Press release

MARTINO COPPES
4 April - 16 May 2000

The photographs of Martino Coppes portray an imaginary world. In his first group of works from 1993-1994 we can follow explorers venture through mysterious underground LANDSCAPES, dangerously beautiful and strangely familiar at the same time. 1995-1997 the landscapes become more open and abstract, without figures or indication of scale, thus giving the viewer even more freedom to travel with the imagination. The images can be seen as wide landscapes or macro photographs of body parts and skin surface.

After having explored several different landscapes in 1998 Coppes turnes to a more definite subject: FLOWERS. But what looks like real flowers, are in fact artificial flowers, entirely conceived and realised by the artist. They are cut out of plastic waste materials - the same Coppes uses for all his works - and formed into precise models, carefully composed and lit in order to achieve a natural and convincing effect. He thus transforms waste into images of pure and cool beauty.

Starting from the flowers, in 1999 - 2000 Coppes develops the new forms on show in the present exhibition: the CELLS. The shapes are now abstract and rhythmic like oriental Mandalas, but still organic and biological. Despite increasing stylisation, the spatial illusion is mantained: we are drawn into the depth of the calyx and the style floats like a satellite in space. These ambiguous forms seem microorganisms, but shine like celestial bodies in outer space. Each image is a mental landscape inviting the imagination to travel in space and time.

Martino Coppes was born in 1965 in Como and lives in Mendrisio. He graduated at the Accademia di Brera in Milan and then started developping a very personal sculptural work exploring the relationships between the natural and the artificial. Since 1993 he adopted photography to create his imaginary landscapes. In 1993 and in 1996 he showed with Monica De Cardenas Gallery in Milano, in 1995 at the Centro d'Arte Contemporanea di Bellinzona, in 1997 at Philippe Rizzo Gallery in Paris, in 1999 at Art & Public in Geneva and Alexander Wolf in Berlin. Starting April 8, 2000 the Kunstmuseum Solothurn in Switzerland dedicates him a large solo exhibition.