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Federico Solmi – Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth

September 10, 2012 Art, Contemporary No Comments

Stopped by Luis de Jesus Gallery to preview Federico Solmi’s latest work, Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth. In addition to the two videos, there was a lot to see. I only took pictures of what I’d consider purchasing.

FEDERICO SOLMI, FEDERICO SOLMI PRESENTS CHINESE DEMOCRACY AND THE LAST DAY ON EARTH (VIDEO FACE), 2012, ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL, VIDEO PANEL, 48 X 36 IN.

FEDERICO SOLMI, FEDERICO SOLMI PRESENTS CHINESE DEMOCRACY AND THE LAST DAY ON EARTH (SPACE WARRIORS), 2012, ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL, 20 X 16 IN.

FEDERICO SOLMI, FEDERICO SOLMI PRESENTS CHINESE DEMOCRACY AND THE LAST DAY ON EARTH (TYRANT FEAST), 2012, ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL, 20 X 16 IN.

FEDERICO SOLMI, CHINESE ARMY INVADING TIMES SQUARE, 2011, ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL, 20 X 30 IN.

FEDERICO SOLMI, MANKIND ON EARTH (CHINESE ARMY SLAUGHTERING DICK RICHMAN), 2011, ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL, 20 X 30 IN.

FEDERICO SOLMI, HERE LIE THE LAST EXEMPLAR OF THE EXTINCT SPECIES OF HOMO STUPIDUS CORRUPTUS, 2011, ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL, 20 X 30 IN.

Enjoyed the show very much. I will have to see it again.

Here’s a copy + paste of the press release:

FEDERICO SOLMI

Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth

SEPTEMBER 8 – OCTOBER 20, 2012
Artist’s reception: Saturday, September 8th, 6 to 9 p.m.

LUIS DE JESUS LOS ANGELES is pleased to announce the opening of our 2012 fall season with the premiere of “Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth”, a new epic animated film by 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and social provocateur FEDERICO SOLMI. The film has been two years in the making and was commissioned and partially funded by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation of New York. The gallery–wide exhibition, which will include related paintings, will run from September 8 through October 20, 2012. An artist’s reception will be held on Saturday, September 8th, from 6 to 9 p.m., and will coincide with the opening of Culver City art galleries.

Federico Solmi’s acclaimed animated videos aim to lampoon and condemn a male dominated, hierarchal world––in particular, corrupt, arrogant and hypocritical dictators, politicians, business and religious leaders, and other egomaniacal mad men who are portrayed as the main perpetrators and cause behind the decline of the human race. Solmi’s recent videos have featured a selfish and greedy Wall Street executive, “Douche Bag City” (2010), presented in The Dissolve—2010 SITE Santa Fe Biennial, and a fictional online porn–addicted Pope, “The Evil Empire” (2007), which has been at the center of several high–profile censorship cases in Europe, the most recent in 2011. Other animated videos by Solmi include “Rocco Never Dies”, “The Giant”, and “King Kong and the End of the World”.

Presented in Gallery 1, “Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth” is the next chapter in Federico Solmi’s ongoing narrative of a post–secular, materialistic contemporary society that examines the self–destructive nature of mankind through satirical commentary on repressive behavior and authoritarian power structures, as well as misguided ethical and moral values. Through a dystopian metaphor, this swarming animation articulates a fictitious portrayal of an imaginary 21st century Chinese leader, idolized by his crowd of subjects, whose desire is total world domination. Driven by ruthless ambition and a blood–thirsty appetite, he has brought Earth under his control with an iron fist. With America as the only obstacle standing in his way to victory, our beloved Tyrant embarks on his final march toward immortal glory, culminating with an epic finale––a military invasion and battle in Times Square and the annihilation of planet Earth.

Solmi has envisioned “Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth” as the central component in a trilogy. On view in Gallery 2 will be the first part, or prelude, “A Song of Tyranny”, as well as related paintings.“A Song of Tyranny” centers on the protagonist in the phase of becoming a dictator while he is permeated with the values and models that will influence successive actions and decisions during his rise to power. As our impassioned protagonist reveals during an interview:

“Ever since I was a child I knew that one day I would conquer planet Earth. I was forced to attend catholic school abroad, and later, Yale. I was never satisfied with my frivolous and hypocritical middleclass upbringing… America is my inspiration. I am very grateful to this country. In fact, I gained my morals through celebrity culture, Wall Street greed, and political corruption. Reality TV taught me how to navigate through life and helped me understand how respected institutions are useless ideas of the past.”

Beyond the apparent Manichean character, Solmi’s playful aesthetics integrate a series of visual metaphors to present viewers with a comedic–grotesque parabola on power and excess, while inviting a deeper consideration of inconspicuous Sinophobic sentiments spurred by China’s capitalists successes, as well as America’s own interests and practices. This sarcastic and irreverent tone allows Solmi to target the epitome of human folly, greed, and thirst for power, preventing a simple reproduction of the dichotomic good–versus–evil. Solmi’s complex production technique combines traditional hand drawn animation with digital models, utilizing computer gaming engines to create this high–definition “blockbuster–style” video. The result is an absolutely unique hand–made texture within a real–time 3D framework, created in collaboration with Australian based 3D artist, Russell Lowe.

A self–taught artist, Federico Solmi was born 1973 in Bologna, Italy, and has lived and worked in New York since 1999. Solmi’s work has been exhibited internationally in numerous museums and venues, including: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Drawing Center, New York; SITE Santa Fe, NM; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Kasseler Kustverein, and the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Kassel; National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; CA2M Centro de Arte de Mayo, Madrid; Australian Center of Moving Images, Melbourne; Victoria Memorial Museum, Calcutta; Contemporary Art Center of Rouboix; Palazzo Delle Arti, Naples; Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome; and Impakt Film and Video Festival, Utrecht.

Solmi’s work has received critical reviews and been featured in publications such as ArtforumArt in America,Flash Art MagazineTema CelesteArtNet.comArtinfo.comArtfacts.netArt ActuelleContemporaryMarie ClaireGlamourL’Espresso, and newspapers such as The New York TimesLe FigaroNew York Daily News,El MundoEl Paisil GiornaleIl Mattinoil Corriere della Sera, and La Repubblica. In 2007, SKY TV, an Italian digital satellite television platform, aired a one–hour feature presentation about his videos on their culture channel, Leonardo.

Links:

Luis de Jesus Gallery

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