Beauty, nature, art, technology. All in 23 shots. 23 still-life paintings of flowers and plants in unusual colors for our eyes. Rather than an exposition, ULTRA-FLOWERS is a sensory experience leading to the discovery of the beauty that surrounds us, which we often fail to see.
The two photographers, friends and artists, Pietro Baroni and Marco Casino, together with the sculptor and set designer Andrea Bottazzini, tell of a chromatic world that only some animals, including bugs for example, can normally perceive. The tale is presented through fascinating images, peculiar and dreamy in their own way.
In such a delicate historical period, in which the invisible gave way to the pandemic that we have all come to know, ULTRA-FLOWERS reverses the tendency: it makes the invisible visible. It uncovers beauty and creates a magical environment. It does it in a delicate and poetic way, letting itself be inspired by the geometric and sinuous shapes of plants. Andrea staged the flowers and plants, creating compositions and sections that resemble herbariums from imaginary and distant planets. The result is worthy of a “botanical Frankenstein”.
The project also includes the set-up of a special dark room, where four photographs printed with fluorescent inks are exhibited. The atmosphere is meant to give everyone the possibility to enjoy and dive into the hidden and fluorescent colors of the artwork “in solitary”. Colors that are lit up and emphasized by Wood’s “dark light”, accompanied by electronic music, hypnotizing at times.
Plants and flowers take shape on the black background and become highly tactile, thanks to the specific photographic technique used by Marco and Pietro, together with the printing technique and type of paper chosen. It looks like you can almost touch them, just like paintings; bright brushstrokes of color. They portray the world around us and what we often miss out on.
The shots were taken by illuminating the flowers and plants with a multi-spectrum light, usually used by the Forensic Police to detect commonly invisible traces. A meticulous and slow photographic approach, obtained also through the use of color filters, a tripod and exposure times of several seconds.
The technique was borrowed from Marco and Pietro's first project: Pandemic Stains - of which ULTRA-FLOWERS is the direct artistic consequence. With Pandemic Stains the two authors have chosen to tell the Covid-19 pandemic in Milan, using images that show biological evidence left on personal objects, houses, public and workplaces.
ULTRA-FLOWERS displays a world that is magical and ours at the same time.
It is the meeting ground of two worlds that are often, for no reason, considered distant - the artistic and the scientific one. It's a moment in which we can get lost in our own thoughts, in colors, shapes and light effects. A moment to imagine other distant, different and possible worlds.
from February 3rd to March 13th 2021 @Leica Gallery Milano
Pietro Baroni, Andrea Bottazzini e Marco Casino
curated by Denis Curti
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