The dark side, the underworld of human society, holds an indescribable attraction for Alberto De Michele. It exerts this attraction because he grew up with it. In the past three years he has mainly been focusing on the world around his father. He gave him an upbringing surrounded by thieves, gangsters and gambling addicts, a social environment most people experience as sinister and unsavoury. The way De Michele explains it himself: ”In plain terms, my father is a crook. Since I grew up in this environment and still have one foot in my father’s world, I am able to communicate easily with the people in it. I can build up a bond of trust between them and myself that enables me to explore their lives in a privileged way.”
De Michele is a visual artist who uses different media such as video and performance art. His work straddles the line between (pulp) ction and (plain) fact. It involves investigating romanticised notions of outlaw culture and underground movements. “My aim is to penetrate into the most expressive part, the core of my chosen subject. For this purpose it is important to separate the essential from the super uous, so as to come ever closer to the image or experience I am looking for. All the elements have to come directly from the source and a perfect balance has to ensue between those elements. In order to make this balance possible, I have to nd an appropriate form for each subject. By means of this working method I can be very precise and touch upon the essence of my subject, so that in all its nakedness it reveals its multiplicity. In e ect I o er the viewer a particular perspective of a phenomenon that allows for new ways of perceiving it.”
(photos from installation view at Janine Hofland Gallery
Alberto De Michele (1980, Venice) received his education at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, department Audiovisual (1997 – 2001) and the Sandberg Institute MA, Fine Arts, Amsterdam (2001 – 2004). After that he had a residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam (2010 – 2012).
Poster design by Gilles de Brock