Allegra Nomad Gallery: Early adopter

Allegra Nomad Gallery

November 18-22, 2014, Early adopter

Aaron van Erp, Lapo Simeoni, Dario Carratta

Curator: Carola Chişiu 

Early adopter

Aaron van Erp, Lapo Simeoni, Dario Carratta

Opening: Friday, 7 November, 18:00 h

Curator: Carola Chişiu 

November 7 – 30, Bucharest, Combinatul Fondului Plastic – Str. Baiculesti 29, Sala Tipografia

Program: L – V: 10.00 – 18.00.

Allegra Nomad Gallery, Str. Băiculeşti 29, Combinatul Fondului Plastic, Sala Tipografia

Public transport: BUS 112, 149, 331, 331bis

An early adopter refers to the early customer of a recently released product on the market. The producer uses the customer’s feedback to refine or to create a whole new line of accessories for the initial product. On a first glance, an early adopter is a privileged person who benefits from all the producer’s attention, receiving all he/she needs for the early use of that given product. However, an early adopter plays the unappealing role of a guinea pig, being exposed to the risks and even the side effects common to the early-stage product testing.

The ongoing art show, organized by Allegra Nomad Gallery, points out this very dual state of the individual, used by contemporary society, both as a mean and a target for a fake emotional, physical and material welfare. Aaron van Erp, Dario Carratta and Lapo Simeoni speak about the terrific way of Beauty consumerism. They underline, with a powerful sense of urgency, the multiple aspects of a dystopian world, ruled by the (un)conscious mankind abandon to the horrific and absurd. The heavy and darkish atmosphere of their works exhibits the degradation of the human being. A human being crushed by a ruthless destiny that constrains him to the guinea pig condition of the moral, social and political experiments constantly shown off by the contemporary society.

Van Erp’s canvases are covered in human vermin: pink tiny figures, shown in nude or semi-nude, that suggest a primitive, animal stage. Beast like creatures are Carratta’s teenagers, too: deformed characters that live an unconscious life to the periphery of a big city or in the forest. For Simeoni, the human figure works as a symbol. Icons of a past and forgotten culture – either history, art or literature – are rediscovered in everyday life and conveyed with value. In reverse, emblematic images abused over time by our consumerist society are regained and reloaded with significance. There is a conceptual practice used by Simeoni as a weapon against losing meaning in an absurd world. Deconstruction and appropriation work for both a disclosing and recovering process.

The three artists display gradual and different human (self)destructive states and stages. Van Erp’s characters are both perpetrator and victim, acting violently and partaking to their own dehumanization. In Carratta’s surreal vision, his mutilated, injured and deformed teenagers seem to be victims, most of the times. As for Simeoni, brutality, even if it is not presented in its full disclosure, it is depicted in its final act, as the cause of an irreparable destruction or as a final state.

Any debate is canceled by perplexity. The grotesque is paradoxically dimmed by van Erp’s bright colours and his misleading, humoristic titles. Color intensify emotion and anxiety in Carratta’s expressionism, while it suggests urgency, in Simeoni’s use of a red fluorescent that traces a neon-like edge.

Either in its full and destroying explosion, or already consumed in an implacable and absurd way, this world of horrors is not presented in a moralizing-narrative manner. The artist is a lucid observer, in Van Erp’s opinion. He takes distance and looks at this world where “war is basically a normal phenomenon”. Carratta adopts an empathetic position, while Simeoni has both a conceptual and active attitude. His interest in using mixed media materials emphasizes the theme of his works. Hence there is no critic pedantry, nor demagogic grim. It is a state of fact. 

Aaron van Erp (born in 1979, Veghel, Netherlands) works and lives in Eindhoven, Neitherlands. He graduated in 2001 the Academy of Art and Design-Hertogenbosch, Painting Department. In 2002 he was laureate of the Buning Brongers Prijs, while in 2004 he received Starters´ Stipend of the BKVB fund. Aaron van Erp was nominated for both the Royal Prize for Painting and for Wim Izaks Prijs.

Dario Carratta (born 1988, Gallipoli, Italy) lives and works in Rome. He graduated National Institute for Arts E. Giannelli. His first solo show took place in 2010, at Margutta 9 Gallery, Rome. Petty Tehft at Launch F18 Gallery, in New York, was one of his colective shows. In 2014, in Verona, Carratta had a collective exhibition at Artlab Gallery, as a parallel event to the Art Fair Verona.

Lapo Simeoni (born in 1979, Orbetello, Italy) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Graduated in 2002 at the Saint Martins school in London. His first solo show was held in 2008, in Beijing (China), and in 2009 he took part in the exhibition 7 Italian Vision in Basel, during Art|40|Basel (CH). His works were exhibited at Ars Apocalipsis, organized in 2011 at Kunst Verein Kreis in Gutersloh, (DE). The selection included international and historical artists like Gherard Richter and Albrecht Dürer.

Allegra Nomad Gallery does not belong to a venue or a city. It produces exhibitions in various spaces, unfinished buildings, wharehouses, unrented precincts, movie sets… Why? To avoid high rents and costs, and direct the budget towards promoting the artists. Our aesthetic credo is randomism (see randomist, intervetionist & e-manoeuvers manifesto). Our mission is to launch internationally a bunch of artists. Young, mid-career, dead. To impose them and turn their labour into gold. Not to mention the fame & glory + the cultural & aesthetic fun.

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