Carlo benvenuto was born in Stresa (VB) in 1966, lives and works in Milan.
Benvenuto's research is determined by the desire of communicating as
little as possible. The artist works at home, with his furniture and
belongings, reducing individual choices to a minimum. Benvenuto
photographs what he has available in 1:1 scale, on a neutral background
and in a rarefied atmosphere of subtlety and suspense. The absence of
surrounding elements transforms such commonplace objects in a mistery: an
electric guitar, a tea cup on the edge of a table, all clothed with a soft
light of unquestionable pictorial quality.
The framing denies any expressive purpose. The minimal approach is pursued
with a research on the verge of perfection. In Benvenuto modus operandi,
form and composition, along with a skillful light and chromatic balance,
perform a fundamental role and declare the artist's admiration for
classical painting. His beautiful compositions accuse wisely and
gracefully the order that we try to impose on chaos.
Carlo Benvenuto was invited for a solo show at the Museum of contemporary
art in Rome (MACRO), at the Galleria Suzy Shammah in Milan, at Site Odeon
5 in Paris and at the Galleria Sprovieri in London (together with the
artist Mario Dellavedova).
Here a selection of international institutions which hosted, among others,
his shows: I° Biennale in Valencia; "Italy Made In Art: Now" curated by
Achille Bonito Oliva, at the Museum of contemporary art in Shanghai;
"D'Ombra" curated by Lea Vergine, at Palazzo delle Papesse, Centro Arte
Contemporanea, in Siena and in the Compton Verney, Warwichshire; "Focus On
Contemporary Italian Art" curated by Gianfranco Maraniello at MAMbo in
Bologna; "Scala 1:1", curated by Giacinto di Pietrantonio at GAMeC in
CARLO BENVENUTO - HUNKY DORY
From Saturday November 19 2016, 7pm
22 November 2016 - 14 January 2017
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 12-6 pm, or by appointment.
with textual interventions by Devendra Banhart
Galerie Mazzoli is proud to present Hunky Dory, Carlo Benvenuto
's first solo show
in Germany. The Italian artist, born in Stresa in 1966, is known across Italy and
Europe for his approach to analog photography, which introduces a unique
interpretation of still-life.
The title of the show, a clear allusion to David Bowie's record, refers to an idea of
pleasantness. It inspires a sense of comfort into the viewer, who, rather than having
to withstand a load of impenetrable references, will be gracefully reassured by
Benvenuto´s desire to communicating as little as possible. Benvenuto photographs
his domestic universe in 1:1 scale, on a neutral background, where objects are
placed upon geometrical horizons, creating a rarefied atmosphere of subtlety and
The largest work in the show presents a large table whose edge corresponds with
the horizon's line. On top of the table, a single pineapple dominates the structural
plane, and assumes a color contrasting that of its background through the
superposition of several filtered shots. Similarly, in the smaller pieces we are
presented with other natural elements such as flowers or cherries positioned over
In all cases the exhibited photographs are indicative of Benvenuto's style, in which
commonplace objects are deprived of their traditional purpose, and become the
instrument of a compositional abstraction that seeks to shift our attention from
function to form and process.
In Benvenuto's modus operandi, form and composition, along with a skillful light
and chromatic balance, perform a fundamental role and declare the artist's
admiration for classical painting. In particular, one might suggest a strong relation to
the Italian metaphysical and post-cubist tradition, where the rigidity of the structure,
flat colors and the absence of shades produce essential and severe compositions.
The aesthetic of simplicity in Benvenuto highlights the poetry of an ordinary world,
governed by grace and order.
The catalog published for the exhibition contains textual interventions by Devendra
Banhart. The American songwriter and visual artist delivers with liberty a playful
vision of the same world diplayed by Benvenuto. Like in a letter or a ballad, Banhart
tells us about life: dream-like suggestions, lucid fantasies, delightful images inspired
by a hunky-dory reality.