LYS, the deconstruction of the contemporary imagination between glamour and classicism by Alessandro Riva LYS is an artist but at the same time it is also a brand. Assuming, in fact, as a stage name, the simplicity and synthesis of a word that is easy to remember, but also subtly seductive, mysterious and clear in its original meaning (LYS means "lily" in French, and it is not unusual to remember that the lily is everywhere recognized as a symbol of purity and innocence, and as such was taken by different religions, both polytheistic, such as the Greek, and monotheistic, as the Christian one, which associated it to the figure of the Virgin and of Christ), the artist Stefano Lupicano, coming from the world of fashion and design and today recognized as contemporary, able to mix pictorial suggestions and digital technique, classicism and pop atmospheres, lightness and criticism of the consumer society and of the show, stands as a real hybrid within the art system.
He is an artist, of course, but he is also a factory of new, disorienting, surprising images: his charge of novelty is in not creating striking fractures in our vision, but in letting the classicism of the subjects and the influences of the contemporary interpenetrate each other, evoke each other, overlap without apparent discontinuity, creating a real new visual imagery, which absorbs the atmospheres of classical, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century painting (especially that of the Orientalist genre), with the signs, references, logos and suggestions of many contemporary iconographies, with particular attention to those linked to the world of fashion and glamour. Here, then, are drapes, carpets, skirts, dresses, armchairs and furnishings of an era that to us seems inexorably relegated to a distant past, becoming the ideal support for the pattems and designs that the most à la page contemporary stylists-from Gucci to Dior to Chanel-still use today (in turn, (often, in turn, taking up classic suggestions and iconography, or oriental echoes to mimic the ancient "African sickness" and the fascination with exoticism that had such an echo and fortune in past centuries in the West) for their aesthetic creations today. one of the most original innovators of artistic language
To seal this operation of happy disorientation of our collective imagination, the same "trademark" with which the artist identifies himself - "Lys" in fact - sometimes appears on a handbag or on a scrap of fabric, in a beautiful and smug display, as if it were the logo of a fashion house or a stylist, as if to suggest that, today, the boundary between artist, company, brand, slogan or advertising claim is increasingly blurred: the important thing, as already prophesied by Andy Warhol over half a century ago, is to appear for one's 15 minutes of fame, and to put one's signature on an object or an image to be conveyed and made viral, to impose new aesthetic models to be superimposed and mixed with those that preceded them.
The visual short-circuit staged by Lys thus becomes a sort of curious and playful temporal paradox, in which the past and the present interpenetrate and overlap each other without any apparent solution of continuity, playing catch-up with aesthetic codes of different eras, but with a unitary harmony and an aesthetic sophistication that does not create, as has often happened for many decades in contemporary aesthetics, rips, fractures or any sense of unease in the user, but, on the contrary, bewitch and seduce, using in this way the same language that is found to deconstruct, parody and somehow criticize. The strong charge of aesthetic, social and cultural criticism implemented in this way by Lys towards the consumer society and in particular towards the world of fashion (exemplified in this exhibition since the title, which unites us all under the same definition of "Fashion Victim"), thus becomes a sort of "gentle criticism", with a soft, graceful and extremely sophisticated cut, able to fish in the depths of our imagination but also in our most remote memory, playing with our sensitivity of women and men of today, deeply immersed in the aesthetics of the most advanced contemporary, but also with the legacies, references, suggestions, symbols that the history of art and costume have handed down to us, sometimes without our knowledge, through centuries of images that we have unintentionally stored in our unconscious cultural background and in our collective visual memory.
SMART ART, THE HISTORY OF ART TODAY IS FASHION by Paolo Sciortino Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Enrico Prampolini and almost all the Futurists exploited art to make advertising, at the dawn of the last century. Andy Warhol and almost all Pop Art exploited advertising to make art. Today, Lys, at the century and millennium Stefano Lupicano, has produced a superior synthesis of the factors for Smart Art fame.
It is the brand that today grafts itself onto the history of art and imprints itself on it like a clandestine I! of time, but leaving its mark on it as if it were an original part of the work, almost remaining imperceptible, at first glance, exactly like a detail that escapes, but when it is grasped it surprises and attracts. Just as a logo that works in a broad context of visual communication must do. Not only the great myths of art today are smart. Not only tattooed monnalises with their laughing and fleeing logos, and not only plebeian nymphs branded in Ingresian moulds on their backsides like babes in a nerd suit.
We also find, in the smart cahier of Lys, anonymous young people of the nineteenth-century genre painting that bear famous brands of contemporary fashion consumption, but half-hidden on ratty bibs and filthy parannances. All this, of course, processed in real time with the smartphone. The invention amazes, enraptures and persuades as much and more than a creative campaign of marketing positioning. But, above all, the work is renewed, it becomes a new and original work, superimposed on a primitive original. Here is the solution, the artistic-historical compromise of the antagonism-protagonism matured during the last century: a superior primacy is imposed between art and advertising: it is Smart Art, beauty.