To swim in a pool of material belongings, plunging, drifting, whirling. The water is glistening, and so are the boys, staying afloat in the quiet streams of aquatic nostalgia. Fidgety silhouettes merge into one another, blurring the limits of their bodies. The water is inviting yet challenging, for its fluid state of being is not apt for humans to live in. Partly vulnerable, partly sensual, Formica’s boys exist in a voyeuristic vacuum where their beautiful bodies swing between subject and object by our gaze, and they coexist with repurposed memorabilia and blue introspections. In Boys by the Pool, Daniele Formica invites us to dip into his watery realm and navigate its liquidity.
Daniele Formica’s new series of work follow a common thread in his practice that began last year while he was rediscovering his domestic environment. Drifting in a confining atmosphere with a decreasingly structuralised perception of time, his belongings started dissolving around him.
In January this year, Formica further dived into this process in his drawing series Boys by the Pool, which originated from an attraction towards the erotic and bucolic imagery of young male figures bathing. This series evoked a new realization on the condition of floating; in Formica’s words, “liquid modernity is interpreted as a condition transforming subjects into sensual and vulnerable drifting bodies, somewhere between phenomenological victims and sentient actors playing in water.” Words abound in Formica’s work. For the artist, words are social sculptures in process, and writing is a gesture of petrifying meaning. As watery utterances, words float around in poetic efforts to anchor a liquid state of being. On the other hand, his memorabilia, from a gifted apron to an encountered leaning chair, are transformed into vessels of remembrance. As the artists says, “[his belongings] had been drifting around me all this time and finally found a tranquil shore.” Boys by the Pool presents Daniele Formica’s journey towards a sensorial and perceptual translation of the liquid state into a philosophy of being. Drawing from the mirroring quality of water, contemplating his work ultimately triggers an empathetic reflection on our own fluidness.
Daniele Formica (Perugia, 1996) lives and works in The Hague. He received the Fine Arts Bachelor Award at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (KABK), and has participated in several exhibitions in The Hague, Amsterdam, and Arnhem. Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS is glad announce the representation of Daniele Formica as a new artist of the gallery.
Image: Daniele Formica, Boys by the pool, Out of the water and Self Portrait, 2021, gouache on paper, 43 x 29,8 cm.
Ellen de Bruijne Projects
Open by appointment