The subject of art and war, along with the debates that surrounds their combined narrative has been exhausted throughout centuries. Where the former finds substance in the presence of war, it’s not also uncommon for the latter to inspire art. Italian artist Filippo Minelli uses a fundamental instrument of war, the smoke bomb, to explore the aesthetics of subtle beauty.
The smoke bomb as a symbol evades all complications of interpretation in its enduring association with violence, chaos and protest – however, when filled with vibrant coloured columns of smoke and discharged in the serene settings of nature, the device finds itself undertaking an entirely new form.
Stripping them bare of their harsh contours, it is this metamorphosis that Minelli invites us to consider: the transition from a signifier of power and destruction, to a beautiful tendril of delicate eloquence. The use of the smoke bomb as an artistic device arose from the artist’s own political activism. Seeking ideas inspired by demonstration and protest, the subject of social and political issues often stand at the heart of Minelli’s craft. A natural step from his graffiti and street art, the camera allowed Minelli to make the smoke bomb, a wholly expressive yet transient form of protest.
Beetles+Huxley are delighted to announce the first UK exhibition of the works of emerging Italian artist Filippo Minelli. The exhibition will focus on his striking and celebrated series Silence/Shapes, which he began in 2009, since exhibited as part of the Venice Biennale in 2011.
The exhibition runs until 5th September at Beetles+Huxley Gallery
3-5 Swallow Street
Luciana Garbarni (@LucPierra)