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Florence Di Benedetto

Bari, Italy

Florence Di Benedetto - Rossetti Arte Contemporanea

Florence Di Benedetto was born in Bari (Puglia region – Italy) in 1975, from a French mother and an Italian father. She currently lives and works in Milan.

After graduating at the Italian Institute of Photography in Milan, she started her carrer working as fashion and still-life photographer. At the very same time, she undertakes a personal research, focused on the contamination between photography and painting, aimed to the original interpretation of metropolitan landscapes, in order to continue with pop-inspired and hyper-realistic painting as evidenced by her latest series of works There is beauty in everything.

Her artworks are exposed in Personal Exhibitions at Galleria 196 and Il Sole Arte Contemporanea in Rome, and at the Fu Xin Gallery in Shanghai.

“Di Benedetto’s artistic journey starts from a re-elaborated photographic work transformed into painting, where the protagonist is the urban space together with the few and selected colors of the metropolises, the iconic buildings, the monuments of several iconic cities and the idea of ​​dynamism of the means of transport, which strongly comes out from the canvas. 

But with the series There is beauty in everything the artist takes a step forward, by overcoming the swarm of the city and landing in a daily experience, a much more intimate dimension, where everyday objects become symbols and domestic icons themselves, within everyone’s reach. In this way, the artist demonstrate even more clearly her openness at pop culture, Andy Warhol and the commodification of the work of art. It is now far from that typical trait of the New York cityscapes of the first canvases, capable of evoking Balla and Boccioni’s concept of the futurist space.

Here, American culture reappears in the form of ketchup or mustard bottles, Campbell’s cans, bags of chips or boxes of cereals, painted in acrylic or three-dimensional in a display case, transporting the viewer directly into a supermarket, a sort of 7 -Eleven, where it is possible to satisfy the desire of the moment, but also to buy and take home a pack of culture, or rather a jar of sealed and ready-to-use culture.

It happens because each object displays a sentence, a message, which, although simple and ironic most of the time, leaves no one indifferent. We might say that these objects become vehicles, mouthpiece for wider expressions: they are the bridge between a society based on consumption and one in which the consumption of thoughts is what matters, where it is important to nourish not only the body, but also the soul. The magic of this series of works also lies in the fact that they are not messages rolled up inside glass bottles, although camouflaged by a commercial graphic, but rather these are clearly displayed on the outside of their containers. on captivating labels that stand out among the shelves. In this way, Di Benedetto lets objects speak for her, giving them custody of short texts, warnings or pearls of wisdom that seem to be distant from the industrial style of a mass product, thus inviting the viewer / consumer to reflect and ask questions, to the point of wondering about their role and ideas. Sentences as Fix what you can, let the rest go or Challenge the voice inside your head that whispers I can’t do that or The time is always right, are just a few examples. Therefore, it is up to us to strike all the aspects of the work. The play between signified and signifier is, in fact, extremely subtle.

Through this interpretation it is also possible to understand the last work created by the artist who completely distances herself from painting and from the dimension, in order to clearly show another message, which is sad as well as cheerful: the party is over. The writing appears in a joyful context like that of the decorations of southern Italy, typical of Salento (Puglia region), filling the streets during the patronal or religious festivals, and stands out within a frame made of many different colored bulbs that seem to shout precisely the opposite message. The viewer, who is disoriented by facing a sentence with a lapidary tone, almost a “manifesto”, finds himself/herself having to reckon between what he sees and what he reads, welcoming and supporting the message that the artist wanted to give to the world . This is a very powerful and very contemporary work.”

(Adelaide Santambrogio)


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