To celebrate his gallery’s 30th anniversary in 2016, Alfonso Artiaco invited artists, collectors and friends in San Carlo to the opening night of La Bohème. The famed Puccini opera, created in 1896, depicts four artists (a poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher) who live in Paris in a garret overlooking rooftops, under very frugal circumstances that at heart are only the décor for the passionate life they decided to spend on the margins. Living differently with an unshakeable joie de vivre, carefree and a little bit outlandish, driven by their art day by day ––in one word, they are magnificent.
The exhibition curated by Eric Troncy at Alfonso Artiaco gallery is built on the tremendous suggestive power of that term, La Bohème, and celebrates artists for their capacity to conjure up whimsy and fantasy. Wackiness is a classic attribute of contemporary artworks, but whimsy is more rare, a fantasy within which freedom, childlike wonderment, unencumbered creativity and an abundance of mischief toward formal and social conventions find plenty of room to be expressed.
All the works in the exhibition, as well as the way they are staged, invite our imagination to reflect on La Bohème and its relationship with the art of our century, but also with ourselves, for this summer of 2021.
(Translated from French by Noellie Roussel)