On the morning of December 1, Milan woke up to a surprise: a mysterious statue appeared in the center of Largo La Foppa. Passers-by found themselves in front of a sculpture over 2.5 meters high depicting the Statue of Liberty, symbol of New York and the United States, in fuchsia color with spots of paint along the entire tunic and beyond. However, as they approached, they noticed a very particular detail: instead of the Goddess Reason, the face of Vladimir Putin appears. And instead of the iconic torch held by the emblem of New York, symbol of the eternal fire of freedom, he prefers a pistol pointed towards the sky.
In the same hours, the Instagram profile of the pop art artist Dicò published photos of the statue, claiming its ownership. The post was accompanied by some words from the artist that let us guess its meaning: “It always seems impossible until it’s done. Freedom is not a gun».
The quote begins with a quote from Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize winner. “It always seems impossible until it is done”, a symbolic phrase of the struggle and the strength of the ideals that made possible the greatest revolutionary enterprises in history. A phrase that is not without relevance: after the two world wars a war as close to the West as the one between Russia and Ukraine seemed impossible, until it happened. The second sentence instead «Freedom is not a gun» is instead from the artist, who seems to highlight how too often freedom is used as a means and as a justification for starting wars. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is only the latest of these cases: according to Putin’s words, the objective of the military campaign was to “denazify Ukraine” and free it from the oppressive regime. But even the positions taken by the other powers of the world – explained the artist – first of all the United States, are not so clear and idealistic: too often the world powers have exploited and manipulated the concept of “freedom” in a distorted way according to its own political and economic interests, denaturing it from its own purity. Effectively using «Freedom» as a weapon.
The artist Dicò presented himself personally to Largo La Foppa and signed the work. Then he moved a few steps from Moscova for the inauguration of his new temporary gallery in Corso Garibaldi at the corner with Via Palermo. The gallery is open to the public every day from 1st to 31st December. Opening hours are Sunday to Wednesday from 10 to 20, while from Thursday to Saturday the closing time is postponed to 21.30.
The work of the Statue of Liberty with Putin’s face will be transferred inside the gallery. With his debut in Milan, Dicò’s works continue their world tour, from the heart of Rome via Miami and Dubai, to the point of being protagonists in the homes and private collections of many Hollywood stars: Enrico Dicò has become in recent years an international reference point of pop art with his particular combustion technique, which earned him the denomination of The Fire Artist overseas. Dicò’s technique is based on the combination of prints, materials found in urban contexts and elements belonging to world icons of the neo-pop imagery, ranging from Gandhi to Popeye, up to the Joker, Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie and Albert Einstein, with the particular combustion technique of Plexiglas plates adapted to the work and the insertion of LED lights, capable of composing a unique and dynamic effect of images, lights and corrosions
material. The attention of collectors and stars was not long in coming: Dicò’s works are present in homes and in private collections, to name just a few, of personalities of the caliber of Morgan Freeman, Dustin Hoffman, Lionel Richie, Sylvester Stallone , Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Keanu Reeves.
Even Pope Francis publicly received a work by Dicò in St. Peter’s Square, directly from the artist’s hands, with a personal interpretation of Christ. Thus, in recent years, Dicò’s permanent gallery in Piazza de Ricci has become a point of reference for pop art in the historic center of Rome and one of the favorite destinations for tourism in search of unique works, which blend artistic research with the interior design.