2008 - 2018: tesi e ipotesi
21 aprile - 21 giugno 2018

On the urban artistic scene unfolding in Europe since the second half of the 2000s, Italy now occupies a significant place, thanks to the experiences of a few graffiti artists; even though their background is a New York style tagging, they have assimilated the abstract languages experimented between the 1950s and the 1980s, particularly those of the Spatialists and Gruppo Forma 1, Gruppo N and Gruppo T, revisiting them under new forms, and moreover, within the heterogeneous cityscape of the metropolis. In this panorama, the trajectory of the artist Moneyless (Teo Pirisi, b. 1980) in the last ten years, here encapsulated in a retrospective show enriched by new works, is configured as an enquiry in geometry and its interaction with space, from the urban to the natural, from the flatness of painting (whether on canvas, panel, or paper) to the three dimensionality of sculpture. Thesis and Hypotheses is the title chosen by the artist for the exhibition at Doppelgaenger. The thesis is one. Geometry as the point of contact and reconciliation between human creativity and nature, the latter symbolically reduced to the essentiality of line – straight, open, infinite – and circle – curved, closed, finite. The hypotheses are many, and are often conflicting; for instance, symmetry and asymmetry. The perfection of the circle, and its explosion and shattering into pieces. The essential and ideal finesse of the line, and its thickening – hence its transformation into form, and consequent and inevitable disappearance. And movement, expressed by circles that chase one another frantically along a flat surface, or else the superimposition of thickened and coloured lines, in a skilful play of transparencies, which likewise simulates the overlaying processes typical of digital graphics – which the artist studied but quickly gave up in order to dedicate himself to drawing, painting, sculpture, and never abandon that ancient and corporeal involvement with material to be shaped and moulded. This incessant quest for the infinite variations in the essential languages of line and circle seems never to have left Moneyless in any of his experiments with his materials: from the wood of the early panels, articulated by symmetrical compositions of circles, to the ethereal installations of strands of chenille in woodlands, or to the sculptures in which pieces of “broken” circles are combined and fused, then suspended and illuminated in such a way that they project the kinetic and random play of their shadows on a wall. In the artist’s latest production, the unformed seems almost to have overtaken the geometrical rigour that characterised his early works, with the rigour becoming gradually more rarefied. Almost, however, since, in the works in glazed and contoured wood on exhibition here – hybrids, on the limen between sculpture and painting – it’s clear that the unformed has not been completed freed from the paternity of the circle and the line. And it’s unlikely that will ever happen, even though the results will always be diverse. This is the method Moneyless seems to use in his artistic quest, one which benefits from his special aptitude for travel and for the constant exploration of new urban and natural scapes. At heart, the trajectory we would like to narrate has its true origins some years before 2008, in a real journey, which took him from his industrial birthplace to the woods and countryside, from the metropolitan cityscape of Milan to the more intimate one of Lucca. Here, a fifteen year old Teo Pirisi, with his passion for graffiti, was obliged to move with his family. Already at that time, the necessity for a precocious creative talent to adapt from an urban reality to a rural one was quickly transformed into an opportunity. Since then Teo/Moneyless has never ceased to adapt his material and aesthetic research – in conflict with the urban environment, in harmony with the natural one – to the different contexts of his explorations.