Ramon Silva: Channeling Mollino

Appropriation and culture-remixed emerged as reoccurring themes during Frieze Art Fair week in NY, which last weekend, catapulted a constellation of fairs and exhibitions throughout the city.  A non-descript booth at Contemporary Art Fair, for one, was multi-media artist Ramon Silva’s private time capsule where he channeled himself as Carlo Mollino – one of the most inspired architects and designers of the mid-20th Century.

In “Channeling Mollino,” Silva bypasses the Italian renaissance man’s influential work in car, aircraft, fashion and home design to focus on his fascinating obsession with Polaroid Portraiture.  Recreating Mollino’s Turin studio as an inconspicuous pop-up at the fair, the artist invited 15 “muses” throughout a three-day period to be photographed in full form and vulnerability.  The innate relationship with movement and the female figure, which notably informed Mollino’s style, prompted Silva to investigate the parallels between their artistic practices with questions such as, “What would Mollino’s Polaroids look like today? What would the muses look like? What other forms of art making in relation to the photographs would he pursue?”

Channelling Molino Video

Channelling Molino Video

Replete with video streaming, social media (#channelingmolino) and soon, a soundtrack, Silva breathes a second life into the work of Mollino, who’s passion for adapting the mechanical to the human form would today be communicated in an exponentially advanced digital landscape.  “Channeling Mollino” was curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, who also collaborated with Silva on exhibitions including Becoming Beyonce and Spring/Break Art Show during Armory Week 2014.

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