Two monumental installations have been realized by Olivier Kosta-Théfaine and Stelios Faitakis
on the building of Palais de Tokyo as part of the sixth edition of the Lasco Project.
Curated by Hugo Vitrani
OLIVIER KOSTA-THEFAINE, SOFFITTO
Olivier Kosta-Théfaine considers himself to be a “landscape painter”. In his work, vandalism is tinged with classicism, and the margins become central. Kosta-Théfaine dissects the city at its edges, with its bad reputations and urban legends. He paints the abstract details of a street, observes the weeds, burns ceilings with a lighter, and breaks glass bottles so as to produce French-style gardens or to create football fan scarves, in homage to the banlieues, while targeting the tension that exists between the desire to flee them and the need to defend them body and soul.
At Palais de Tokyo, Kosta-Théfaine has taken charge of three cupolas, on which he has composed a burnt sky with a lighter – a technique coming from the entrances to blocks of council flats, where young kids burn time by writing in fire on the ceilings – thus mingling classic frescoes from Italian palazzos with the traditions of everyday inner-city vandalism.
STELIOS FAITAKIS, ELEGY OF MAY, PART I: THE DEEPNESS OF THINGS. PART II: THE ROUND TABLE.
On gold or silver backgrounds, Stelios Faitakis’s history paintings decompose architecture, geometric symbols, or typography, while remixing references and techniques, from the paintings of Dürer to the murals of Diego Riviera, while embracing Cretan or Byzantine icons and the heritage of graffiti.
His desacralized icons present flaming haloes, Palestinian resistance fighters, riots, or the excesses of capitalism, dissolved into landscapes in which businessmen are hanged, along with the bling-bling debauches of gilded youth or, more recently, the deadly crossings of migrants. At the Palais de Tokyo, Stelios Faitakis is presenting two murals on the theme of non-submission, with the artist weaving connections between the events of May 68 as influenced by Situationist thought, which he now updates with the current actions of the 15-M Movement who – from New York to Madrid, via Paris, Athens or even Chili – have been attempting to shake up our era.
Born in 1976, Stelios Faitakis lives and works in Athens. Before starting to paint in a studio, Stelios Faitakis came to prominence at the heart of the rising Greek graffiti scene in the mid-1990s. After graduating from the Athens School of Fine Art, his worked was presented in the group show “Shit and Die” at the Palazzo Cavour, Turin (2014), at the first Kiev Biennale (2012), on the façade of the Danish Pavillion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), in the collective exhibition “Art in the Street” at the MoCa, Los Angeles (2011) or at the first biennale “Destroy Athens” (2007). He is represented by the Breeder gallery (Athens).
Olivier Kosta Théfaine
Resident at the French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici
The historical mission of the French Academy in Rome (known as "Mission Colbert") is to be a residency for fellows (known as "pensionnaires"). Since the XVIIth century, it has hosted artists and scholars, in order to allow them to pursue their work, studies and research. The French Academy in Rome has hosted the greatest French artists and architects of the past: Fragonard, Ingres, Berlioz, Carpeaux, Bizet, Debussy, Garnier.
It is now internationally open to all fields of literary and artistic creation, history of art as well as works of art and monuments restoration. Here resided among others in recent years Xavier Beauvois, Yan Pei-Ming, Valérie Mrejen, Philippe Rahm, Bruno Mantovani, Laurent Grasso, Yannick Haenel, Magic Malik.
In 2013, upon request of the French Minister of Culture and Communication Aurélie Filippetti, Mission Colbert was reformed in order to better adapt it to the evolution of the contemporary artistic context.