AUTHOR: PINO PROCOPIO
FROM THE FOLDER ‘I MESTIERI’
TECHNIQUE: TEXTURED SILK-SCREEN PRINT
SHEET SIZE: CM 33X33
PRINT RUN: 100 ARABIC NUMERALS, 50 ROMAN NUMERALS
PUBLISHER: LA RIVA ART GALLERY
Pino Procopio was born in 1954 in Chiaravalle, in Calabria. He already took to modelling clay when he was in kindergarten. In middle school, he created erotic drawings, for which he received many reproaches. He attended the artistic secondary school and then enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture of Rome, without neglecting his artistic activity. In the 1970s, during his walks through Rome, he started to attend some galleries. His first exhibition was inaugurated in Rome at the art centre ‘La Bitta’ in 1980.
Follows a burgeoning artistic career, full of production and exhibitions in Italy’s major cities. Procopio’s artworks express irony, sarcasm and even cynicism. His artistic expression is provocative, without preconceived notions, revelation of an intellectual tenuity. Now Procopio is recognised among the greatest masters of the Italian and international 20th century art.
As a draughtsman, painter and sculptor, Procopio has a strong and sharp irony. Just look at random drawings: watercolours, temperas, oils, bronzes to have an immediate perception of that. Or just look at his women: Virginia, Ida, Sara, La donne di Malta, Vedove bianche, Promesse spose. Although he may be cruel to them, he loves women as Fellini did. Procopio stages a feast for the eyes, senses and fantasy. It is the world seen from an eccentric eye, fitted with a distorting lens, and returned by a humoral and capricious hand, with an effective and quick stroke, one and the other tending towards game, laughter, a bittersweet, cheerful, hilarious parody. Procopio’s first gift is irony. In his case humour is not the opposite of irony, but it arises from the irony. Irony is a basic attitude, which also has a moral value, but is not connected so directly to the problem of good and evil. Between irony and humour our artist inserts a distorting glance, his caricatural inspiration, his expressive imagination. It is from here that arise laughter, comedy, and fun. Procopio has his own idea of irony: “Irony – he says – is effective when there is immediacy, and exasperating it becomes tiring. That's why I paint in one go. I have to finish a painting as soon as possible, before it finishes me”. The genesis of Procopio’s paintings is found in Chiaravalle, where he spent the years of his childhood, and in Rome, where he matured his vocation for art. Some of the subjects on which Procopio practices his ironic talent, are the concept of the couple, the relationship between two people, marriage, a relationship that is familiar to him since his stay in his native Calabria. Procopio says he is not fond of satire, but this is not entirely true. There is a lot of satire in his artworks and he spends his caricatural inspiration on everything and everyone: society, culture, history, and mythology. He knows art history well and does not hesitate to mock the sacred masters of the past, whether they are Piero della Francesca, Mantegna, or Antonello da Messina, just as he does not hesitate to mock the gods or semi-gods of mythology. After graduating at the Artistic secondary school, Procopio attended the Faculty of Architecture. It would be only logical that Procopio, after graduation, entered in the practice of one of the masters of the time and started his career as an architect. Evidently his vocation was another. “Painting is a destiny”, Matisse said. And he had started professionally his painting career, giving free rein to his talent as an ironic and caricatural draughtsman. “It could only be so”, he commented. Drawing is his strength. Procopio is a lonely painter. “It's true, I am a lonely painter, since 1984 I have been living in Giulianova almost in solitude. What do I do when I'm not working? I listen to silence. I dream the picture I have to paint. If I hadn't become a painter, I would have been a carpenter. In winter a carpenter, in summer a fisherman’.
La Riva Art Gallery was founded in 1970 by Ginevra Montani Tattoni, beginning a journey into the figurative arts with the most important Italian and international masters of the twentieth century, such as Michele Cascella, Domenico Cantatore, Massimo Campigli, Renato Guttuso, Salvatore Fiume, Franz Borghese and Carlo Levi, with whom the gallery had a flourishing artistic and human collaboration. In 1983 the first exhibition of the artist Pino Procopio took place, with whom the Gallery continues to collaborate even today, in a thirty-year artistic and human partnership celebrated with a solo exhibition of the master in July 2013. In recent years the Gallery has been dedicated mainly to contemporary art, creating exhibitions of masters such as Luca Alinari, Ugo Attardi, Carla Accardi, Alberto Gianquinto and many others. It also organised group exhibitions on Pop Art, the Transavantgarde both in the Gallery and in Museums. The participation in important fairs of modern and contemporary art has brought the Gallery to Padua, Bari, Bergamo, Arezzo, Viterbo and Pavia. Recently they looked for new talents in the art field, such as Paola Di Domenico, Massimo Forzani or Arturo Baldan, new avant-garde artists in the contemporary field. La Riva Gallery has always based its relationship with its customers on trust and mutual esteem, establishing solid ties with their collectors. And after more than forty years of activity we can say that we are still happy and excited to continue this fascinating journey in Art.
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