07 Prato Raffaele di Vaia

Raffaele Di Vaia's work cannot be tied down to a single, direct vision; his photographic prints are barely perceptible against the transparency of their glass and plexiglass supports, while his video images are absorbed in the dominant darkness of shades of black like fragile, transient visions emerging from the subsconscious or from a dream. From the series of self-portraits focusing on the artist's head, to the obsessive micro-stories and claustrophonic scenes that are such a feature of his recent video output, Di Vaia's work embodies an attempt to shift his audience's attention to the source of thought and to its complex dynamics: from moments of intellectual abstraction to states in which bodily urges cloud the ability to think clearly, in a murky jumble of visions and memories. In recent years, Di Vaia has begun to revisit drawing as a tool for reflecting on the ambiguity and the shadowy areas of the human mind – issues which he has also addressed in earlier work. Thanks to his use of the frottage technique, the outlines of the image cut into the paper like a bas-relief, a print that marks the insistence of thought on an object or on a given moment in a story. Thus his series of Doors on paper, consisting of five life-sized closed doors, harks back to the unmoving frame focusing on a door handle in his video entitled La Trappola [The Trap] which communicates a sense of expectation and anxiety in lightof the impossibility or the fear of opening up a path beyond that door. The close tie between drawing and video art is the focus of the artist's most recent work, where the image is the final result of the drawing process, generated at the very moment the video is projected onto the paper support. The marks intersect and overlap, revealing the temporal dimension of the memory and of memories, without any linear or logical progression.

Raffaele Di Vaia was born in Turin in 1969; he currently lives in Florence and works in Prato. He studied art at the Istituto d'Arte in Siena and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, where he graduated in 1994. While attending the Accademia, he also worked as a set designer and costumier for Laboratorio 9 in Siena. He first began to show his work in the 1990s. The collective exhibitions in which he has taken part include: Giovani, giovani!, curated by Antonella Soldaini, Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, 1994; Mixed-Media, curated by Daria Filardo, Galleria Neon, Bologna, 2000; Retentiva – Funzioni e disfunzioni della fotografia italiana attuale, curated by Raffaele Gavarro, Veneziaimmagine 2004, Italian Pavilion - Giardini di Castello, Venice 2004; Il giardino immaginato, curated by Bruno Corà, Giardino di Palazzo San Clemente, Florence, 2006; Abbiamo fatto bene ad uscire, curated by Paolo Toffolutti, Villa di Toppo Florio, Buttrio – Udine, 2007. In 2004 he took part in Gemine Muse with his work Artifex triumphans [The Triumph of Creativity], which was displayed in the rooms of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Prato. In 2009 he held a personal exhibition of his work, curated by Francesco Funghi, at the Studio Chimera, Vinci (province of Florence).




Address: Studio MDT, via Marsala 18 (trav. di Via Zarini)

How to get there: Take red LAM bus from Prato central train station bound for Grignano–Le Badie; alight at Valentini 5