Francesco Vezzoli's exhibition at Almine Rech Gallery marks his first solo exhibition in London since 2006. Vezzoli has often intertwined the past and the present in his work, giving Greek-Roman statues the faces of contemporary celebrities (model Karen Elson, for instance), photographing Hollywood divas, like Eva Mendes, as original antique sculptures, or portraying popstar Nicki Minaj as historical courtesans such as Madame de Pompadour or the Marquise de Montespan.
Although straying from his predilection for glamour and stardom, this exhibition still retains the idea of bringing together the past and the present, incorporating authentic Roman artworks into contemporary pieces. Drawing on extensive research about classical art, Vezzoli collaborates with a team of archeologists to restore Roman artifacts to their original shape and colours. Yet these new works are not about the present being superimposed onto the past but rather about the past reaching out to us.