Mattia Biagi (Italian, born 1974)
Mattia Biagi is inspired by his childhood, religion, experience and the urban environment. After graduation from the art and design school in Milan he came to Los Angeles, were he was impressed by one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the La Brea Tar Pits, which would influence his initial body of work in the United States.
“I was intrigued with tar as a medium and how it illuminates and highlights objects in a very esoteric and ethereal sense.”
Consider the most representative work of Biagi, the teddy bear. Under the cover of tar, the toy doesn’t lose its characteristic contours and remains recognizable. Yet this iconic object no longer evokes the sweet childhood memory of hugs and affection but powerfully conveys lost innocence. In fact, it is Biagi’s ability to infiltrate the psyche with his use of tar and its applications that generates an otherworldly aura around his work.
Certain themes persist within Biagi’s oeuvre: the strong connection to objects of youth, musical instruments, weapons and transportation revealing duplicitous natures and agendas. To date his authentic Italian background strongly influences his approach to creating art and he often makes references to fantasy, superstition, truth and history.
Biagi’s practice incorporates sculpture, performance, painting, drawing and video with the objective of offering his viewer an opportunity to consider objects and theories in a new light. We are invited along on his creative journey which investigates his most private and intimate thoughts.