Heading to Rome this winter? Check out the new street art exhibit The Pitiless Gaze of Hysterical Realism at the The Popping Club. TUBE’s friends Cane Morto will be among the artists exhibiting. The show runs from December 11th to February 14th.

Invitation to the Public



Via Baccina 84, Roma

Curator: Stefano S. Antonelli
Management: Francesca Mezzano
Production: 999Contemporary
Adjunct curator: Marta Veltri
Executive production: Cecilia Caporlingua, Tiziano Iosca
Location settler: Francesco Caporlingua


This is an exhibition of the contemporary portrait. Eighteen artists coming from eight different countries that have three things in common: They all use street art as a communicative tool, they are all painters and all of them represent people. They are puzzle pieces of an army of young creative minds that over the past ten years have painted on walls, facades, pylons, bins, mailboxes, sidewalks, roofs, street signs, houses, banks, tanks, silos, cubicles, doors, counters, bus stops, bridges, dampers, subways, culverts, windows, transforming these artefacts in cells of a new skin that will cover the city.

Portraiture is an essential measuring tool used to represent a  symbolic path to determine the practice of representation. It is a instrument able to interpret the complexities of reality.  It is the observation and the consequential process of transformation of the subject in images that gives us the possibility to manage the underlying question between subjective identity and public image. The story of portraiture is the infinite tale of humanity. It has always been that artists have portrayed the crossing paths of humanity, however, this visual representation can only  be considered to be contemporary if able to illustrate the soul and spirit of the present-day.

The gaze of these artists will narrate our story to future generations, their vision will be a reflection of our worlds future, based on paradigms of high definition and on the continuous flow of information. Succeeding the nihilism of the nineties, their work will try to explain that there is something worth fighting and living for, something that, perhaps, will be found between the details of this new interpretation.
Is this representation realistic? Yes, it is. Ever since the concept of realism has started to transcend from its original meaning and it is constantly molded to better define the idea of contemporary realism.

Where do these young artists that paint on the streets come from? Throughout the period where the urban arts bloomed around Europe and in the United States (late twentieth, early twenty-first century), the generation and movements of writers and poets (especially Americans), started unfolding and describing our world. Dave Eggers, David Foster Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, Don De Lillo, Chuck Palahniuk and other “novelists” all started speaking about “Lonely people looking for a way to connect with others, people whose dreams were simply to build their own nest where to invite only the rabble they wished. The creation of an environment you can control, free from conflict and pain. A place where you rule.” (C. Palahniuk, Non Fiction n.d.c). These authors were giving us an account about the loss of a whole generation, the generation that should have been the driving power of an unstoppable machine of creativity that is changing the visual panorama of our cities. Within this literal representation, our customs towards realism have not been abolished; they have been powerfully recharged. Where is now the Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius evoked by Dave Eggers? and the Infinite Jest described by David Foster Wallace?  and the Underworld explored by De Lillo? The work of these artists is a popular and varied representation of this western world-view named by James Wood as the Hysterical Realism. If the words of these writers was an hysterical representation of reality, the art of these artists is its Pitiless Gaze.


Is the new pit stop of the 999 curatorial project, an independent space of cultural imagination by 999Contemporary in collaboration with CultRise. This project sheds light on the urban arts, it is shamelessly and idealistically located in the heart of the Monti district of Rome to provide a stimulating environment where thoughts have freedom of speech and expression both for the public and the artists invited to experiment and cultivate the urban art practices. A five hundred square meter habitat that includes an exhibition space for artistic and musical research, workshops, production offices and an area reserved for conferences and meetings, to experiment a format of auto sustainable non-profit cultural production that will be able to allow the city to participate in the international cultural debate and commence an adventure there, where we imagine the future.


Popping Club

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