January 8 – 17, 2015
Otto Zoo presents the first Italian exhibition of Sandro Kopp (Heidelberg, 1978), an artist of New Zealand and German descent who now lives and works in Scotland. Partner of Otto Zoo in the exhibition is YOU FIRST, a new brand of the niche perfumery market.
The exhibition is built around the theme of classical figurative oil painting in the context of a world dominated by digital technology.
The overarching focus in Kopp’s work is search for mediation of a person’s presence (either his own or friends’ ) through objects or digital representations.
On two walls of the main space of the gallery Otto Zoo, Kopp introduces two new bodies of work: The New Me and You Are There.
The first is a single piece consisting of 28 self portraits, painted in front of the mirror, one every day for one lunar month. This process is repeated every five years. This exhibition features the second New Me. “Sono Qui” – “I’m here” could be an alternative title for this work. Some paintings appear incomplete and thus carry the artist’s meditation on the difficulty of representing a person’s true ‘essence’ – that way to convey the inability of any image to fully express more than a fraction of their true identity.
The second is an ongoing series of nudes, each one was painted in one session of roughly three hours over Skype. The paintings were made during this live conversation, not from screenshots.The models are all friends of the artist from around the world. Upon completion of the sitting he asked them to send a photograph they had taken of a place in nature that has some kind of significance for them. These images were then used to paint the backgrounds.
The series speaks about themes of reconnecting – both with the external natural world and our natural selves – in a world primarily connected through digital media.
The exhibition also features works from an earlier series of paintings of transitional objects – cherished soft toys – belonging to friends of the artist, painted to explore the expression of a sitter’s presence through an object that he or she has imprinted their presence on through physical contact and emotional attachment.
Sandro Kopp (born Heidelberg 1978, lives and works in the Scottish Highlands) has exhibited his work in prestigious international galleries such as Lehmann Maupin , New York, Victoria Miro , London, Antoine Laurentin, Paris. He has participated in group exhibitions in international institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
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