The Milanese artist has to his credit important collectives in institutional spaces along with, indeed, a solid bibliography. There have been many critics that desired to explain Laura’s work, work that at first glance might seem more or less linear, but that proximately turns out to be rich in shades and layers and characterized by a mystery that conquers.
Between vintage and eroticism, among punk ethics and pop aesthetic, Laura Giardino rewrites the female identikit with a transgressive perspective. In a first stance, her protagonists are malicious domestic pin ups, that embody the typical bad-girl and demoniac vamp role situated on backdrops painted with candy-shades colors, punctuated by curious decorative motifs, patterns obtained from the repetition of prosaic elements, such as peas, chili peppers; Easter eggs, even teeth and toiletry products. All these images slip almost inadvertently into the foreground, colonizing, embodying the form of tattoos, the epidermis of the characters.
Within the work of the Milanese artist, the insertion of dissonant elements such as cockroaches, spiders and skulls, cast a sinister but also ironic lightning, playing an important role in the happy atmosphere of his works. Laura Giardino’s thematic choices are circumstantial evidence that, through her painting, she wants to lead us on a murky and equivocal ground, seductive and sinister almost like inside a film noir, experience that is underlined even more throughout her second artistic phase.
The protagonist of her canvases becomes the dark lady, a stereotyped character who embodies the features of the seductress; a sort of evolution of the decadent femme fatale, of which she retains the dark and perverse charm; the canvases become photographic sets, which alternate strong lightning areas in contrast with shadow ones creating a feeling of ambiguity and dubious.
Those tattooed on the skin of Laura Giardino’s bad girls are penises, ironizing the dark and perverse feminine seduction. The identikit of her portraits is transgressive and turbid. The repetition of prosaic decorative patterns with which she depicts the vamp, femme-fatale or malicious pin-ups domestic is recurrent.
Francesca Barbi Marinetti
The canvases are totally aware, the style has become now essential, without never abandoning or losing out of sight the “underground” root in the most cultured sense of the term. The curator Elena Pontiggia described it for us, “… speaking about Laura Giardino’s painting, we would like to start from the apparently marginal aspect of her work, that is color: a color that cannot always be reproduced and that has to be seen closely. Of course, at first glance her canvases might give the impression of being focused on the design, the architecture, the order and the syntax of forms. Laura loves geometry, the sharpness of the sign, the precision of the line. She knows that there is nothing more mysterious than clarity and therefore she draws as if there was an imaginary Pythagorean table, where figures and things are arranged according to number and measure and every object is then purified from the superfluous, so that the peculiarities do not take place nor part. The drawing, then, becomes a mental profile in which the reality is no longer what we see, but what we think. Perhaps something we are also afraid of. And yet, even if her work emerges from drawing, the modulation of color is no less decisive. Laura plays with nuances, changes of color, sudden loss of tones, as if lightning unexpectedly came to impose its hierarchies”.
Laura Giardino’s artwork has the capacity to slip in between the folds of the human soul, where it accesses with its apparent tranquility; the spectator is faced with an image that immediately sends him back to an impression of calmness and order.
The composition of the shapes, the colors, everything seems to reassure him… but as soon as you enter into the canvas you can perceive the subtle anxiety that animates it. As Elena Pontiggia underlines, “That atmosphere, one might ask, would be so intense if it did not arise from a waste, a heresy, a mental breakdown (polite and humble, but sill a crisis) of color? Maybe yes. Perhaps it is enough to try to penetrate the artist’s deserted places to feel a subtle emotion. What must be added, however, at the start of the game, is that Laura Giardino’s work is neither neo-conceptual nor neo-pop, even if it can tap into the languages of both. It was born instead from a very artisanal struggle, conducted body to body, with the canvas, the sheet of paper, the artwork, in which color plays a crucial game.
In those “sudden restlessness of the composition” lies the strength of Laura Giardino’s work. She is not satisfied with perfectly mastering the lines and color, but delights instead in instilling in her canvases that thin layer of anxiety that presages the drama. Drama that will not necessarily happen but that, in art just like in real life, looms over us.
Laura Giardino was born in Milan in 1976, where she lives and works.
OUT OF FIELD, a cura di M.Guida, PAN Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli
BLIND SPOT, a cura di M.Spada, AreaB, Milano
APERTURE, a cura di C. Di Gennaro, Istituto Italiano di cultura, Madrid
VERTIGINE, a cura di C. Ronchini, CAOS Centro per le arti opificio Siri, Terni
SO QUIET, a cura di I. Zanti, Area/B, Milano
STILL, a cura di A. M. Martini, Gestalt Gallery, Pietrasanta
PUT THE BLAME ON MAME, a cura di I. Quaroni, galleria Federica Ghizzoni, Milano
PRAESTIGIUM Contemporary Artists from Italy, a cura di L.Beatrice, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino
BENVENUTI A DITROIT, a cura di A.Guido, G.Sironi, MMD ateo, Milano
CARTA CANTA, Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milano
10×10=120 MESI, a cura di A. Pasquali, Piscina Comunale, Milano
SPAZIO F: UNA TEMPORARY GALLERY NON CONVENZIONALE, Gestalt Gallery, Pietrasanta
SUBTERRANEAN MODERN, a cura di G. Spazio, The Don Gallery, Milano
POPism, Premio Michetti 63° edizione, a cura di L. Beatrice, Fondazione Michetti, Palazzo San Domenico, Francavilla a Mare (CH)
12° PREMIO CAIRO, Palazzo della Permanente, Milano
ELEPHANT PARADE, Milano
NEL CESTINO DI CAPPUCCETTO ROSSO, a cura della Signorina Gorza, Skin Gallery, Brescia
RELITY POP, Gestalt Gallery, Pietrasanta, Lucca
BIRO SHOW, The White Gallery, Milano
GRAFFA PROJECT, museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, Milano
LOOK MY BOOK, studio D’Arte Fioretti, Bergamo
CHRISTMAS RODEO, Antonio Colombo Arte contemporanea, Milano
ORTOGRAFIA, a cura di Infart Collective, Graffa, S. Bernardini, Ortobotanix, Cittadella (PD)
THE LOVECATS, a cura della Signorina Gorza, Arci Bitte, Milano
BLOCK PARTY, a cura di M. Gurnari, la Fonderia Napoleonica, Milano
SWEET SHEET, Palazzo della Cultura di Modica
PIEL, a cura di M. Pace, D. Knore e S.El Rana, Ortobotanix, Cittadella (PD)
NEL CESTINO DI CAPPUCCETTO ROSSO, a cura di Signorina Gorza, Pinkitchen, M. Giacon, Arci Bitte, Milano
LATINO POP, a cura di I. Quaroni, Area B, Milano
MESSAGE OUT A BOTTLE, a cura di I. Quaroni, galleria Federica Ghizzoni, Milano
FESTA DI NATALE, Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milano
WITHOUT FAITH,WITH TRUE ART, a cura di M. Gurnari, Musclecorner, Milano
OUT-LET, a cura di G.Cinquegrana, The Studio Milano
LILT.ART 2, Broletto di Novara
ALIMENTART, asta benefica, a cura di P. Addis,con galleria Federica Ghizzoni, Sala Murat, Bari
GRAFFA N°2, a cura di L. Giardino ed E. Rapa, spazio d’arte Piscina Comunale, Milano
ON BOARD, a cura di I. Quaroni, galleria Federica Ghizzoni, Milano
THE WHORE-HOUSE WHITIN ME, a cura della Signorina Gorza, Limited No Art Gallery, Milano
HEART(H), Art-Port, Palazzolo della Stella
SPAGHETTI POP FESTIVAL, a cura di I. Quaroni, Studio d’Arte Fioretti, Bergamo
CRUDO, a cura di El Rana, Palazzo Chianini, Arezzo
PREMIOCELESTE, finalista, a cura di G. Marziani, Fabbrica Borroni, Bollate
FESTA DI NATALE, galleria Antonio Colombo, Milano
40X40, a cura di I. Quaroni, Studio D’Arte Fioretti, Bergamo
TRICK OR TREAT, a cura di I. Quaroni, galleria Federica Ghizzoni, Milano
A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON, a cura di I. Quaroni, Studio d’Arte Fioretti, Bergamo
MONDO LIQUIDO, a cura di I. Quaroni, galleria Federica Ghizzoni, Milano
PATTERNS, a cura di I. Quaroni, Spazio Comunale Radio, Meda (MI)
CAVALLI IN PIAZZA, a cura di R. Borghi LdA, Piacenza
GHIACCIO BOLLENTE, Biblioteca Comunale, Gorgonzola (MI)
TUTTI SIAMO STATI BAMBINI, Cinquantuno artisti per la Fondazione Nicolaus, asta benefica, a cura di P. Addis, con galleria Federica Ghizzoni, Fortino Sant’Antonio, Bari
DI/SEGNO EROTICO, Circolo Anarchico Bonometti, Brescia
KONTEMPORANEA, Castello Carlo V, Lecce
SAN ROCCO NELL’ARTE, Palazzo Ciardo, Gagliano del capo (LC)
30X30, Spazio d’Arte Piscina Comunale, Milano