Surreal, deformed, fantastic, no matter how you define them, the hybrid creatures in Italian artist Mario Canali’s work are undoubtedly visions of the human. Take the images of Mario’s work from his first solo exhibition in 1975, through his experiments with virtual reality in the 1990s and up to his new series on display at Los Angeles’ DAC Gallery and you find a macrocosmic exploration of what it means to be human.
What makes Canali fascinating as an artist is that his hand, whether it is virtual, wears a motion-tracking glove or holds a pen, allows us to begin to define the complex relationship between body and consciousness. Starting with traditional materials, Canali first reached critical and commercial success in his native city of Monza in the late 1970s. By the 1980s, the energy of new media innervated his work.
As a pioneer in computer arts, Canali had a uniquely cross-disciplinary creativity that led him to collaborate with psychologists, furniture designers and computer scientists. In 1985 this collaborative concept was given a name in the Correnti Magnetiche Research and Electronic Art Group. Through these projects Canali continued to win critical praise, earning the Award of Distinction twice from the Prix Ars Electronica and the prestigious Nastro d’argento.
Throughout this success Canali’s hasn’t only created works of art, but also built immersive ideas. His interactive installations have created empathic mechanical environments where conventions of input and output are upended in a synaesthetic experience. Playing with perceptual boundaries, the hallucinatory nature of these works has been incorporated into unique events including raves, conventions and a psycho-bar.
On March 10th, Canali will be on hand in Los Angeles to celebrate a completely new event in his career: a return to painting. At an artist reception presented by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Los Angeles, Italian food and wine will accompany new works created by Canali during a stay in Los Angeles last year. Ganzo will be there, because we are sure that once again Canali will plunge us into the heart of a fugitive modern subject that, while difficult to track, seems to be found partially in DNA, in Freud’s Id, in sense perceptions and in Jung’s collective unconscious.
Mario Canali Opening Reception presented by the Italian Institute of Culture Los Angeles and DAC Gallery
6:00 PM – 9:30 PM | March 10, 2012 | 828 Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90014