5 Nov 2011 - 25 Jan 2012 | Harrods, London
Mauro Perucchetti’s unique, eye-catching and highly desirable sculptures bring typical Pop Art themes into the twenty first century. Using a range of brightly coloured, unusual and highly finished materials such as pigmented resin, polished steel, glass, granite, Swarovski crystals and gold leaf, Perucchetti fuses Pop aesthetics with social comment, addressing some of the most pressing and difficult issues in today’s society. Above all, Perucchetti is an artist who is connected; he sees the bigger picture of world affairs and uses his art to convey the pulse of contemporary society.
Perucchetti began to use Swarovski crystals because, for him, they were ‘the perfect medium to symbolise preciousness, extravagance, ‘bling bling’ and, generally speaking, an over the top consumerism!’ Entire surfaces of Perucchetti’s sculptures are encrusted in thousands of glimmering and brightly coloured crystals. These create enticing and visually captivating sculptures through which Perucchetti plays with the sculptural qualities of texture and light, while conjuring up precious objects which seduce viewers and ‘tempt the magpies’. However, Perucchetti’s luxurious surfaces belie the seriousness of his subject. He captivates the viewer with sparkling beauty only to subsequently deliver an uncomfortable truth. Perucchetti’s playful jarring of beauty and astute observation surprises viewers and evokes a sense of mysterious disquiet.
This is most evident in the sculptures Still Three Little Pigs and Theory of Evolution. Entirely covered in Swarovski crystals, the sculptures visually recall the most bejewelled and luxurious of ornaments from the most splendid palaces. Yet these beautiful artworks should not be taken at face value; they send an ambivalent message.
Still Three Little Pigs inverts everything we traditionally associate with pigs. Instead of being rough, muddy, and humble, they are coated on Swarovski crystals, as perfect as starlet’s teeth; but pigs remain pigs even when they are covered in crystals. Mauro’s interpretation of contemporary excess translates a Chihuahua into an uber dog (Theory of Evolution). Glittering, shiny, prized and ensconced in its own home, the dog has lost its nature. Perucchetti’s Chihuahua is trapped in excess. Its reason for existence is only as prize possession, so it stands waiting for attention but forever petrified in its jewelled form. In Garden of Eden tactile, glistening and seductively coloured Swarovski apples call out to the viewer. In the most obvious sense a single apples references original sin. Yet Perucchetti shows us that in the modern world we are confronted with temptation at every turn and in many colours. Sex in the City again demonstrates Perucchetti’s take on modern temptation. In this case he recalls the temptation of fairytales as the stories which, told as children, shape many women’s psyches. The belief that the sparkly glass slipper, like a Christian Laboutin shoe, will turn you into the princess who finds the prince, also demands that for a woman to be found attractive, she is tamed, and she conforms.