Sangue, Sbocco & Tipe

Ale Formenti
Sangue, Sbocco & Tipe

Elk Gallery
33 Crosby Street (Between Broome and Grand)
New York, NY 10013

Opening reception: Saturday November 22 6-9pm

November 22-December 20th, 2008
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 2-7pm

Emanating from Milan's unsavory peripheral zones, Ale Formenti's raw, honest
and alternately titillating and unsettling photographs of drinking,
bleeding, crack smoking, vomiting, tattooed miscreants and hoodlums (along
with female fellow travelers clad only in lilac-colored panties and gas
masks) capture a punk rock skateboarding funhouse existence with a
distinctly Italian flavor. Formenti finds his inspiration in everything that
happens around him, taking pictures of his kind of people and doing it in
the way that does their self-destructive high jinks, bad habits and
unbridled sense of fun justice. He doesn't produce "cool" images like those
"that would make even a leper look nice" and isn't interested in distorting
reality but representing the fundamental nature of his subjects. These
pictures blend the contagion of punk and skating with an inherently Italian
suburban angst and aimlessness reminiscent of Visconti and Pasolini's
fringe-dwellers (and even more to the irascible denizens of Ettore Scola's
Brutti, Sporchi e Cattivi), with the comedic spirit of the incomparable Totò
hovering in the background. Convicts freshly out of jail two weeks away from
suicide, nine year old criminals-in-training, Pope-mocking skaters, bloody
singers, and partial nudity are brought radiantly to life in an unmistakably
Lombardian environment. Ritualistic drunkenness and insinuated loud abrasive
music are offset and complimented by flyers on the wall, checkered tile
floors, unused BMX bikes, and dreary postwar architecture. Having started as
a photographer for the skateboard magazine XXX at the tender age of
thirteen, Formenti had his eyes opened to an extremely unpopular other
universe directly opposed to prevailing infatuations with soccer, manga
cartoons and discothèques. That revelation brought on an embrace of the new
strange that ran counter to all notions of what was acceptable and or even
remotely fashionable. It was an opportunity to see that there was a bigger
world out there, and it developed naturally since it was about immortalizing
his peers doing what he considered the best things in the world. In addition
there were the liberating pleasures of traveling, making new friends every
weekend, skinned knees and hanging out in parking lots with all the most
interesting delinquents. Scouring Milan's few record shops that stocked punk
fare and putting together a band with some untalented punk rockers achieved
the goal: "A lot of fun without any expense." With the Dead Boyz Can't Fly,
Willy Wonkas, Teenage Schizoids and Porna & the Trendy Kids it was time to
shoot gigs with five people in attendance, sweat and spit, tours in the
worst places in Italy and sleeping in squalor. Sangue (BLOOD), Sbocco (PUNK - literally puke), Tipe (GIRLS - literally chicks) offers copious evidence of this epiphany and discovery with eye-searing images that run the entire gamut of lively, fucked-up and exultant splendor described above. Mamma Mia!

Ale Formenti was born in Seregno near Milan on April 25th, 1976 on the
thirty-first anniversary of the end of the Nazi occupation of Italy. Besides
being a photographer for XXX, he created WIMPY and 6:00 AM, as well as
TEENTRASH in both its online and print manifestations. This is his first
exhibition in New York, and will be accompanied by a new special edition
all-New York issue of TEENTRASH.


Made possible by the unerring support of BLOOD.

Aucun commentaire: