On April 11, Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome will present “Nocturnalia” by Italian artist Seven Moods and “Head in The Clouds” by Swiss artist Zoe Byland, two side-by-side solo shows with overlapping themes. Both artists use primarily monochromatic palettes to create paintings with a sense of mystery and suspense — sometimes even foreboding. Byland’s paintings riff on 19th-century family photographs. Without any adults in sight, the little girls posing gracefully in her work are privy to magical apparitions and strange happenings. Viewers are left to wonder whether these supernatural occurrences are the product of the characters’ imaginations, or perhaps ghostly visitors caught on camera.
Kazuki Takamatsu (HF Vol. 33 cover artist) paints layers of translucent, white gouache that appear to float over his matte, black backgrounds. His hologram-like, female characters look digitized, though they’re executed entirely by hand. That’s because the artist turns to depth mapping software for inspiration for his images and painstakingly renders his figures as if they were parceled into pixels. For his upcoming solo show “Even a Doll Can Do It,” Takamatsu presents a new series of paintings centered around ghostly depictions of nymph-like girls floating in cyberspace. The exhibition opens February 14 at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome and will be on view through April 4.
For his latest exhibition, “Suovetaurilia” at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome, Belgian artist ROA created works that interact with Rome’s past and present, resulting in a narrative about humankind’s exploitation of the natural world. The title of the exhibition refers to the ritual of animal sacrifice, a common practice in Rome’s pagan history. ROA created all the works in the show on site in the weeks leading up to the opening, using scavenged furniture and cabinets as the canvases for his black-and-white, illustrative animal portraits.
A destination for international New Contemporary Art in Rome, Dorothy Circus Gallery was founded in 2007 by the passionate and savvy Alexandra Mazzanti. Mazzanti brought her extensive knowledge of both art history and contemporary art to the table, coupled with her keen awareness of pressing social issues. Dorothy Circus Gallery has not only hosted the solo shows of some prominent international artists like Ray Caesar, Joe Sorren and Kazuki Takamatsu — they’ve collaborated with historical Italian museums such as the Casa dell’Architettura in Rome and Palazzo Paesana in Turin, putting New Contemporary Art in dialogue with the established canon. Mazzanti’s latest endeavor is a social activism-oriented art project called “Spray For Your Rights,” a series of exhibitions that features street artists whose work speaks out on a variety of topics, from immigrants’ rights to feminism. We spoke with Mazzanti about the history of her gallery, her future ambitions and her personal art collection. Read the exclusive interview after the jump.
Through his portraiture, Eduardo Kobra imparts powerful social messages simply by selecting the right subject. His recent mural in Rome, for example, was dedicated to Malala Yousafzai, the young social activist working to promote access to education for women in the Middle East. Kobra painted the new mural on the wall of the historical Museo dell’Altro e Dell’Altrove, which faces the Via Prenestina in Rome, a road that dates back to the Roman Empire. Read more after the jump.