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Pier Giorgio De Pinto. The image in the mirror  
Giuseppe Carrubba
ISSN 1127-4883     BTA - Telematic Bulletin of Art, 26th March 2006, n. 426

« Ich treibe nur in Störungszonen »
[I only bloom in troubled areas]
Günter Brus

Pier Giorgio De Pinto is a visual artist who works on a performative concept of body representation, employing the technological medium as a privileged form of expression. His work develops through conceptual purposes transferred to images and is based on an ethics of contemporary perception that has its basis in the positivistic idea of the medium and the material culture.

Electronic art has influenced and modified the analysis and the critical explanation of artistic projects, developing a particular sensibility, which has laid the basis for new communicative demands. Advertising, photography, cinema, videogames, videoclips have definitely changed the meaning of images within the social context, creating an iconographic world made up of cross contaminations.

Signs, representations, objects within this experiment have created so many objectifications of artistic experience and in this sense the language of media, putting itself out of reality, has redefined as well as virtualized it and made it highly imaginative.

According to Marshall McLuhan the technological medium is nothing but an extension of contemporary man's sensibility, but in the age of advanced electronic society, the medium can also change into the possibility of getting to the heart of reality in order to process and change it. It is developing an art form that considers the artistic work no more as a manual labour, in the traditional sense, but as something expanding and contaminating images through the medium, assuming strong aesthetic connotations.

The artist's visual study comes from the art of performance.
Performance as a means of expression has influenced the way artists behave in their experience, with a mental uprightness that has engulfed the whole operational character of the pictorial medium and has made it virtual and mental through topicality and technical research.
Phisical and psychic tension of performative art is not at all frozen in the visual representation of this artist, where the technological medium identifies with the pictorial medium. In some works he hasn't excluded the possibility of superimposed manual interventions, based on a research of sign and matter, as happened in previous works, where, on one side, texture elements formed structures non-homogeneously spreading and, on the other side, painting and extra-artistic materials connoted the image contaminating it through a new decorative skin.

This way, language is considered as a process, as a possibility of experiment with recurring historic references, it is justified and made plain by images that are a means of representation in its becoming: in a word, a performative process.

In this operative and creative process some works document a series; each series introduces theme variations in an experiential perspective including limits and possibilities; the arrangement of a linguistic code that is progressively getting ready.

Figures are static, frozen inside a dynamic process and subtend to the memory of an action or of a movement. Space is based on a precarious balance, depth is suggested by images, colours, sign or matter superimpositions showing clear organic references.

Through storage, change and final removal this artist's work results in a complex object with hidden identity associations and classical connotations.

In site specific installations within shows and exhibitions, the artist has followed criteria bound to the surrounding space and territory, setting an unusual and suggestive relationship with his audience 1.

Suggestion is stimulated by the way he employs the elements of the representation or showing off, through a surreal and symbolic path. Specific ways and means have been useful not only to determine spaces, but also to give a certain intelligibility to the project related as related to the event and its setting.

De Pinto's images are traces following a rethorics showing a strong mnemonic element, made clear by an extreme stratification of references, wherein the spectacular making of representation mixes both emotional and sensual instincts, with sacred and profane references.

Creative arrangement consists of the fragmentary nature of images, in their showing themselves through cuts and refined shots purged from epical references. Organized language acquires a timeless value, employing critical and structural connotations, within a study where the digital code, both a screen and a double, portrays reality and the artist destabilizes it through the procedure: composing, correcting, assembling, reassembling and inventing figures or patterns to give expressiveness and introduce new visual and visionary signs.

The artist's interest for symbolic disguise and body painting means that some ten years ago experiences, such as body art and performance, are the breeding ground of his work. The medium is the body of art, the body of art is the artist's body.

Body art has forced artists to perform rituals where both private and social life were represented and they were themselves at stake. Starting from their body experience, artists have portrayed themselves in the development of their innermost instincts, both sexual and deep-rooted, in the theatrical and liberating activity of disinibition and have highlighted psychological and problematic sides, such as strain, anxiousness and the background of no-limit experiences.

De Pinto draws out from this artistic movement, which has employed body as a language, the linguistic references functional to his work, by means of a technological and indirect procedure of poetic appropriation. In his works eroticism and fetish impose themselves in situations having lost their central position, shattered in episodes blocked as well as suggested, like frames inside a more complex situation. Transfigured real images take new meanings, shots expose themselves to our sight and fix the surface elements, but they suggest us to go over associations and memories in a continuum of cross-references showing us the path of artistic work, the meaning and the ability of knowing and feeling.

The artist employs devices in portraying his continuously identifying himself with the other ones, in a melting of culture, technology and life.

The poetic is the one of crossing, where the fanciful and the visionary create genre contaminations, with cross-references and quotations ranging from Caravaggio to Matthew Barney.

This way the strong narcissistic element asserting itself in the superimposition of the artist's images is significant. In a society based on the power of images, on their control and on their possibility of being elaborated and developed, narcissism reveals itself as a metaphor, changes into a theoretical model, with reference to the explanatory haste of one's self and of time, through ethical and philosophical contents.

Kyrie Eleison, Sacer, Corpus are projects and works developing according to a revisiting, from a contemporary viewpoint, of both the myth and the sacred, both the Dionysiac and the Apollonian as a comparison between East and West, the secret rite of ancient ceremonies vs. the images of media war. They are evocatory images synthesizing a process and a study, attaining to sacred as well as to heathen mithology, to sacred images as well as to consumer society.

The artist's body, through mythical and historical figures, becomes the logos of transfigurations as well as of mass and personal visions, of linguistic experiments too. The staging of images alternates Classicism with Baroque, in an excess of cultural references, sign information, visual fragments and wrecks of meaning.

The employment of body is theatrical inside a sequence that looks cold, affected, cerebral and refers to something else, through the meeting of imagination and information systems belonging to us; in a word, reincarnation, a mutant and genetically combined second skin.

Western culture and contemporary man's concepts produce icons whose comprehension depends on refined perceptive skills; a mystic as well as sensual journey throughout knowledges and tastes, where flesh and ecstasy lead the audience to bewilderments and manifold points of view. Culture and technology are taken to extremes by the expressive means which is the cultural interface of a sensible and globalized reality.

Visual body, framed into asymmetrical cuts and constructions, is social, historic, sacred, emotional; it tells a story of power, of a radical damnation, of a vibrating devotion.

Dionysus from Orphic myths, the scapegoat, ancient totem of Greek tribes, was neither fine nor ugly, neither good nor bad: he was sacred and had in himself the principle of duality. He was both something and its opposite. Sacer from Latin, qaddosh from Hebrew, haram from Arabic and also sacré from a modern language such as French, define the idea of both sacred and evil, both holy and damned: the One divided in itself.


1 "Aitanti", "Freeshout !" Young People Workshop - Cantieri Culturali Ex Macelli, Prato, 1999, 2002 Art and Music Festival "Boccheggiano in strada". Progetto Regionale Porto Franco, Toscana terra dei popoli e delle culture, 2002
GO! To ZO' - Contemporary Art Study Exhibition , Bologna, 2005.
Winter dances, "Amnios", dance and visual art, Teatro della Limonaia, Sesto Fiorentino - Florence, 2005.


Pier Giorgio De Pinto was born in Civitavecchia, Rome in 1968. After having taken his vocational school diploma in Florence, he went on studying and taking part in courses, workshops and seminars, carrying on a steadfast study of contemporary culture languages: from the study of plastic arts, of videos, of digital art and photography, to the study of body considered as a performative element, taking courses in form and behavioural relationship and undergoing training sessions in delivery and acting.

He worked on the restyling and making of the corporate identity of some fashion and design firms. As a free lance graphic he designed some stands for Pitti Immagine and some leather goods for Giorgio Armani co.

In 1997 his first personal exhibition took place at "La Telaccia" Art Gallery in Turin, cured by the critic Marco Viani. In the same year he took part in the 25th National Congress of Italian Junior Chamber, at the Contemporary Art Centre "Luigi Pecci" of Prato with a work entitled "Del Bello e del Moderno" on the theme "Art a world to discover".

In summer 1999 he has shown the video-performative event "Dialogo virtuale tra l'autore e sè stesso" at the Cultural Club "L'isola che non c'è" of Poggibonsi, Siena. The organizer was the artist Rossano Fontanelli.

Then he underwent an art workshop run by Massimo Barzagli and in the one run by the visiting professor Mikulas Rachlik at Cantieri Culturali Ex Macelli, Prato.

From his experience in Barzagli's workshop came the exhibition "Aitanti".
Within this event De Pinto put on the performance "CIT, Continuity Identity Theory", with a sound contribution by the electronic music group Plastic Violence. A video of it was made, with Elena Foresto's filming and Elisa Gianni's photography and was published by Death Paradise Productions.

Still in 1999, at the Experimental Theatre of Ancona, he took part in the performance "Concerto per pianoforte e tentacoli, sarabanda per mercato e disastro" of the Sound & Colours Ensemble, together with the artists Massimo Barzagli, Giulio Capiozzo, Pape Gurioli and the dancer Luisa Cortesi.

In 2000 he made the layout of the catalogue and the invitation card for Massimo Barzagli's exhibition at Alessandro Bagnai Gallery, Siena.

In 2001 De Pinto took part in "Trasparenze di fine millennio", a contest organized by Masserdotti Group from Brescia and included in the Sacred Art Fair "Pulchra Ecclesia"; on this occasion he exhibited his work "Pater, Mater et Filius Amatus Amat", a design of a stained glass window for the Church. He was awarded a work by Officina Rivadossi and had his design published on the architecture magazine "Chiesa oggi", n.53, Di Baio Publisher, 2001.

He was in the final at the Canon Digital Contest in Tokio and in the database of GAI - Young Italian Artists group.

In 2002, together with the artists Francesca Materazzi and Fabrizio Paolillo, he established "Death Paradise", an independent label and an artistic-performative organization; for it he made the corporate identity design, the graphic layout of some CDs and VCDs, some performances, videos and the fanzine "Surveillance Society".

Some of his works were reviewed in "Blow Up", n.60, 2003 and n.71, 2004, a magazine dealing with rock music and other contaminations.

In 2002 he took part in " Freeshout ! ", an event organized by the artist Federico D'Orazio, taking place at the " Officina Giovani ", Cantieri Culturali Ex Macelli, Prato and in the third edition of the art and music festival " Boccheggiano in strada " with the project " Virus Me _ Coltura invisibile ", invading the area with a series of installations. The festival was promoted by the regional project Porto Franco, Toscana terra dei popoli e delle culture, sponsored by the Venezuelan Embassy in Italy. The artists Chiara Bindi and Miguel Rosario were the organizers. Since 2002 his works have been housed in the virtual museum Ezra Kochka Museum (current exhibitions), whose organizer is Massimo Cantarelli.

On the occasion of the issue of the Plastic Violence's CD Brightness in 2003, together with this group he presented the video Re-Pression during a sound & video session lasting 75 minutes, at the Cultural Association " Poid Pois ", Prato.

He attended acting, delivery and dubbing courses at the Cinema School " Anna Magnani ", Prato. The short Cosmozoe by Marco Cei, where De Pinto plays a part, was produced by the School and was chosen for the Biennial Exhibition of Young Artists from the Mediterranean area, 2003, in Athens.

He underwent the training course Workshop on Art and Video by the Cultural Association " Aparte " of the Contemporary Art Centre " Luigi Pecci ", Prato and by Cesvot, at " Officina Giovani ", Cantieri Culturali Ex Macelli, Prato, from September to October 2004.

Among the speakers were Vittorio Fagone, manager of Ragghianti Foundation, Lucca, Angela Madesani from the European Institute of Design, Milan and the art critic and curator of Monfalcone Civic Gallery, Andrea Bruciati. He was in the final at the contest Casting, promoted by a group of international artists from the Visual Arts Faculty of the Architecture Institute of Venice University (IUAV), presenting a cultural performance made for the 2005 Biennial Exhibition of Venice.

He took part in GO ! to ZO', a contemporary art study review organized by Andrea Cioschi and Antonio D'Orazio, Bologna, 2005.

He was in Progetto Esserci - Padiglione Italia " 13X17 " , 1000 " ex-voto " in mostra, a polemic and provocative project to protest against the absence of the Italian Pavilion at the last Biennial Exhibition of Venice, an event sponsored and organized by Moceri&Mocisarai, Philippe Daverio, Jean Blanchaert, Alvise Ziche, Barbara Schweizer. Church of San Gallo, Venice, July 2005.

The same year in November he worked with the dancer Alessandra Palma di Cesnola and made Amnios, a music and dance film show within a project by Fiorella Nicosia. This performance took place at the Teatro della Limonaia of Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, within the festival " Winter Dances " on 2nd December 2005. Still within the festival, De Pinto took part in a workshop and jam of contact improvisation with the dancer and coreographer Charlotte Zerbey.

In March 2006 he exhibited two suggestive works of his, Kyrie Eleison and Sebastiano, in the group exhibition Fallen Angel, at Bellini Arte Gallery of Cascina, Pisa. Besides, the work Kyrie Eleison has been chosen by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, media artist and new media curator, for the project " selfportrait - a show for Bethlehem ", 200 artists show their solidarity and become peace messengers. The exhibition is part of the programme of the 10th anniversary of the twinning between the towns of Cologne and Bethlehem, in Palestine and will take place at the Al Kahf Art Gallery, International Centre of Bethlehem from 7th to 30th July 2006; in October it will be in Cologne within the festival KlangDrang 2006.





"Officina Giovani" Cantieri Culturali Ex Macelli di Prato

BALLERINI GIOVANNI Aitanti a Prato, September 1999

"Officina Giovani" Cantieri Culturali Ex Macelli di Prato,
Press Release, 2002

Architecture and communication, Di Baio Publisher

Webpage introducing winner designs

The artist's personal webpage

The artist's personal webpage

Press release

The artist's personal webpage

The artist's personal webpage

Scanner art design of a display box for the installation, 2001

Selection of visual artists for an event linked to 2005 Biennial Exhibition of Venice

The artist's personal webpage

casTINg projectà/facolt-di1/design/c-a-s-T-i-1/

CARRUBBA, GIUSEPPE, The artist and the contemporary space, in "BTA - Telematic Bulletin of Art", 24th May 2005, n.400
ISSN 1127-4883

Critical review by Giuseppe Carrubba

GO ! to ZO' -  Contemporary Art Study Review, Bologna, 2004-2005
Curators: Andrea Cioschi and Antonio D'Orazio

CIOSCHI, ANDREA, Pier Giorgio De Pinto, critical text for the contemporary art study review
GO ! to ZO', Bologna, 2005

Group Exhibition, Assab One, Milan, 2005

"13X17", 1000 "ex-voto" in mostra
Church of San Gallo, Venice, July 2005.
Controversy and provocation on the occasion of 2005 Biennial Exhibition of Venice
A travelling event sponsored and organised by Moceri&Mocisarai, Philippe Daverio, Jean Blanchaert, Alvise Ziche, Barbara Schweizer.

DAVERIO, PHILIPPE, "13X17" -, Biella, 2005



AMNIOS - Dance and visual art show by Fiorella Nicosia
Festival WINTER DANCES 2005
Surveys on improvisation and contemporary dance languages
Progetto Shopwalk
Teatro della Limonaia, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, November 2005

Press release. Season 2005-2006

On-line magazine dedicated to free and creative thoughts
The artist's card: Pier Giorgio De Pinto - Artist, Performer

Group exhibition of contemporary artists
Bellini Arte Gallery, Cascina, Pisa, March 2006
Federico Bellini curator.

Media artist & New Media curator of NewMediaARTProjectNetwork
Selfportrait - a show for Bethlehem
Al Kahf Art Gallery, Bethlehem International Centre, Palestine 7-30 July 2006
200 artists show their solidarity and become peace messengers !

[R][R][F] 2006 XP
Remembering Repressing Forgetting
Global networking project

English version by Angela Solimando

Angela Solimando is a teacher and a translator of English texts about history of art. She graduated in Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Catania and deals with visual arts culture, ranging from ancient to contemporary art, explored through different forms and techniques of expression: from painting to photography, from archaeology to local culture.
She has translated information about art exhibitions and has edited the English versions of art catalogues. She teaches "English for Art Communication" at the Fine Arts Academy "Val di Noto", in Noto, Siracuse and "English Language and Culture" at vocational schools.

Continuity Identity Theory

Fig. 1
Continuity Identity Theory
Frames from the Video CD "CIT, Continuity Identity Theory", Death Paradise Productions.
Document of the performance created for the exhibition "Aitanti".
"Officina Giovani" - Cantieri Culturali Ex Macelli, Prato, 1999.
Curator: Massimo Barzagli

Kyrie Eleison

Fig. 2
Kyrie Eleison
Digital print on canvas, 2002


Fig. 3
Digital print on canvas, 2004

Lettre à un Amateur

Fig. 4
Lettre à un Amateur
Digital print on canvas, 2005

He had tried to open a direct, private, inner contact with me

Fig. 5
He had tried to open a direct, private, inner contact with me
Digital print on canvas, 2005

Love in all Capacities

Fig. 6
Love in all Capacities
Digital print on canvas, 2005


Fig. 7
Frames from the video of the performance created for "Winter Dances"
Teatro della Limonaia, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, 2005
Video Projections: Pier Giorgio De Pinto
Dancer: Alessandra Palma di Cesnola
Curator: Fiorella Nicosia



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