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The artist of false appearances who, with his stickers, constructs a reality made up of superimposed images.

Written by
October 15, 2022

Pietro Marelli aka Pitmarels, born in 1996, superimposes images and figures borrowed from everyday life to distort the viewer's vision, thus provoking a sense of amazement in the eyes of the observer.

Pit's works take shape in two different moments.

From afar, when we perceive figures, and up close when we distinguish details.

But we asked him to tell us more about his work, how his works are created and what inspires him. 

Hi Pietro, we have defined you as the artist of false appearances. But what does false appearance mean to you and where does this concept, which has become the leitmotif of your work, come from?

The concept of false appearance comes from an everyday scene that stuck with me years ago. 

I was in a supermarket, and an elderly lady was complaining animatedly to the shop assistants because the Chiquita banana sticker had accidentally stuck to a pear! I wondered why the lady was complaining so much, maybe the banana without its sticker was less good or ripe? I don't think so...

At that time I was attending the Brera Academy, and then from that day on - also with the help of my professors - I started to think about the fact that people tend to look at the surface of things without going into them too much. 

During my studies, I experimented with taking this concept to extremes.  

The result? 

To make fun of the way I see the world around me without going into too much detail. 

I started to see the surrounding reality in a different guise. Perhaps more profound? I cannot say, I leave that to the observer.

So is that why most of your subjects are very often famous people and figures borrowed from reality?

Yes, exactly.

Most of my works come from influences during my daily life or from scenes from films, cartoons and famous people.

I think it's an unconscious thing but I'm drawn to the fact that some figures most of the time have the same position, physiognomy or a detail that makes me immediately connect to something else.

This gives rise to works between art and cinema in which I systematically look for cinematic frames in which the represented subject is in the same position as a work of art or vice versa. As for example in the work Fake Orgasm, in which I contrast Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa with Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in Harry When I Present Sally.

Fake Orgasm Pitmarels

Pit, another recurring and distinctive element in your work is stickers. Where did your passion for stickers come from and when did you decide that they would become your distinctive technique? 

I have always loved stickers since I was a child.

It's a passion/hobby that my dad and especially my granddad passed down to me. There used to be a cult of going to any shop to get a sticker, anywhere from the petrol station to the supermarket, the baker's and the chemist's. Kids would collect them like stickers. Kids would collect them like they were stickers.

My grandfather used to collect them and left me a box with all kinds of stickers from the 30s to the 80s. It is thanks to this box that his hobby has become my artistic medium today!

In your works, you combine in-depth aesthetic research with the ironic power of words, which we find in the titles of your works. The title is very important in your work. How much time do you devote to choosing the title?

It is true that the title is a fundamental component of all my works. I play a lot with the sounds and meanings of words, so much so that the most common question is: does the work or the title of your work come first? 

The title is an integral part of the work and of what for me is the concept of false appearance.

Usually the title is born and I think of it before the work itself, as in the case of the trousers work entitled: "trousers that fit or shoes that dress" a play on words that makes the observer think a lot. 

Trousers That Fit or Shoes That Fit

The sticker technique has become the hallmark. But are there any artists - even living ones - who have inspired you?

I have always found the work of Duchamp and Boetti fascinating, but I also studied in particular the Czech artist Jiri Kolar and then the master Magritte.  

In the beginning, I didn't experience very well the fact that I didn't have a 'master', a real support point to rely on for my technique, especially in the first years of experimentation at the Academy. a real point of support to rely on for my technique, especially in the first years of experimentation at the Academy. 

Now, with a little more awareness, I can tell you that maybe it was a good thing because it gave me the opportunity to go my own way, to understand the advantages and disadvantages of my medium and to strengthen my style more and more.

P(h)ink Botero is the work exclusively on Onstream Gallery and is made of a special material. Can you tell us more about your choice of materials?

For a few years now I have been experimenting with my art on an industrial material, I like the fact of giving new life to an object that has already run its course.

I'm fascinated by this material because it looks very resistant, but it has to be handled with care, it's very fragile. Another false appearance, we could say.

I also like to emphasise the fact that this is a 'lived' material. In fact, I never cover up the marks that are already inside it; on the contrary, I try to enhance them, considering them to be a distinctive feature of the work. Moreover, sometimes the material is also marked with its date of birth on the edge, as in the case of the work P(h)ink Botero. And this makes it even more unique. 

P(h)ink Botero Pitmarels

Thank you Pit, we have reached the end of this chat. It's a pleasure to have you among our artists!

We would like to leave you with a small spoiler.

We are working with Pietro on a project that will see the light after the summer. For now we can't say much, but know that it has something to do with the new way of experiencing art. Online.

Hello Collectors,

I'll see you soon,


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