Warhol & Mauro @ Halcyon Gallery

‘In my life I had many loves but none that seemed to last, but art was different, and in the end I just had to dive in’ – Mauro Perucchetti

This is the quote inscribed on one of the walls of the Halcyon Gallery – a gallery which is hosting an exhibition to show the parallels of pop art past and present, and fast becoming one of my favourite galleries in London. The show is hosting the work of contemporary Italian artist Mauro Perucchetti alongside that of Pop Art icon Andy Warhol.

The exhibition gives its audience an exciting opportunity to see the origins of Pop Art while also showing where it could develop and evolve. For those unfamiliar with Perucchetti’s work, you just have to think of the family of jelly babies at Marble Arch to know what he has to offer. The artist mainly shows sculptures, reminiscent of boiled sweets as translucent structures. They are much like ‘jellies’ and remind me of Lalique crystal jewellery, especially in his ‘Power of Love’ series, a heart shaped hand grenade – which, in my opinion, is just begging to be transformed into a perfume bottle.

Among the work it is clear to see where both artists’ have been influenced by consumerism and we are shown a multitude of drawings by Warhol depicting his love affair with shoes. Underneath each drawing is a short tongue-in-cheek anecdote about footwear such as: ‘to shoe or not to shoe’ and ‘shoe bright, shoe light, first shoe I’ve seen tonight.’ Furthermore, where Warhol showed us an age of celebrity with his silk-screened prints, Perucchetti takes this further by poking fun at society through the themes of sex and addiction, questioning the boundaries of excess. He shows this through models with syringes for hair and glittery pills – similar to those of Hirst, although less serious in fun, candy colours.

This exhibition must not be missed. Although being Pop Art obsessed I am biased, it shows parallels between an old favourite and a future icon as well as some of the most beautiful, light-hearted work I’ve seen in a long time.

Warhol/Mauro is on display at the Halcyon Gallery until 15 September.

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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