Il Crepaccio, as I had explained in my previous article, is defined as a crevasse in the art scene which is supposed to pump out new talents. The concept remains the same: the window display of the 'trattoria' (traditional italian restaurant) is dedicated to an emerging talent and the artist has the freedom to transform the space into a showcase of his works.
Today, the talent was Thomas Braida, a 30 year old Italian artist who paints on anything from fabrics to plates… and in tonight's case, on random pages torn off the magazines.
I am not an art critique but it is of no doubt that I am interested in contemporary art, especially when I find a personal link with the works. Braida is one these rare talents that, given the opportunity, have the capability of transforming things. The artist transformed the simple display window of a traditional Italian restaurant into a closet full of bizarre drawings and mysterious creatures that a child would never dare open doors to.
The first moment I laid my eyes on his works, I felt like I was captured in a scene of Poltergeist where the children see the closet door open at night and they are too afraid to check what awaits them in the dark behind… The ironic thing was the place was full of children tonight. If they happened to check the works, I am sure they've grown up a few years all at once.
I've been explained that the artist doesn't have a studio at the moment which is why he has difficulty in finding space to store his work. So Braida decided to paint on anything he finds. I have to say that I was quite impressed by Braida's vision: not only because of the actual works but also because of how he added a new flavor to the concept of Il Crepaccio.
How? Well, he opened up new windows to parallel worlds where bizarre creatures reign right inside an actual window… So he did not only showcase static artworks but he found a dynamic, or call it interactive, way to take us into his world through different windows.
I find the fact that Neil Gaiman probably hasn't heard of this artist, neither of Il Crepaccio, quite saddening since I believe Braida's vision would inspire him for new works. Parallel Universes as a topic of fiction is no new matter, Gaiman talks about it in The Sandman, in Caroline and also in Neverwhere.
I couldn't help but remember some quotes from his various works that were very in line with tonight's event. In 'The Sandman', Gaiman states 'Everybody has a secret world inside them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody.No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.' In Braida's works, we see eerie mice on the branches of a naked tree in 'Topolini', a huge flower blocking a Venezian Canal in 'Grande Fiore Nel Canale', a hurricane-like creature rising in a bathtub in 'Anonymous' and so on…
Then in 'Neverwhere', Gaiman writes: 'He had gone beyond the world of metaphor and simile into the place of things that are, and it was changing him. ' This is exactly what I think of Braida. He doesn't just paint metaphoric images on magazine papers, he creates a parallel place of things that ARE for him… It sends shivers down my spine to see how a banal editorial of a few strawberries on a plate can turn into a 'food-porn' via a strawberry licking off the half of another strawberry…
My last verdict on tonight's event is that Braida's a name that we will hear more about in near future and who will turn his first investors (customer is such an ugly word when we talk about art… art should not be about consuming but investing) into important collectors (so if I were you, I'd get my hands on one of his works before the prices go up the roof).
Il Crepaccio which started off as a silent, mysterious crevasse in the system is turning into a black hole. If you are still not a part of this little Milanese miracle, you are always in time for the next event. To get the latest info, I'd advice you to contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text by Yigit Turhan
Pictures via artist's website: http://thomasbraida.wordpress.com/