The Pocket Gallery, a contemporary artspace, has reopened with an exhibition by the Italian artist Marzia Gallinaro. This gallery, situated within the two drawers of a renovated screw-tip box, offers contemporary artists an alternative to a traditional, fixed location gallery and the complete ephemera of an internet exhibition.
Marzia’s opening was held at the popular Paduan summer night-spot, Il Chiosco (The Kiosk) on Wednesday evening. The event was well attended, and not only by the friends of the artist and gallery owner and curator, Matthew Broussard. With a sly nod to the idea of a ‘peep show’ small groups of 4 to 6 people filed in to an intimate viewing room to see the more than 100 erotic drawings that Marzia had created for the lower drawer of the gallery while many others hovered around the door craning their necks to try and see over the hunched shoulders of the chosen viewers. In the upper drawer of the gallery the ‘floor’ had been replaced with a magnifying glass marked with centimeters (never ask a carpenter how long 15 cm is). Within the span of a few hours well over 60 people had viewed the works. Four of the drawings were purchased for private collections the night of the opening.
The exhibit will be available for viewing throughout July and August both by appointment within Italy and on the Pocket Gallery website (available July 28th) which can be accessed by clicking on the link located above and to your right. Click below to watch my video of the exhibition opening…
“Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you glad to see me?” With a one-liner Sophie Tucker turns the most intimate of situations into a worldwide cultural icon. Contemporary art often plays with the tension between private and public,exhibiting as “product” the most intimate emotions: a (sometimes) refined variation on the most common marketing ploy of all. Marzia Gallinaro acknowledges this specific aspect of the Pocket Gallery and makes it her own: an art gallery is a public viewing space; but when it’s hidden…?…down there, in your pocket…? It becomes a symmetrical mirror of the tendency of contemporary are to trumpet private sentiment in public. She pokes fun at those who become voyeurs under cover of culture, and who slip into small private places (art galleries?) like pre-teens to peek at dirty pictures. Her nervous line drawing which smacks of graffiti (another public venue for private eroticism) creates a tension well suited to the paranoia (of lots of guys) at having to use a magnifying glass or a ruler… the gallery isn’t the only place where size matters.”
-Matthew Broussard owner and curator of the Pocket Gallery