Ivan Lupi

Paul Robinson

Image Courtesy of Paul Robinson


Lupi sits on a bench. His half top is shirtless. On his torso we can read a tattoo made with red ink that says ‘PEINTURE FRAICHE’. The artist has a tattoo machine in his hands and with black ink he overlays the red writing with a new tattoo that says ‘WET PAINT’, same meaning, different language. Everything happens without stencils, completely freehand while he interacts with everyone who sits next to him. One of the sentences he will ask is: “Would you normally sit on a bench that has a sign which reads ‘WET PAINT’ on it?”


My work acknowledges the fluidity of otherness within the dynamic of performance art. I am interested in the expression of our uniqueness and identity through vulnerability and intimacy. I explore how the artist and the audience come together to perform a caring community.


Ivan Lupi (born 1972, Ferrara, Italy). Masters in queer studies in arts and culture from the Birmingham University. Research fellow at the ICCAR, International Centre for Contemporary Art Research, Birmingham since 2013. Since 2001 Lupi has been one of the founders and active member of the collective Amae with which he has taken part in various collaborations and exhibitions in China, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania, United Kingdom. In 2016 Lupi starts his own production as a single performer along with Amae’s series of work. The most recent and relevant events: ‘The Voice and the Lens’ – Whitechapel Art Gallery (London 2014); ‘The slip of the tongue’ – Palazzo Grassi Punta della Dogana (Venice 2015); ‘Transformations’ by LiVEART.US – Queens Museum (New York 2016); ‘Experimenting with a wunderkammer of vanities – MACT/CACT Contemporary Art Ticino (Bellinzona 2016); ‘Making Space’ – CoCA, Centre of Contemporary Art (Christchurch 2017).