Marco Papa

Gian Ferrari Arte Contemporanea

The twenty-five-year-old Milanese artist Marco Papa is known for his art’s playful irony. A trademark piece, for example, is a pair of swimming flippers carved out of soap—a work that is at once comical, tender, and subversive (if used, the equipment would inexorably dissipate in the water, dissolving a bit more with every kick). However, irony was only one aspect of Papa’s recent exhibition “Caduta Libera” (Free fall), and perhaps not even the most important element.

Near the entrance to the gallery, Papa installed a large Formica purse containing three wolf heads, made respectively from soap, licorice, and aluminum foil. A huge cudgel drawn in graphite decorated a nearby wall, while on the floor appeared a miniature mountain range formed of licorice on which the artist had arranged a lilliputian scene—a tiny car driven by wolf-men, surrounded by several rams—made of pastry. The lower

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