terzini & Kromya Art Gallery