From the 12th to the 16th of April, as part of miart and Milano Art Week 2023, Flavio Favelli is presenting Le macchine (Cars) in the LoroMilano space (via Ugo Bassi 32), as a special project in collaboration with the Francesca Minini Gallery and with the support of the Fondazione Pietro e Alberto Rossini.

The three large sculptural works feature the automobile as their subject, the idol and simulacrum of our time, and will for five days occupy the 1000 m2 of the exhibiting space LoroMilano.

The artist started with three different automobile models (a Jaguar, a BMW and a Fiat 500) and applied enamel paint and metal sheet inserts. Stripped of their attributes to the point of rawness, “invested” and overlaid with images, the three automobiles are transformed into distorted and provocative objects, into aggregates of signs and visions.

Gran Gala is the painted body of a Jaguar XJ6 x300 from 1996, which belonged to a famous Italian singer. The car’s frame, raw and bare, without even single gram of other materials, is painted with a razzle-dazzle motif, used during World War I. Razzle-dazzle was a system of disguise featuring intersecting lines and geometric shapes, employed to confuse the observer and make it difficult to perceive the distance, speed and size of a moving object, for instance a naval ship.

Serravalle is a BMW 316 from 1983, entirely painted. Its being painted was the final act of a process that lasted several months: the entire body of the car was covered with hundreds of stickers from the 70s, 80s and 90s, which had previously been stuck to adhesive film. This film was then gradually removed to be recomposed on a panel (on display in the exhibition). Step by step, as the “skin” was removed, the image of the stickers was replicated on the body of the car. The painting is thus the “painted copy” of the original stickers.

Prussia is a dark blue Fiat 500 from the 70s, stripped down to the essentials: the windshields, windows and headlights have been removed, what’s left is a sort of skeletal-residue, in which all the “holes” have been subsequently covered up, sealed and filled with other found metal sheets.

Flavio Favelli writes:

I have an ambiguous relationship with motors, they are phantasmagorical presences.

Considering that the automobile has been a crucial thing for over a century, there have not been many artists that have used it as an object for a work of art.

If you exclude Futurisms, César, Andy Warhol… down to the famous BMW Art Cars series, still going strong today, artworks that consider the automobile, especially in Italy, when motors have a great tradition, are few and far between.

The automobile is a prothesis of mankind.

We were born with automobiles and we’ll die in automobiles.

The metal boxes are great containers of images that accompany our existence.

In our everyday language in Italy we always use the word “macchina” for cars, literally “machine”, not automobile. We’re always going by “macchina”, in what is perhaps the most seductive “thing” after weapons of war.

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Le macchine
Serravalle, 2023