Curated by Martina Corbetta
Aqua_1530 Collins Avenue, Miami. Florida
Date: December 6th 2017/December 10th 2017
Opening: Wednesday December 6th 2017 @3PM
The big earthquake is the biggest canvas that Laurina Paperina has ever realized, with mixed technique, in 2017. This painting is extremely actual and, because it represents a lot of different characters (144, to be precise), it is unique and deeply attractive with a strong impact on the viewer. A wide range of figures animates the famous Californian landscape of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, interpreted by the artist in a ruinous strong decline key due to an earthquake that lacerates the landscape therefore the composing structure of the painting is divided into two asymmetric parts.
On the left side there is the Los Angeles hill with its monumental Hollywood sign, without one L. The missing letter is hold by the left hand of the Rio Christ Redeemer, geographically placed in the American atmosphere as he wears a rap style necklace, with the dollar symbol. The O is crossed by a strange and enormous subterranean creature, an enormous worm from the film Tremors. Over the solemn sign there is a completely new character, invented by the artist: the killer pigeon. This new horror character by Laurina Paperina eats human remains lying on the Hollywood hill.
Climbing down the left side of the hill there is the Silicon Valley, a rich industrial area, the US technological hub. Among its industries, Paperina represents Google and Facebook’s buildings seeming to shatter, from their windows we can see people suiciding by jumping down from high floors: it is a metaphor of the prevailing technological world that dominates our society and wins humanity.
The unique Golden Gate Bridge, broken in two parts, leads the observer to jump dangerously from the left side of the canvas to the right side, where the burning 20th Century Fox symbol is invaded by Laurina Paperina trademark big worm. In between the smashed red bridge and the degrading Hollywood logo, Ronald Mc Donald, another fundamental symbol of the American culture, has been crucified.
Many cinematographic landmarks link to the presence of the 20th Century Fox on both sides of the painting. E.T. touches with his finger the cinematographic logo, behind it there are some dinosaurs from Jurassic Park in the sky. The artist also paints the ghost from Ghostbusters with a scared expression on his face, near the entrance of the Jurassic Park (in the foreground) over the split of the ground, caused by the earthquake (inspired by the Sant Andrew’s fault), further down in the foreground we can see General Lee, the most famous car of the cinema, on its right a tribute to the Men in Black film with the representation of the state agents and the enemy aliens, in the middle, on the left, next to David Hockney A bigger splash, there are Vincent, Jules and Mr Wolf from Pulp Fiction. As in Jaws movie, the shark eats humans in the Hockney swimming pool and next to it there are the aliens from Cocoon; Pamela Anderson from the soap opera Baywatch runs to save someone on the pool’s edges while the boy sitting on the trampoline wears an halloween ghost face from the horror movie Scream. On the far left side there is the alien from the film Alien, over it the artist represents the set of Pet Sematary horror movie. Another cinematographic link is about the Terminator downsized protagonist who emerges in the recess created by Elmo’s arm (Sesame Street). It is raining frogs like in Magnolia movie and sharks swim like in Sharkando movie as they are under the sea.
In The big earthquake there are several references to the artistic world, more than in any other canvas. We can easily identify Bansky’s Love is a Riot Flower Thrower where he throws a little blue bird from Angry Birds video game, in the foreground, while we can see a detail of Peter Bruegel’s Triumph of Death painting on the edge of the split. The Smiley of Ron English, an American artist who plays with the symbols of the consumeristic culture, appears at the bottom of the Silicon Valley. On the left of the Smiley, Maurizio Cattelan becomes part of his work of art with The ninth hour, substituting Papa Giovanni Paolo II hit by a meteorite. On the same level, on the right, Paperina ironically represents Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog, depicted in an intimate gesture. Going down we come across the smashing building of the MOCA The Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles. On the left we can see the painting of Andy Mouse by Keith Haring. On the opposite side, up on the right, at the gate of Jurassic Park there is the floral face of Takashi Murakami disguised as one of his characters, further down we can find pieces of KAWS Passing Trough sculpture, while in the foreground the big pink rabbit, inspired by Tenerone (Drive In) and by Gelitin artists’ Rabbit looks a bit maniac.
The distinctive presence of the cartoons characters continues, such as Elmo from Sesame Street bigger than the other characters, Jerry from Tom and Jerry, the head of Itchy (Itchy and Scratchy), there are also Goldrake and Afrodite (Mazinga Z) robots, we can see Peter Griffin on the hill of the 20th Century Fox eating Barney from Flintstones, there is Robin Hood (1973 cartoon) coming out from the ground, down on the left, the Minions, the Teletubbies lying dead on the Route 66. On the high part of the painting there are Mr Burns from The Simpsons and Skeletor (Master of Universe – cartoon). In the middle section of the canvas there is Woody Woodpecker, character of the namesake cartoon with open arms he seems to show the whole canvas to the public. There are also different and recurring references to the comics and video games: Super Mario (video game), Spiderman (comics), Captain America (comics) and Wolverine (X-Men – comics).
The artist portraits herself like a suicide victim sitting on the cliff of the deep split created by the earthquake.
This post is also available in: Italian