A slightly off-topic item, but some readers might be interested to know that London’s Le Dame gallery is currently exhibiting the work of Mauro Pallotta, also known as Maupal, who you might remember for his grand wall painting depicting Pope Francis as a superhero (Super Pope).
Mauro is much more than a street artist, a fact highlighted in his most recent exhibitions where he has been noted for painting with distinctive techniques on unusual surfaces. Painting with spray cans, Maupal usually uses steel wool as a veneer, on to which he gives life to his emotionally charged portraits.
Taking place at the renowned Le Dame Art Gallery in Notting Hill, the title of Maupal’s latest solo exhibition “Since 1928” pays homage to the theme of life through the expressions and words of Liliana, an old Roman woman, born on the 4th July 1928. Through this figure, he conveys his interest in life through the transcendence of time. With a series of looks, sometimes ironic and mocking, Liliana accompanies us as a new Virgil through the political and cultural changes that have characterized the last century and continue to determine our present.
The choice of the artworks titles: 1931, 1933 and 1941, initially seem generic and cold like numbers can be, however they actually serve as a documentation of Maupal’s attention to the passage of time and to the material persistence of memory in people’s lives.
Each of the images depicted by Maupal recognise great figures of the past, such as Salvador Dali, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Bob Marley. Nevertheless, all the figures that the artist portrays, hold the face of Liliana.
Hauntingly, Maupal is letting viewers know that all these icons are all visibly alive due to this old woman’s voice and her powerful material presence.