Gabriele di Matteo

Born 1957 in Torre del Greco (Naples).
Lives and works in Milan.

Gabriele Di Matteo’s oeuvre is developed in a collaborative fashion with other artists, copyists, commercial painters. He doesn’t understand his work as belonging to a “studio painter”, but more likely to a painter-director.
His works has been recently exhibited at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain MAMCO, Geneve; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and Art-Basel Unlimited, among many other pubic and private spaces.
Di Matteo won the prix Saatchi & Saatchi in 1989, and his work is part of private as well as of public collections such as Museo MADRE, Naples; FRAC Limousin; FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon; FRAC Bretagne; FRAC Rhône-Alpes; Artothèque de Lyon; MAMCO de Genève, and Padiglione Arte Contemporanea, PAC, Milan.

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China: Made in Italy (2009)

China: Made in Italy was conceived after Di Matteo started working with a group of “commercial painters” in Naples—named due to the fact that they can paint up to ten canvases a day using a technique that recalls industrial techniques of serialisation, automatisation and standardisation. The paintings made by the group would generally repeat such themes as landscapes, marinas and still life which would be sold en masse as decoration. This group of painters used to be very prolific up until the Eighties when Chinese painters displaced them by developing the same technique and offering their work for half the price. This phenomenon gave Di Matteo the idea to hire a team of these virtually unemployed painters to reproduce the most well-known paintings from famous contemporary Chinese artists like Ma Liuming, Zhang Xiaogang, Yang Shaobin and Zhou Tiehai, to name only a few. Such a gesture was a kind of ironic, and hopeless, payback operation. The works were reproduced in exactly the same format only in different tonalities of grey.

Complete installation: 61 paintings, oil on canvas, each of different measures. Unlimited series.

La Vie illustrée de Marcel Duchamp (1995-1997, 2002)

This work consists in two series of canvases and two series of cameos based on a book on the life of Marcel Duchamp illustrated by André Raffray (1977). The first version of paintings was realised in 1993 and based on the original French version of the book, while the second was made in 2002 when the artist found the English version by chance.

French version (1995-1997):
13 cameos in sardonyx shell
+ 1 suitcase

English version(2002):
13 cameos in sardonyx shell
+ 1 suitcase

Autoritratto (1991)

The work is composed by 7 photographs of paintings of self-portraits of famous artists from the history of art, such as Domenichino or Vasari, measures 180 x 120 cm. And three photgraphs of 50 x 35 cm that are self-portraits of Gabriele Di Matteo.

Arafat (1996)

The work consists of five painted portraits and one scanachrome of Yaser Arafat that are based on a photograph of the Palestinian leader. Di Matteo painted the five canvases one after the other, trying to repeat exactly the same gesture in each one. In doing so, not only were the portraits repeated, but also the movement, action and necessary performance required for their realisation. The gesture itself thus becomes some kind of abstraction of painting.