I do know this artist personally but if you think I am biased you are mistaken. Never before has someone I know had to prove their brilliance to me more than Davide D'Elia. I am not sure why, but I think it is because his smile can be deceiving and I was deceived.
I remember asking him at an exhibition including his work over a year ago, why he had placed his four framed photographs two over two, like a grid. 'Because' Davide replied in his strong italian accent 'it makes a cross shape and my art is my religion'. Whether he made it up on the spot or not I believe now that he meant it.
So who is he and why am I talking about him? - I am following the time honoured TV tradition of trawling through last year's art adventures and focusing on the highlight.
East London based for the last 3 years, Davide is an artist patiently expecting the right moment(s) to arrive. This March was one such moment; his solo exhibition in the Roman gallery Ex Elettrofonica, which was hijacked by a bunch of east Londoners seeking some sun light, some inspiration and Davide's moulds (muffe in italian).
The name of the exhibition; 'Yesterday I distractedly called upon my mind memories not mine...(I was by them enlivened).f.p.' cryptically describes Davide's relationship with the moulds, conjured like spirits from the walls in an intriguing amateur scientific process over a period of 15 days. These moulds and their surrounds appeared like ephemeral free range versions of Lucio Fontana's golden eggs. And the gallery interior, designed by the students of Zaha Hadid, looks like a plaster tree with stem and branches simultaneously filling and perforating the space beautifully. The mould grew in shapes as if shadows of the architecture's negative space.
I had never seen anything like this before, these terrific survivors, evocative and enlivening and I did not expect it from an artist's first solo show but as I said this artist waits until he is ready, for the right conditions, just like a rainbow, and rainbows never disappoint.
I'm looking forward to the next public apparition of Davide's art and I will make sure you hear about it.
For more information on the artist and work that intrugued me intermittently all year:
Happy happy Christmas and Bon bon New Year my most appreciated readers.