Paola Pivi's diverse work, spanning performances to sculptures to large installations, is punctuated over the years by her photographic representations of animals in performative happenings; these are her most renowned images. A long way from unicorns and other chimeras, the animals that appear in Paola Pivi’s world are very real. Yet, set in their strange surroundings, they appear as a dream within reality, imbuing them with a mythological aura (ostriches or a donkey sailing on a small boat in the Mediterranean Sea, 84 goldfish swimming in bowls and flying in a passenger airplane in New Zealand, different white animals grazing in an Edenic land, alligators frolicking in whipped cream in Florida or polar bears covered in multicoloured feathers posing during the inauguration of Galerie Perrotin in New York). These images cast a new oneiric light over the world, viewed now through the prism of fantasy, of a fabulous bestiary. They appear to reveal a dimension that is a part of everyday life, which has only by chance never occurred before in front of someone’s eyes.
Text courtesy Perrotin.
London has its Fourth Plinth, where contemporary artists have graced — and sometimes goaded — viewers in Trafalgar Square with sculptural work on a bare pedestal originally intended for an equestrian
In 2007, Italian artist Paola Pivi brazenly preempted her audience’s response to a work by titling it, If you like it, thank you. If you don’t like it, I am sorry. Enjoy anyway. The name suggests that viewers are able to enjoy the piece regardless of how they judge it. Indeed, Pivi’s often spectacular work is easy to...