Words in Progress


Sharp, ironic and superficially very deep: the Italian artist Pierluca De Carlo opens his solo exhibition entitled “Words in Progress“, which will take place in Los Angeles at the Backspace Gallery, from January 25 to February 2, 2020.
I’ve worked in advertising for the past 30 years, mastering the art of visual manipulation. I now want to use these acquired skills to advertise social issues with the same bright colors and cheerfulness of commercials. I can create my messages and show them without censorship, free to speak a language that responds to me only”, these are the words that the artist uses to describe his art.
A painting of Frida Kahlo bears dueling slogans: “Made in Mexico/MAID in USA”, familiar phrases get tweaked into mordant, ironic social comment – such as “Life Off the Greed,” or “Weapons of Mass Distraction” The historical term Dark Ages is re-configured as “Dark Cages.”


I want to provoke, to hurt,” De Carlo insists. “I want to do a museum of contemporary hurt — the MOCHI in a remote old city in the south of Italy inside an old mill from the 1500s.” De Carlo prefers to be a moving target and he and his family usually relocate to a different city or even country every few years. This nomadic existence prevents boredom. De Carlo lived in Mexico for four years and maintains a residence there. That experience, and his
concern over the current plight of immigrants, inform a piece that reconfigures a big sombrero as a spacecraft cheekily adding a new dimension to the term alien invasion.


While one of his favored topics is skewering hypocrisy, he readily and cheerfully concedes that we’re all hypocrites to some degree. Already, he’s looking ahead and hopes to dissect the world of beauty, which he knows inside out from his many of his previous commercial director assignments. “I want to do a new show called LOS AGELESS – plastic surgery, the fear of aging, the obsession of the body, the celebrities and the losers. This hypocrisy we all struggle with.” Pierluca fondly remembers his years in advertising but insists “I’m not playing by those rules anymore because I stopped playing that game,” he says. “I’m not a provocateur; I let my words do that.