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Luigi Ontani, David d’après Michelangelo, 1970, seven color photographs, overall 6' 1“ x 25' 3”.

Luigi Ontani

Accademia Nazionale di San Luca

Luigi Ontani, David d’après Michelangelo, 1970, seven color photographs, overall 6' 1“ x 25' 3”.

A self-curated retrospective often risks being bombastic or over the top, but not in the case of Luigi Ontani, who represented his emblematic path from the 1970s to the present with eighty-five works—photographs, watercolors, sculptures in ceramic and bronze, and one mosaic—in which he is the main subject, turning the show into a sort of ironic and phantasmagoric über-self-portrait.

Since the beginning of his career, Ontani’s reflections on art history have been both observant and irreverent. Using disguises and disrobings, Ontani reinterprets not only iconic figures from Italian art, but also poets, heroes, saints, and sinners from many cultures, sometimes crossing the subtle boundary between irony and sarcasm. He transforms and multiplies himself in an endless play of mirrors, shuttling between fantasy and reality in a vertigo of time and meaning. Particularly in his

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