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Paolo De Cuarto | Les Folies

View all 9 images

 on display

It all began with Toulouse-Lautrec. Enchanted by a poster, Paolo De Cuarto fell down the rabbit-hole of late nineteenth-century Paris. The colourful, sensual Paris of the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergère. The artist went hunting for the most iconic, evocative images of the time. Plucking them out of time, De Cuarto decontextualises the era, overlaying a fresco, aging the timeless beauties, roughing them up. His eye is at once nostalgic and distancing, as he reaches out to the past and escorts it into the present, tricking Time and its passage in a maze of lines and colours.

  about the work

The curtain opens on his native Catanzaro. How many people still notice that old wall, with a crumbling poster for Cinzano drinks? Those lines, that lettering, those colours: an iconic image of Italy’s booming 1960s pop culture, fascinating to Paolo De Cuarto. That was the beginning of an investigation into the ciphers of advertising and pop, art permeating into society’s daily goings-on. In his work, brands and images are as if renewed, returned afresh to our gaze. Memories and images meet on the rough canvas, painted a fresco over layers of plaster. De Cuarto’s technique is reminiscent of Ghost Signs, those early 1920s adverts painted directly over walls and facades, enduring the passing of time, so-ever-slowly fading under the assault of sun and rain, weather and time. Time is the main element investigated by De Cuarto, and time is what he dabs over, and over, and over, these images of the past. “Pop-art worked with the hard matter of things as objects. De Cuarto’s work, by contrast, is about co-existence and osmosis, about the daily and the existential. A European air suffuses his attempts to integrate. By extrapolating the object he does not distance or erase the subject but, rather, underlines its persistence through time, removing it from habitual backdrops and gifting it a new context to breathe in” (Achille Bonito Oliva)


Paolo De Cuarto works in a spacious studio below street level, in Milan. A sparse environment in which finished canvases stand propped up among tools, dust and ever-playing music. Here, the artist covers his canvases with walls, “the real walls of the city”. A showroom, curated by IterArs, displays his latest work.

  the artist

Paolo De Cuarto was born Paolo Scozzafava in Catanzaro in 1972. The pseudonym he has adopted refers to his being fourth of five sons. He moved to Milan in 1994, gravitating around the Brera Academy and the notorious Bar Jamaica. After moving to Spain for a few years, he then made his way back as a collaborator of Mimmo Rotella’s workshop. There he found true artistic friendship and completed what he likes to refer to as his “training” in 2002. His works have found their place in private and public collections in Italy and abroad. His most recent shows include the itinerant project “Tracce” [Traces] which toured Matera, Milan, Pietra Santa, Gallipoli and the Pan, the Palazzo delle Arti in Naples, in 2014, as well as the solo show “Hippy Chic” at Dream Factory (Milan: 2011).



Price: Euro 10 for one person (free for accompanied children up to 12 years old). Discounts for reservations of additional people. Reservations to Studio Exhibits are exclusive: only you or your group will be able to reserve the time slot. Studio exhibits usually last for up to one hour. We will refund your reservation fee if you make a purchase at the studio.





€ 10.00    booking fee

Direct art purchase is possible

Max num. per visit: 9

Child friendly content

Language: Italiano

wheelchair accessible

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