curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi
Contemporary art enters the rooms of Palazzo Mezzanotte, the iconic venue of the Italian stock exchange in Milan. It happens thanks to Sky Chain, a solo exhibition by Priscilla Tea curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi. If Maurizio Cattelan’s L.O.V.E. is the symbol of Piazza Affari, the square where the palazzo is located, this time it is the building itself that hosts a new series of artworks.
Priscilla Tea (Milano 1983) explores the remote landscapes of the Internet, the place where she has painted en plain air for than a decade. Flat color fields translate the sky, the sea and the light between avatars and artificial gradients of wastelands on canvas. These are the lands of Second Life, a 3D online world launched in 2003, which counted 1 million residents on October 18th 2006 and is almost abandoned nowadays.
The large canvases painted by the artist during her trips throughout these desertic territories have a cinematographic format. They look like projections of screen captures, sequences of volatile images synthesized in pictorial gestures which transform the grain of the pixels into ultra-flat shades.
We are in front of contemporary capriccios, a genre of vedutismo which made its mark in Venice at the end of the XVII Century and was based on the representation of imagined architectures and ruins. Maybe for the first time in Priscilla Tea’s production, some objects also appear. In the ethereal environments depicted in the Sky Chain series, we see imposing chains occupying the middle of the canvases like details of bigger monuments. All these metal links are designed by Neotoy, a 3D artisan who is still very active on Second Life and whose intense dysfunctional activity is somehow celebrated here. His avatar also appears in a video filmed, edited and posted on Youtube by himself, which illustrates a solution to make the world a better place: the theory of the Holistic Economic Metrics.