Familiar / Familial, the first solo show in Italy of works by Jonny Briggs, one of the most interesting representatives of the new English art scene, opens on 30 March 2012 at the FaMa Gallery in Verona.
The recent winner of New Sensations, a prize for young artists awarded by The Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4, Briggs has also been listed in the 2012 edition of the prestigious Catlin Guide, which every year profiles the forty most promising talents in the UK. He probes the past and memory, in an attempt to re-appropriate his childhood and re-establish reality interpreted through the eyes of the adult artist.
His oeuvre is complex and multiform, expressed through photography alongside the production of small artefacts – objects/sculptures – as well as drawings and writings. Briggs’s works take the form of an ongoing exploration of himself and his life. They thus involve the artist and his family, who play a leading role in a mise-en-scène inspired by the experiences and sentiments of childhood, a crucial moment in each individual’s life, characterised by a purity and authenticity that, with the passage of time, are influenced and corrupted by social conventions and the environment in which we are raised.
Each of Briggs’s works represents an exercise in the self-analysis of his relationship with his mother, father and four older sisters, but also with himself, probing the significance of the boundary between us and others, childhood and adulthood, reality and fiction.
All of his images, which unite attention to the composition of the scene and the definition of details with a clear, pure style marked by great immediacy, are characterised by the deft interplay of bold colours and lights that evenly inundate the scene.
Like his photographs, his objects – everyday items such as chairs, shoes, glasses and accessories – seem to bear the full burden of the unresolved emotional tension the artist has carried with him since childhood.
Thus, his entire research takes the shape of a path back through time, in which the artist attempts to regain what was taken from him or has been irretrievably lost.
The title of the exhibition presented at FaMa Gallery, Familiar / Familial, plays on the assonance of the two terms, in order to return to the boundary – so ephemeral and often trespassed – that seems to inspire Briggs’s art. It is the boundary separating the intimate, reserved and exclusive part of each one of us from that which, instead, is familiar, as it pertains to the domestic world we enter as soon as we are born, inexorably accompanying us throughout our lives and shaping who we are.
The Familiar / Familial exhibition will feature a group of the artist’s most recent works, some of which made specifically for this project.
For Jonny Briggs’s solo show at the FaMa Gallery, a catalogue will be published in English and Italian, with a critical essay by Filippo Maggia.
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