In my most secret and ever-changing rankings, Giulio Paolini always holds first place, at the very top, and I’m not just talking about the artists I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Giulio is up there in the Olympus of the 20th century, even though we’re calling it “last century” by now.
It’s possible that Giulio has had a greater influence on me than any other artist. Lately, his understated works, his way of stepping back and not trying to steal the limelight, has really blown me away. Perhaps I indirectly owe my passion for exhibiting small works (small is beautiful) to his way of thinking.
In January of 2012, on a Sunday morning the day after his exhibition at the gallery, we presented his work Viceversa in the foyer of the Teatro Grande in Brescia – a late Baroque gem verging on Rococò – the same day that La Lettura came out, with one of his works on its cover. Two heads separated by a membrane face each other. On one side, the image of the sculpture is reflected in the mirror, and on the other, the photograph refers to the original sculpture (and not itself). The sight line between the two figures is interrupted by the mirror and the photograph. Different truths within impossible truths. In the background is the Teatro Grande in all its glory, glittering behind the works and performances, a place of private rendezvous, secret pacts, and knowing looks.