Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Tartan with a Twist; Baltic Staff Are to Get a New Look Courtesy of Italian Artist Antonio Riello, as Tamzin Lewis Explains

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Tartan with a Twist; Baltic Staff Are to Get a New Look Courtesy of Italian Artist Antonio Riello, as Tamzin Lewis Explains

Article excerpt

Byline: Tamzin Lewis

THERE are a limited amount of places where artists can display their work in a gallery - usually on floors, walls, pedestals or from ceilings. But Italian artist Antonio Riello has chosen to subvert usual exhibition techniques by displaying his art on people.

In a fashion/art project at Baltic called B.Square!, Antonio has designed a new tartan to be worn by everyone at the gallery from crew and curators to technicians and directors.

Antonio says he was wowed by Baltic in 2005 when his work was featured at a group exhibition World is a Safer Place at Newcastle's Globe City. "It was my first time in Tyneside and I fell in love with Baltic," says Antonio.

"I liked the street culture side of the exhibitions, and the way in which the gallery is organised. I was very impressed, so I started thinking about a new project.

"I am interested in the invisible side of contemporary art in museums - the gallery staff, the director, the curator, the technicians and guards.

"When we visit a museum we look at the architecture and the exhibition, but we don't notice the people. This is a forgotten side and I decided to take care of that with this project."

Antonio, who lives in Italy, developed his investigation of the 'invisible side' for the Kuntshalle in Vienna, Austria, and was subsequently asked to create a project for Baltic. After consulting widely with gallery staff he decided to produce a special range of clothes for Baltic.

He says: "My idea was to invent a special fabric and produce an outfit for Baltic staff, something comfortable but also elegant and made of high quality material."

Antonio was inspired by the official European Union tartan which is a blue, yellow and white plaid. And he has used this symbol of Europe's identity to create a new, deliberately flawed tartan for Baltic. …

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