POLVERE DI STELLE. ANDREA MASTROVITO
HOTEL CAPPELLO D'ORO
POLVERE DI STELLE. ANDREA MASTROVITO
HOTEL CAPPELLO D’ORO
curated by Contemporary Locus
Opening: Thursday 4 luglio 2019 h 19
Hotel Cappello d’Oro, La Corte
Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII 12, Bergamo
The site-specific work is permanently installed in the hotel Courtyard and open to visitors
Andrea Mastrovito (Bergamo 1978, lives and works in NY) is the artist invited by Contemporary Locus to create a piece for the Hotel Cappello d’Oro. The commission Polvere di stelle, is an installation that climbs up the walls of the courtyard. The Hotel becomes the commissioner and interpreter of a site-specific work in a space that opens its door to the community in a vital spot of the city. The conception and making of the piece, just like an inter-generational amarcord, has generated moments of sharing and encounters that have allowed for images and memories of the place to resurface.
The origins of the Locanda Cappello date back to the 19thcentury, when its location was considered close to the entrance to the city, close to the Porta Nuova Fair. Its name is inspired by the colour of the large hat worn by cart drivers who visited the fair with their merchandise. A family-run business since its beginnings, in 1979 the lodging house in acquired by the Zambonelli family. After a traineeship with their predecessors, Anna and Ernesto and their sons Corrado and Giovanni officially take the lead of the hotel in 1980. Since then the family has been running what became the Hotel Cappello d’Oro, today situated in a central position of Città Bassa. It is a place of tradition still managed by Corrado with the care of his mother Anna and under the direction of his nephew Daniele. It is a place that throughout the years has welcomed the life and economic transformations of the city and met with excellence the expectations of his guests. The Hotel Cappello d’Oro, today Best Western Hotel Cappello d’Oro, has renewed its image and its design, adjusting its stile and needs by creating hospitality with and through art. With this in mind the Hotel has supported the activities of Contemporary Locus and the hospitality of the international artists involved in the projects.
The project Polvere di Stelle transformed over a few months, influenced by the artist’s other ongoing projects: initially conceived as an icon on a golden background, centred around a figure with ‘craniometro e cilindro’, the piece turned out to be the portrait of a couple (Anna and Ernesto Zambonelli), captured from afar while looking out to the horizon. And if the stories of our lives are mixed with those of businesses and their activities, with this portrait Mastrovito has offered his free interpretations of a new way of measuring form, memory and transformation.
Designed, carved and set directly into the walls of the courtyard, whose dust is precisely the ‘Star dust (polvere di stelle) that gives the title to the work, the portrait of the couple is freed from any ambition of resemblance. While the heads become polyhedrons, the entire composition is based on a cartesian plan built through the addition of hundreds of rulers that extend the surface of the main tower of the courtyard. The theme of the measurement of our time, that nowadays includes the index of digital communication, in the artist’s most recent works takes the form of an iconic and symbolic obsession for rulers. They are objects used in daily activities, that await in our drawers, elements of certainty for ‘measuring things’ that become in the artist’s work instruments for measuring a reality that seems to find it impossible to distinguish what is true from false. They are a simple and real symbols of a human necessity for analysing and assessing the truth of things. Thus almost paradoxically and with no expression of a direct judgement, Mastrovito represents our condition of ‘globally and virtually informed individuals’, inserting into these Cartesian axes – constructed as an accumulation of rulers – images, memories, situations, dreams and scenes of real life. These are news and information that flow into a stream captured and offered by the artist who leaves it to the viewer to analyse. In the case of the portrait of Anna and Ernesto, the Cartesian axe welcomes two figures, united by love and work and a specific place, whose resemblance and perceptions changes for each one of us. Their heads, transformed in volumes in the shape of a star, are a reference to the international system of hotel quality assessment, but also to the individuality and plurality of the stars in a night sky. The Cartesian axe equally evokes the vertical expansion of the piece, following the architecture of the courtyard and expanding its content and shapes.
Ernesto is no longer here, but Anna has overseen the preparation of the piece, with its inlay and carving created in-situ by the artist and his team. Contemporary Locus has stood by their side, welcoming a project that is expression of the desire to open up a space of intimacy to the community. At the heart of the project stands the experimentation of Mastrovito who delicately overturns the sense of things through strategies of mimetism that freely appropriate our cultural codes. His work, sharp and precise, disorientate us in a subtle way. Mastrovito, with his capacity to represent the forms of reality, his humour and his relentless impulse to draw, denies the existence of a unique, common thinking. Actions, things, individuals, as much as feelings, passions or faiths never share a unique and fixed point of view.
Andrea Mastrovito was born in 1978 in Bergamo and lives and works in NY.
After a Fine Arts Degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bergamo (2001), the artist has won the New York Prize in 2007, and was awarded the Premio Moroso in 2012 and the Premio Ermanno Casoli in 2016.
In his work Mastrovito rethinks drawing and painting through large scale installations, film, animations, performances and collages, characterized by a continuous evolution and a constant dialogue between life and death, public and private.
He has exhibited in major national and international institutions: MAXXI and GNAM in Rome, MART in Rovereto, Centro Pecci in Prato, BPS 22 in Charleroi, MUDAC in Losanna and MUDAM in Lussemburgo, Queens Museum and Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Mastrovito was the first artist invited for a solo-show at Museo del Novecento di Milano (2011). Among his recent solo-shows: “Very Bad Things”, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna di Roma (2019); “Symphonie eines Jahrhunderts”, Kunsthalle Osnabruck (2018), “N'importe où hors du monde”, Centre pour l'Art Contemporain, Montelimar (2015); “At the end of the line”, GAMeC, Bergamo (2014).
In 2017 he has debuted as film director at the Festa del Cinema di Roma with an animated feature film titled
"NYsferatu - Symphony of a Century", which was screened in a dozen museums, foundations, festivals across the world. In the last few years the artist has also created a series of permanent site-specific works in Italy, France and USA.