paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

paola pivi’s new solo exhibition ‘why not?’ is currently on view at massimo de carlo hong kong, until may 7, 2021. the show brings together three iconic whimsical creations by the italian artist, along with one new and first-time seen body of work titled ‘bear foot’. the latest development in her feathered polar bear series (see more here), ‘bear foot’ focuses on the bear’s ‘feet’, with twelve artworks covered in feathers that form a multicolor rainbow of kaleidoscopic richness on the walls of the gallery. ‘they are artworks with a positive, fun attitude to life, very approachable,’ pivi tells designboom as she describes the selection of pieces on view. ‘human size in these times of human hardship.’ paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carloexhibition views of paola pivi ‘why not?’ at massimo de carlo hong kong

all images courtesy of massimo de carlo

 

 

‘why not?’ at massimo de carlo hong kong invites the viewer to a joyful, positive exhibition where paola pivi’s universe unfolds. among the works on view are two hanging sculptures, ‘lightening ball’ and ‘my little ball’, which are constructed by the entire current vitra collection of miniature chairs. when lit, the sculptures, which double as lamps, project mesmerizing shadows, the silhouettes of the chairs, all over the walls, allowing the viewer to experience the history of design from an unexpected perspective. the last artwork displayed is ‘I don’t need a title’ from 2008, a wall sculpture made of thousands of plexiglas pearls in different colors inspired by joseph albers. the work is part of the artist’s series made with pearls, and it is characterized by a concentric and geometric design.

 

designboom spoke with paola pivi to learn more about the artworks on display, the ephemeral nature of art made of feathers, as well as how the ongoing pandemic has affected her view of the world. read the interview in full below.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

 

 

designboom (DB): is there a common thread that underpins the works of ‘why not’?

 

 

paola pivi (PP): it looks to me they are artworks with a positive, fun attitude to life, very approachable as well. human size in these times of human hardship.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

 

 

DB: ‘bear foot’, the new body of work on display, marks the most recent development in your colorful, feathered polar bear series. why did you decide to focus on the bear’s feet this time?

 

 

sculptural, fetishist, funny and fun, ticklish, colorful, rainbow-y. art made of feathers is already conceptual art by its matter because it is ephemeral.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

 

 

DB: among the new works on view are the two hanging sculptures, composed of miniatures chairs by vitra that cast immersive shadows when lit. what are these ‘universes’?

 

 

PP: they are sculptures as well as lamps. let’s play with our life. I like the burden/weight of many chairs on the thin, hand-made aluminum fragile frame underneath. I like the puzzle made by composing together the chairs’ feet/legs/extremities when they match and when they do not.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

 

 

DB: where did your fascination with chair design come from?

 

 

PP: vitra miniatures sparked it. I also like designer furniture very much. since we need these items in our homes, why not have the extra research in them?

interview-paola-pivi-why-not-exhibition-at-massimo-de-carlo-hong-kong-designboom-large2

 

DB: how did you plan the configuration of each piece?

 

 

PP: it is like a drawing/composition accurately made by me using the chairs I have available, the vitra collection changes every now and then. I started making these artworks a few years ago, the first was ‘nice ball’ in 2010 for the show ‘WYSTAWA’ at museum of modern art, warsaw, 2010, curated by susanne pfeffer.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

 

 

DB: your work often revolves around miniaturized objects, as in the case of the vitra chair sculptures or the baby polar bear gang, or around oversized ones, like the technicolor ladder at palazzo strozzi. how has your personal narrative informed this play with scale?

 

 

PP: the planet is small.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

 

 

DB: your work conveys a sense of optimism to us.

 

 

PP: very good.

 

 

DB: during the ongoing pandemic, did you change your approach to reality? a slightly different view through ‘a different lens’ that adapts to new scenarios?

 

 

PP: yes, I lost hope in human kind. now I know why we have so many wars, disparities, lack of food/waste of food…in my opinion, with this COVID, human beings and countries demonstrated that they cannot cooperate, function and approach a common problem effectively. in this mess I was lucky to be able to carve for myself a way to make a good enough use of the new, hopefully temporary, system, so I myself am suffering less than many others probably. but the system in itself –at least perceiving it from where I am spending these COVID times, in italy, and looking mainly at the western world– appears messed up (besides the highly praised fast result of the vaccines achieved, which seem to be only motivated by business).

 

it looks like most business owners / business leaders could manage to organize themselves and survive or even thrive (like it happened for the vaccine or those COVID test facilities which seem to be working like a clockwork). except of course for those businesses lynched by the system, like for example skiing resorts or restaurants or spectacle workers in italy, to whom oxygen was closed, no life support was given, they are in apnea. all the rest of the society (organization, planning, helping, sorting, health, school, survival of society, prevention, transportation, instructions, even ‘what to do if you have COVID’) seems to me to be in a mess, proceeding slower than what must be possible.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlopaola pivi, ‘lightening ball’, 2021, aluminium, mini chairs vitra, light bulb, electric cable, ø 92 cm / diameter (36 1/4 inches) irregular ball shape

 

 

PP (continued): the situation of COVID sheds light on other situations of society which are also in a mess, but it has been so for so long that we do not bother investigating into them, we just accept them. I am not saying that all is in a mess in every society everywhere, certain things in certain places work well, often what works here does not work there, but not all things are well arranged. can you imagine the mess if aliens were to come to the planet?

more than a slightly different view, a really strong light lit onto society.paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlopaola pivi, ‘I don’t need a title’, 2008, clear and cut plexiglas pearls, 110 × 110 × 25 cm / 43 1/4 × 43 1/4 × 9 3/4 inches approx. overall dimensions: 130 x 123 x 25 cm (51 1/4 × 48 3/8 × 9 3/4 inches)

paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlopaola pivi, ‘bear foot’, 2021, urethane foam, plastic, feathers, 25 × 49 × 20 cm (9 3/4 × 19 1/4 × 8 inches)

paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlopaola pivi, ‘bear foot’, 2021, urethane foam, plastic, feathers, 25 × 49 × 20 cm (9 3/4 × 19 1/4 × 8 inches) paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlopaola pivi, ‘bear foot’, 2021, urethane foam, plastic, feathers, 25 × 49 × 20 cm (9 3/4 × 19 1/4 × 8 inches)paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carlo

paola pivi on the ephemeral nature of her feathered bear feet rainbow at massimo de carloanother work from the artist’s series made with pearls

paola pivi, untitled (pearls)(beautiful day), 2015

 

 

 

exhibition info:

 

name: why not?

artist: paola pivi

gallery: massimo de carlo hong kong

duration: march 25 – may 7, 2021

location: 12 pedder street – 3F pedder building central, hong kong

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