ReA! Art Fair, Milan. History as a teacher of life: in today’s art it is worth little, but it is not a lack of respect

How contemporary artists’ approach to art history has changed: emerging artists who change the canons with respect to traditional art

The history of art today

There is no longer that history teaching you life and accompanying the critical sense of the public and of the artist for whom it was easier to judge a work as appropriate or not. We have an exception with Francesco Gioacchini though, one of the artists present at Rea! Art Fair in Milan. He explains how both of his works hanging at the event are quotes from the most famous art history textbook. «The portrait of Julius II della Rovere was born as a meta-pictorial reflection. As children, we started sketching and making drawings on sheets of paper or on the desk. Out of boredom and to escape from the institutional environment of education».

In turn, the second work also «starting from the green desk of when one is a student, with a note sheet in the middle, to get away from the lesson, one vents boredom and manifests a more irrational part here presented by a primitive stylized man hunting a bull, a cow or a horse as in the wall paintings of Lascaux (one of the first works every student looks at in textbooks)».

The works in question are Julius II (2020) and We used to draw on the table (AAAAAAAHH) (2020). The former is a clear reference to the portrait of Pope Julius II Della Rovere. Masters such as Michelangelo and Raphael (mentioned here specifically) celebrated the historical figure. He was famous for the renovatio urbis and one of the most prolific patrons of the Renaissance. The artist represents him off-center on the right, framed with scotch paper on the can- vas, squared like a notepad. Scribbles and watercolor proofs, just those used to portray the pope, surround him. While, in the latter, the artist inscribes primitive motifs of a stylized man hunting buffa- lo, with pastels, oil and pen.

Excerpt from an article on (7 October 2021)