Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio, Studio sulla parabola dei ciechi tratto da Peter Brueghel (dettaglio), 2014. Collezione privata, Napoli. In comodato a Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina, Napoli. Foto © Amedeo Benestante. | Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio, Study of the Parable of the Blind, after Peter Brueghel (detail), 2014. Private collection, Naples. On loan to Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples. Photo © Amedeo Benestante.

The artistic research of Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio (Pozzuoli, 1972) emerges from the very beginning as a transversal practice using different instruments, photography, video, installation drawing. Key moments in his development were his meeting with Giuseppe Desiato and his collaboration with colleagues Giulia Piscitelli and Pasquale Cassandro. With them in 1992 he founded Studio Aperto Multimediale, a space-independent laboratory in the historic center of Naples. The underlying theme of his work is the scathing irony with which he creates a reflection on contemporary society and on artistic practice itself, often using his own body and its image. The story of an unstable identity, changeable yet troubled, is forcefully expressed in many of the works in which the artist appears in the role of famous personalities, from Groucho Marx to Luigi Tenco. The reflection on identity is crossed with the theme of failure, which runs through the videos, united by a sense of inadequacy and awkwardness leading to self-parody, as well as his assemblages-mechanisms that perform unnecessary actions, negating all functionality.
His critical reading of contemporary society, with its violence and drama, as well as the art world, ruled by mechanisms that end up by stifling the artist’s creativity, appears to unfold lightly, but ultimately reveals a melancholy note which runs through all the artist’s work. “His multifaceted activities expresses this sense of impending crisis: a subtle blend of poetry and the pain of living, hope and disappointment, beauty and decay, all handled with irreverent, often merciless, irony” (Andrea Bellini, 2002).

Studio sulla parabola dei ciechi tratto da Pieter Bruegel (“Study of the Parable of the Blind, after Pieter Bruegel,” 2014) is directly inspired by the painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1568) in the collection of the Museo Nazionale of Capodimonte. Notable for its stark realism, the sixteenth-century painting shows six blind men advancing in single file, each leaning on the shoulder of the one in front. The brief procession ends with the first in the line tumbling into a ditch, where the others will probably follow him. Physical blindness thus becomes a warning against spiritual blindness, doomed to end badly. Scotto di Luzio follows the composition of Bruegel the Elder’s painting almost faithfully, except for the central figure, which an unexpected insertion, suggesting a temporal shift and a possible identification. With his empty stare, the artist transfers the original religious admonition to contemporary uncertainty, embodying the ever-relevant lack of awareness with which we go to meet our fate.