‘You are the others’

09 February - 16 March, 2019 
Union Gallery, London

Union Gallery is pleased to announce You are the others, with a new body of paintings by Italian duo, Luisa Mè, curated by William Gustafsson.
We greet you with numerous flamboyantly yet scaly dressed figures staring at you from every angle, exposing the transposition of their fears, worries and human distress. You are the others. Discomforts find ease in the darkness of the night, far from light they are not afraid of existing in the shadows. Darkness, movement, and visual noise coexist with a dispersion and search for humanity. Everyday worries alienate themselves, they find a safe place through dark outfits, a disguise for exorcising value. They feel right in our shadows. Light, nature, reality, the present are so scary.

I will help you climb higher by letting me trample

However hard the blow can be I will focus on the contact

Better than nothing, I’m looking for solace

I will help you climb higher by letting me trample

However hard the blow can be I will focus on the contact

However hard the blow can be I will focus on the contact

I don’t mind my spine

Do you hit me to stay upright?

Do you dress with thorns not to attack but to protect yourself?

Attack for self-defense

Surrender to win

Luisa Mè’s paintings dive into their personal existence, questioning all which is true.  As if looking through a microscope into the purgatory of anxiety, the vivid psychedelic backgrounds are a melee of thoughts and emotions; creating a foundation for the debauchery which is laid on top of the works. Bordering between consciousness and a nightmare, pleasure and pain, Luisa Mè paintings hold the apprehension of their own psychology. The expressive anthropomorphic figures are often left without arms, unable to grab; the contortion of legs are the aggressors of these skeletal figures. Heels and spikes threaten each figure. Dark, smudged, faces populate the canvases taking influence from classical Italian paintings from the Renaissance, a melancholic nod to Luisa Mè’s roots. Luisa Mè create an immense installation provoking a state of beauty within the torments which trouble them.

‘He took me to a bar full of Sirens’

22nd September 2017 - 13 October 2018
HER Gallery London

“He took me to a bar full of Sirens” is a sculptural installation of a new series of vividly colourful resin and clay works by LUISA MÈ, and is the culminate project in the first year of HER London. The Italian-born artist duo have previously attended the artist residency at Bocs, Cosenza, Italy, and exhibited their debut show "Look at me!" at T293 gallery in Rome. Their works clash with what would seem like a natural field of visual reality, breaking down the boundaries of perception through their alarming kaleidoscopic vision. The heightened colour ways almost vibrate, being both alien and alluring, there is a promise of sensuality but also danger, a connection to a world that feels alien. This subsides, and the forms reveal an uncomfortable familiarity and closeness to the hidden depths within our own psyches. A recess usually only accessed through altered states of consciousness, a realm of desires and possibility.

‘Look at me’
16 December 2017 - 9 February 2018
T293 Rome

In addition to being a bold and almost arrogant call for attention, Look at me! is an invitation to go beyond an immediate and instinctive participation that Luisa Mè – a duo of young Italian artists who present their work to the public for the first time – address to the observer.

An overwhelming energy transforms apparently peaceful situations into virtual struggles that force the figures into unnatural and painful contortions. The characters writhe to such an extent that they look like they are literally trying to escape from the canvas, strenuously pushing their legs and feet onto the boundaries of the frame. At the same time, this perimeter becomes a solid support for the activation of those violent and necessary actions within the composition. In contradiction to the immobility that should characterize their nature, the curvaceous sculptures in resin and clay also appear to be animated by a desire for rebellion which is evident in the visual downward pressure towards the floor that nearly precedes their escape.

The constant search for consolation and the desire to find shelter behind areassuring beauty provoke an illness that unexpectedly appears as sharp beaks on the face of the characters, transforming them into semi-human figures with a surprisingly iconic intensity. Anthropomorphic characters decorated with long colored feathers, such as in ‘Orano’ and ‘Per via del sole’, appear like divinities from a primitive religion captured in the act of practicing a ritual.

At the same time, their features are similar to those of the apostles or martyrs, thus generating iconic images that can be traced back to Christianity and recall the dormant figures of the masterpieces of Mantegna and Bellini. This tribute to the masters of the history of Italian sacred art, also evident in the lively color range distributed throughout the scene, becomes an opportunity to borrow that visual power from religious iconography that is fundamental to engage emotionally the observer in this torment of innocent figures.

The anxiety pervading the situations depicted in the artworks is heightened by the representation of the moshpit, that area under the stage of hard rock or heavy metal concerts where the most agitated fans dance and push with an intensity verging on violence. In the paintings of Luisa Mè, the moshpit turns serene images, such as a beach or a serenade, into violent actions unveiling the dark side that lies behind the pleasant and the comforting. In the case of ‘Look at me! (Sunset), for example, the contortion of the bodies and the group thrashing at sunset lead to a veritable martyrdom, alluding to the scenes of brutality that we witness very often and to which we are sadly accustomed.

Luisa Mè