Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Milan Fights Back

Studio windows

 People knock Milan for a lot of reasons.  Yes, it smells like urine. In the wintertime.  And it is dirty.  And it doesn't like to share its secrets.  And Berlin is cheaper and more hip.  Maybe Milan seems shallow.  And the food is better everywhere outside Milan.  Milan is not the most charming Italian town.  But things happen here. Luckily my art history teacher, a Milan native, wants to share these things with us.

glass and metal
 Today he brought us to the studio of Milanese sculptor Giancarlo Marchese, whose large scale glass and metal works are installed in outdoor public places and offer us a different lens with which to look at an environment.  Mr. Marchese answered many questions from us, let us look around his shop, and  talked to a few of us individually with our limited Italian (I finally formed a polite sentence!) He let me take these photos of his works-in-progress and even a glimpse of him through some of his glass.

Giancarlo Marchese

Two weeks ago, some acquaintances from different places in space and time arrived in Milan to work on a large scale installation.  I hadn't seen Monica Canilao in years, maybe since a kitchen show in Berkley I
 played with the Skorts and the Insurgent, but I have been following her work.  Last week the show opened at the Patricar Armocida Galley with her work, Swoon and Dennis McNett.  I missed out on helping with the installation but I was glad I made it to the opening night.  The installations were magical  and Harrison, who I met sometime ago in New Orleans, played a set of music in the largest room, lit only by the installations.

in the corner of the main room

 Afterwards, they invited me to the apartment upstairs for a post-show dinner in a beautiful room with a terrace, filled with art books, items of nostalgia and Milanese artists and printers who were so kind.  I regretted having to go home before the last train.  The show is up until July 20th when they will return to Milan to recapture the materials and bring them to Rome for a show there.  Good work, friends! 

inside a nest of prints, images and fabric