Paola Pivi - Knock it off, 2019

Paola Pivi

September 17, 2013

An Italian contemporary artist, Paola Pivi is best known for her series of whimsical, feather-covered bears. Working in a wide range of media, such as photography, sculpture, site-specific installations and performance, Paola creates extraordinary, surreal and bizarre settings that resonate with the audience.

Born 1971 in Milan, Italy, Pivi currently lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska. Between 2013 and 2016 was based in Delhi, India – together with her husband, the composer Karma Lama / Culture Brothers – because of the adoption of their adoptive son. In 1999, she received the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale.

Pivi is best known for her series of whimsical, feather-covered bears, seeking to reveal the power of imagination and freedom. Her works often feature animals in bizarre or surreal contexts, making references to the human condition. She explained these works were inspired by Duchamp's readymade and that her thinking comes from the abstract process we all have, the subconscious. Preferring not to read too much into her art, but to simply create amazing works that resonate with the audience, she once explained: "It is the art that is the interesting thing, and to elaborate on it just doesn’t serve any purpose for me."

Featured image: Paola Pivi - Knock it off, 2019. Urethane foam, plastic, feathers. 32 1/2 × 49 1/5 in. 82.6 × 124.9 cm. Photo courtesy Perrotin