Art From Millennials to Gen Z with Riffblast

From Millennials to Gen Z with Riffblast

Giorgia Massari
Riffblast |

The images we see in childhood, as well as the songs, sounds and places, are the ones that stick with us the most and become like symbols in our memory. Above all, it is cartoons and their characters that remain in our memories and, thanks to their widespread use, are universally recognizable, creating a certain sense of belonging among members of the same generation. On this wave and harnessing the power of iconic images, the art and research of Bolognese artist Riffblast, who precisely in the period of childhood approached artistic practice, fits in. With a strongly pop style, Riffblast began to collaborate from a very young age with French skate and surf companies, for which he created graphics for the boards, thus coming into contact with hardcore punk and underground culture. Collaborations with the fashion world further influenced the artist, who often uses brand logos within his works. His works, often collages or tele-sculptures, are ironic and exploit what are universal symbologies to transform them into sarcastic images. In an early phase of his artistic journey, Riffblast uses religious iconographies (such as the Madonna or Jesus) by placing them in a completely atypical and inconsistent context. An example is the work depicting Jesus as a testimonial for Levi’s or even more so the Crucifixion with the Saint Laurent logo. At a later stage, Riffblast begins to predominantly include characters from popular cartoons, such as Alice in Wonderland, Pok√©mon, or Looney Tunes, who become the protagonists of funny scenes. Again, the characters operate in unconventional ways, for example we see Alice eating a panzerotto from Luini’s (typical Milanese fast-food restaurant) or towering over Milan’s cathedral.

On the occasion of Milan Design Week, the nonconformist store Orefici11, calls the artist to collaborate on the MADROOM11 project, which perfectly follows Riffblast’s ideology. In fact, the project consists of the interpretation of a bedroom of Generation Z, a place that symbolizes escapism, furnished with the works of the Bolognese artist in order to create a link between yesterday and today. Some elements that characterized the Millennials’ childhood come back to connect with Gen Z: RiffBlast reworks a series of key objects from the brands featured in Orefici11 (The North Face, Timberland, Napapijiri, Dickies), for example he creates from Timberland’s Yellow Boot, a sign of belonging to a generation.
The installation will be on view on April 20, 2023 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Orefici 11 in Milan.

Riffblast |
Written by Giorgia Massari
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