Playful puns and corrosive insights are key ingredients in the word salads concocted by artist Pierluca De Carlo. The LA-based Italian immigrant, and former long-time commercial director, is constantly inspired by his second language and his edgy wordplay informs his “Words in Progress” exhibition at Downtown Los Angeles’ Backspace Gallery starting in late January.
The effusive De Carlo grasped the power of advertising through his varied and successful career in the same field where a young Andy Warhol cut his teeth. De Carlo worked closely with famed fashion photographer Herb Ritts and on numerous product accounts and celebrity shoots.
“I’m not a painter but an advertising guy; I like to sell but don’t sell products; I sell messages,” De Carlo emphasizes.
The message in his art confound and amuse like ad tag lines laced in cognitive dissonance. A painting of Frida Kahlo bears dueling slogans: ” Made in Mexico/Maid in America.”
Familiar phrases get tweaked into mordant, ironic social comment – such as “Life of the Greed,” or “Weapons of Mass Destraction.” The historical term Dark Ages is re-configured as “Dark Cages.”