Paolo Giardi, born 1964 in Florence, studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. Lives and works in London.
Paolo Giardi works across a variety of disciplines producing art that explores the technique of the collage and its applications. This has led to a fascination with, and exploration of, the languages of appropriation, citation and adaptation. As part of his practice the artist has been collecting found material and tear sheets from all sorts of publications for many years. Through the exercise of association, he simultaneously attempts to manipulate and transport existing images out of their original context, blurring the experiences of memory and perception.
Playing with collage has always been the foundation of Giardi artistic outputs. The Surrealist Manifesto and specifically André Breton writings seem to give a key to open the aesthetic enigmas generating from his compositions:
“ ... the marvellous faculty of attaining two widely separate realities without departing from the realm of our experience, of bringing them together and drawing a spark from their contact”
Paolo Giardi has never been an artist who paints exclusively; his background is also that of a window dresser, illustrator, retail designer and print maker. All these layers are clearly visible in his work. The sense of displacement generated by a combination of different and yet vaguely familiar idioms, recognisable imagery and more graphic and abstract elements evoke the nature of a forgotten or distant memory. What lays before our eyes becomes a hieroglyph to be deciphered. Such imagery could be at once seducing, amusing or alarming to the viewer.
Private collection in Paris, Berlin, London, Florence, Tokyo. Collection of Pierre Bergé & Associés
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