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Pierluca De Carlo – Words In Progress
January 24 8:00 pm - February 2 11:00 pm
Playful puns and corrosive insights are key ingredients in the word salads concocted by artist Pierluca De Carlo. The LA-based Italian immigrant, and former long-time commercial director, is constantly inspired by his second language and his edgy wordplay informs his “Words in Progress” exhibition at downtown Los Angeles’ Backspace Gallery starting in late January.
The effusive De Carlo grasped the power of advertising through his varied and successful career in that same field where a young Andy Warhol cut his teeth. De Carlo worked closely with famed fashion photographer Herb Ritts and on numerous beauty product accounts and celebrity shoots.
“I’ve worked in advertising for the past 30 years, mastering the art of visual manipulation. I now want to use these acquired skills to advertise social issues with the same bright colors and cheerfulness of commercials. I can create my messages and show them without censorship, free to speak a language that responds to me only,” De Carlo emphasizes. The messages in his art confound and amuse like ad taglines laced in cognitive dissonance. A painting of Frida Kahlo bears dueling slogans: “Made in Mexico/MAID in USA.” Familiar phrases get tweaked into mordant, ironic social comment – such as “Life Off the Greed,” or “Weapons of Mass Distraction.” The historical term Dark Ages is re-configured as “Dark Cages.”
His word collisions often have bite and that’s intended. “I want to provoke, to hurt,” De Carlo insists. The opening reception for “Words In Progress” will be held on January 24, from 8pm to 11pm. The work will be on view Thursdays through Sundays from 1pm to 5pm, until February 2, 2020.