Who gave the title to the work? “My psychoanalyst suggested it to me”, explains Fedez, “because he sees opposite traits in me”. Two busts with classic proportions portray the Milanese rapper and entrepreneur: one dark with a cruel but integral expression, the other with more reassuring but vain gestures. Two snapshots in dynamic dialogue that continue to reveal nuances of attitude to the eye.
The double sculpture Il pessimista narcisista o il narcisista pessimista (The narcissistic pessimist or the pessimistic narcissist) presented in the Triennale also effectively tells the work of its author Francesco Vezzoli: the reflection on classical and baroque statuary - and on its pressing relevance in the present - and the study of the dynamics related to the star system, the cult of celebrity, narcissism. In a hyper-expressive language that refers to the statuary of the German sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Vezzoli deforms the expressions almost to the point of caricature.
Celebrities, Ferragnez and Vezzoli: pop scholar without instagram profile
But if Vezzoli has always had a detached relationship with celebrities, here he has shown the personality of a friend: “it was not easy”, explains the artist,“ because I explored a more personal dimension. The basic idea is to tell a polarizing person. The Ferragnez, like them or not, lead to a debate and even an intellectual dialectic. I see more and more contamination of contemporary art with 'pop', you can't ignore it”.
The super instagrammable Staircase of Honor of the Triennale
Vezzoli, who is not a pop artist but a pop scholar, has also been researching expression for years of the Italian identity. Therefore, thinking about a divisive personality but as active for Milan as that of Fedez was another factor of ' interest: “I am admired by the short circuit that the Ferragnez are capable of creating on social. For me they are l ' the only interesting phenomenon in Italy”, specifies the artist who has not an Instagram profile. In fact, the positioning at the perspective peak of the Staircase of Honor of the Triennale, very 'instagrammable', is no coincidence.
Disc cover and charity project
The operation that derives from the collaboration is also double: on the one hand, the double portrait will be the image of the new cover of the disc Disumano by Fedez, on the other hand, the fulcrum of a charity project in favor of the Foundation TOG - Together to Go, a Milanese excellence that deals with free rehabilitation therapies for children suffering from severe neurological diseases. Vezzoli's work will be auctioned by Sotheby's Italia on 4 April , again at the Triennale , giving all the proceeds to the TOG Foundation to finance the new headquarters, under construction in via Livigno in Milan.
Different forces united to amplify the beneficial impact
But how did this concatenation between such different artists come about, a public institution, a rehabilitation facility and one of the most famous auction houses? Fedez and Vezzoli have behind them the collaboration for the cover of the album Mille , whose artwork leaves no doubt about its author; Fedez, a character engaged in philanthropic activities in favor of Milan (awarded the Ambrogino d'Oro in 2020) was introduced to the reality of TOG by DJ La Pina and rapper Dargen D'amico ; the co-founder and secretary general of the TOG Foundation Antonia Mandela Noja involved the director of the Triennale Stefano Boeri and the latter Raphaelle Blanga, Contemporary Art of Sotheby's Italia, as well as auctioneer of the next auction. Here's how different forces can come together for beneficial ends, gathering different audiences and amplifying the impact.
Will there be other works by Vezzoli with Fedez?
“The Triennale has always been a welcoming place for experimentation”, explains Stefano Boeri. “It is not the first interdisciplinary operation in which they are contaminated with different languages. Just think of Sironi's precedents, Giorgio De Chirico's Mysterious Baths or Enzo Mari's Zoo played by Nanda Vigo”. Too bad that after April 4th Il pessimista narcisista o il narcisista pessimista will leave the Triennale. Will there be other works with Fedez? They ask Vezzoli: “who knows, these are operations that arise at dinners with friends. But if they pay well for this one, I'll make another one!”.