Antonio Riello

Antonio Riello
Neoclassic B 52
80 x 70 x 20 cm
Plastic, metal and acrylic paint


The playful category appears on several occasions in the contemporary history of the arts, acting in particular in the context of avant-garde movements. We find traces of it in futurism, in Dadaism, in the neo avant-gardes of the sixties, as well as in some relevant individual experiences of the new millennium. Riello also seizes the opportunities offered by the cultural dimension of the game, in order to undermine the conventions of the collective imagination and those that normally orient the perception of reality. His works, and thus his performances, reveal a remarkable ability to displace those who observe them, as well as to direct their attention towards things and situations of everyday life generally perceived as marginal. To achieve them, the artist reinterprets and manipulates objects of common use aimed at denying their normal functionality, or relies on deliberate inconsistencies between the object entity chosen and the image that is imprinted on its surface. His interest in multimedia allowed him to create, in 1997, Italiani brava gente, a work-video game that reflected in caustic terms on the then nascent phenomenon of xenophobia in our country. The shrewd, imaginative irony often transmitted by his expressive operations can invest, in addition to current events, institutions, fashion, rhetoric linked to the world of childhood; as well as, as in the case of the surprising works presented here, he can celebrate the encounter between modern war machines and the great Western figurative traditions, giving rise to a paradoxical semantic short circuit.

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