Il Giovanotto (La Smorfia) di Michelangelo Pistoletto


I visitatori (1968) by Michelangelo PistolettoLa Galleria Nazionale

The two works of art by Michelangelo Pistoletto in the collection (who was one of the leading exponents of Arte Povera in Italy) belong to an experimental phase of the artist’s study which in the 1960s led to the creation of one of his most representational series: I Quadri Specchianti (The Mirror Paintings).

Un giovanotto (la smorfia) (1962/1975) by Michelangelo PistolettoLa Galleria Nazionale

In the second half of the 1950s Pistoletto concentrated on the theme of self portraiture, and like many other painters of this time, he worked with a mirror that allowed the artist’s image to be reproduced. 

Thus began his study that led him in the following decade to create the Quadri Specchianti series. 

Il giovanotto is a life-size photographic print on stainless steel, polished to a mirror finish.

 This is the first work to enter the Galleria Nazionale collection and all the elements of study by Pistoletto are found within it such as the inclusion of the viewer in the work of art and the surrounding environment, which are reflected by the mirror.

Additionally, the presence of polarity such as static vs. dynamic and surface vs. depth are evidence of the interaction between the photographic image and that which is reflected in the mirror surface. 

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