Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
I Nuovi Mostri
Milan and Venice
February – March 2004
I Nuovi Mostri [Life is Beautiful] is a peaceful invasion of posters, dreamed up by sixteen Italian artists, that suddenly appear in all the advertising spaces of Milan’s streets and squares, from the center of town to the farthest-flung neighborhoods, in an irreverent citywide occupation. For one month, with images by Elisabetta Benassi, Simone Berti, Alex Cecchetti, Roberto Cuoghi, Giuseppe Gabellone, Piero Golia, Massimo Grimaldi, Margherita Manzelli, Gianni Motti, Adrian Paci, Diego Perrone, Alessandro Pessoli, Paola Pivi, Andrea Salvino, Carola Spadoni and Patrick Tuttofuoco, the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi brings art straight into the bustling life of the city, among pedestrians and drivers: posters that pop up on every street corner, camouflaged among the billboard advertisements.
Combining the raw power of student protest flyers with the elegance of advertising campaigns, I Nuovi Mostri is a group show of Italian artists that can’t be visited in a gallery or museum, but rather a temporary collection of art en plein air. I Nuovi Mostri brings new rhythm and new colors to the city; evoking the teen mania that puts pictures of rock stars, movie stars and political heroes on the walls of a million untidy rooms, while making a very sophisticated incursion among the brightly-lit shop windows of Milan, the posters are an anthology of visions of Italy and its multifaceted identity.
Like graffiti scribbled along the walls of the whole city, the images in I Nuovi Mostri open a window on new landscapes, revealing the vices and virtues of the Belpaese in a brand-new commedia all’italiana. Adrian Paci’s family lexicon, Giuseppe Gabellone’s quintessentially Western exoticism, Andrea Salvino’s fierce protesters, Diego Perrone’s surreal countryside, Alex Checchetti’s rock’n’roll religion, Massimo Grimaldi’s foreign wars, Paola Pivi’s lost, solitary donkey, and Roberto Cuoghi’s awkward monsters all portray a nation in constant flux, torn between its global ambitions and its deep cultural roots. Italy’s contradictions continue to unfold through Carola Spadoni’s prophetic announcement that God is dead in Dio è morto (2003), Pietro Golia’s skull illuminated by a diamond, and Simone Berti’s family portrait, while Elisabetta Benassi portrays herself next to an ominous tank.
I Nuovi Mostri is also a publication that collects all the images on the posters. Conceived in flexible tabloid form, printed in thousands of copies and distributed free of charge, it features an introductory text about Italian stereotypes, summed up in a list of 1165 words—a dictionary of the country’s clichés.
In September 2004, at the invitation of the City and for the inauguration of the Venice Biennale’s 9th International Architecture Exhibition, I Nuovi Mostri also invades the Venetian streets and alleyways.