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Red Herring

Daniele Milvio

313 Bowery, New York, NY
February 8, 2024 – March 10, 2024

Daniele Milvio, Sonata Per Sola Mano Sinistra (Sonata for Left Hand Only), 2023, Dyed snakeskin (deadstock), 39 3/4 x 17 5/16 in 101 x 44 cm
Daniele Milvio, P.A.I.C.A.P., 2023, Dyed snakeskin (deadstock), 49 3/16 x 49 3/16 in 125 x 125 cm
P.A.I.C.A.P., detail shot
Daniele Milvio, La capostipide di sé (The forefather of itself), 2023, Dyed snakeskin (deadstock), 55 15/16 x 74 in 142 x 188 cm
Daniele Milvio, Quello che ti serve non ci serve (We don't need what you need), 2023, Dyed snakeskin (deadstock), 48 13/16 x 19 11/16 in 124 x 50 cm
Daniele Milvio, Untitled, 2023, Illuminated globe on patinated bronze, 15 3/4 x 11 13/16 x 72 13/16 in 85 x 30 x 162 cm
Untitled, 2023, Illuminated globe on patinated bronze, detail shot.


The wall works, some call them paintings, others prefer to use a synecdoche and call them snakes – I am among the latter – were born to create an object capable of encompassing the greatest amount of desire principles postulated by the affluent society: rarity; abuse, though distanced by time and space; time, lots of it and someone else’s, spent to extract the raw material; waste, plenty; resource expenditure, immense; effort-return ratio: laughable.

My will was to engineer works to be impenetrable to analytical thought - too much color, too many reflections, a lattice of scales, which traps the gaze in a plethora of asphyxiating references. Teetering between the biblical and the pagan, we cannot feel empathy for the beings that fill our exhibition. The snake's skin reflects thought like light, tracing horizons, sometimes lending itself to more prosaic readings; at other times they hardly dwell in the field of abstraction.

Not all is lost; with the worst intentions, we often end up giving meaning to something that could have remained a monster of incompleteness. Instead, it has found a reason to exist; all that evil, born to be in vain, in the end, finds a function, never a justification. In composition, we could speak of a consolation prize. The snakes, dead in vain, over time, once the injustice is metabolized, will leave only the object remaining, and there is nothing to prevent one from enjoying it, even the most sensitive person. After a reasonable lapse of time, atrocities are willingly forgotten.

More concretely: I searched for a deposit of reptile tannery among the ones that have closed or failed over recent years in Italy. Once found, I legally (I want to emphasize that) took possession of their contents. In a valley near Ovada, just south of Turin, reachable only through a several-kilometer dirt road where a group of fanatics test-run off-road vehicles, and after crossing a bridge over an artificial lake presumably rich with trout but of sinister color, there is a plain with two barracks and a warehouse. The warehouse once overflowed with snake skins, guarded by hounds, less vicious than expected.

Humankind shall not live by snakes alone, but also mops, preferably of the bronze and self-supporting kind; two are in full puberty, you will easily notice them, the others are still a bit shy.

— Daniele Milvio

Daniele Milvio (b. 1988, Genoa) graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milano in 2011. Milvio has exhibited internationally with recent solo presentations including: Le Faremo Sapere, Federico Vavassori, Milan (2023); Melodyne, Weiss Falk, Basel (2022); Danno Erariale, curated by Gigiotto del Vecchio, Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples (2022); Terzultimatum, Galleria Federico Vavassori, Milan (2021); New bronzes and Drawings, Weiss Falk Attic, Basel (2019); A Milano non si usa, Federico Vavassori, Milan (2018); Brache, Supportico Lopez, Berlin (2017); Mille Furie, Downs & Ross, New York (2017); Schifanoia, Hester, New York (2015); Digos Boia, Hadrian, Rome (2014). Current and Recent group shows include: Watercolours, Chapter III, curated by Weiss Falk, XYZ, Tokyo (2023); Greetings, curated by Antonio De Martino and Edoardo Marabini, Galerie Hussenot, Paris (2023); Found Refined Refound, Weiss Falk at Eva Presenhuber, New York (2023); Watercolours Chapter II.2, Weiss Falk, Basel; Our Vampires, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, Sperling , Munich (2021); Panorama Procida, ITALICS Art, Procida (2021); It might include or avoid feelings, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, Hyphen Projects, Milan (2019); Use Your Illusion, Herald St, London (2018); Tra l’inquietudine e il martello, Federico Vavassori, Milan (2018). He lives and works in Milan, Italy.

Daniele has been pushing pre-existing boundaries in figurative painting, using his knowledge to explore the past in search of alternatives for the future. Raised within the beauty of classical music, driven by his passion for the violin, Milvio spent his early years studying the delicacy that lies within symphonies and melodies, before entering the world of painting and never turning back.

Milvio’s sarcasm towards contemporary society pours out on the canvas, creating an eclectic and contradictory setting in which the clever usage of ancient compositional solutions produces an imagery made of mature references and ironical reflections. Fables, myths and archetypical compositions find their way to speak to the viewer through a simplified linguistic scheme, initiating a moment in which the observer is allowed to meditate on the irony and absurdity of our contemporary times.