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Il Nuovo Materiale di Giappo 2009

“Il Nuovo Materiale di Giappo”
Recent Paintings by Giappo DiFederico
October 9th – November 1st 2009
JSF Contemporary 36 N Third St.

After a two year break Giappo DiFederico has returned to painting. In these recent works he continues to incorporate the theme of Christian icons combined with elements of commercialism, advertising, consumerism and contemporary culture, however this new group shows a more painterly side of Giappo then we’ve seen in the past, which is much less “poppy” then the style of his earlier paintings.

More of a group then a series, these works are an experiment of several different styles and themes mostly unified by their time period of the past several months.

The painting “Smoking Kills, Christ Saves” has the feeling of a strange propaganda poster or an advertisement that isn’t necessarily anti-smoking or pro-religion. “The Last Supper in a Crack House” is a moody interpretation of the iconographic scene awkwardly set in a contemporary run-down row home. The apostles appear to be nervous and worried about Christ’s impending doom. Even Christ himself seems uncertain of his fate. Although the paintings are dealt with in a serious manner there remains a hint of sarcasm and irony. These images are an honest expression of an artist conflicted with his own religious beliefs.

In the painting “Portrait of St. Peter Graeffe: Patron Saint of the Arts” the artist portrays his real life patron as a religious figure standing proudly in contemplation in front of both Giappo’s work, as well as his studio mate Adam Lee Farrell’s paintings. This glorification of characters within the artists own life is an interesting departure from is use of traditional icons.

“I choose Catholicism because that’s what I was raised to believe. I choose religion for its iconographic power and the pivotal role it played in the arts for centuries. It is only over the past two hundred years that contemporary art has steered away from religion almost entirely. Some even say it is impossible to incorporate religion in contemporary art, though I beg to differ.” Giappo 2009