From the 26th January to the 11th February, Maddox Gallery is delighted to present Eden, Simafra’s first ever solo exhibition in the UK, in association with Bellini Cipriani.
Written by James Nicholls, Managing Director and Curator, Maddox Gallery.
It is my considered opinion that Simafra has the potential to become a major artist of our times. Here at Maddox Gallery, we have had the pleasure of representing him for around a year now, bringing his rich and mesmerising artworks to Mayfair, London. If you haven’t yet enjoyed his beautiful paintings in person, now is the perfect time.
Riccardo Prosperi, popularly known as ‘Simafra’, was born in 1985 in Florence. He still lives and works in the city, close to where Michaelangelo’s studios once were, and founded ‘La Bottega Moderna,’ an influential independent artist and cultural space, in his hometown.
I was introduced to Simafra, the ‘artist from Florence’, by a good friend. He, along with his wife, avidly collected works by the distinctive emerging artist, and I was invited to view his art at their Mayfair apartment.
I was not prepared for the positive impact of his work. On first sight, the richness of colours and the use of gold was simply breath-taking. Our art advisors at Maddox Gallery knew immediately that this was an artist with extraordinary talent, whose work we would want to showcase.
Since the moment we began working with Simafra, his works have been an instant sell-out here at Maddox Gallery. It’s no wonder he has a large and dedicated international following.
Simafra began to exhibit nationally and internationally only around a decade ago. His works have been showcased in numerous major European art fairs, and he has had enjoyed major exhibitions in Bonn, Berlin, London and Florence.
Now, leading contemporary art experts and celebrities alike have chosen to buy Simafra art. His art features in prestigious global collections owned by the Lebanese Minister of Finance, the Prince of Qatar and Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz. He has also been featured in publications such as Firenze Magazine, Lonely Planet, luxury bookazine The Player and Elle Décor (USA).
In addition to this, interior decorators love his works, and Simafra art is displayed in international venues by the Cipriani Restaurant Group, and Bellini Cipriani, the original Harry’s Bar cocktail, whom we are honoured to be partnering with for this exhibition.
Eden, Simafra’s latest collection, was inspired by his first site-specific installation, Autostima. Displayed within the group exhibition ‘Ecosistemi’ at the Biagiotti Progetto Arte Foundation in Florence, this project led him to look at nature more closely as an artistic theme.
“I paint Nature, the source that enriches my soul,” Simafra explains.
His installation created a fictional jungle, in which a real car was being consumed by the foliage. Rather than focusing on themes of destruction, however, Simafra wanted to examine the regenerating power of nature.
As a collection, Eden has clear associations with Christianity’s creation myth. Pieces such as Albero della conoscenza del bene e del male (Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil), Adamo ed Eva (Adam and Eve) and La tentazione (The Temptation) – which features a snake – all allude directly to the biblical narrative.
Simafra claims that his paintings all reflect on the eternal fight between Good and Evil.
“This theme is ancient and yet enduring, just like my painting, that aims to be timeless,” he states.
While his latest works may nod to the biblical Eden, Simafra explains that he painted his own Eden, with his own “Garden of Earthly Delights.”
“Eden is therefore the metaphor of my life and depicts the great moment I am living right now,” he concludes.
He explains that paintings such as ‘The Family’, ‘Adam and Eve’ and ‘The Strength of the Forest’ were inspired by everyday parts of his life, while ‘The Enchanted Forest’, ‘Glimpse of the Forest’ and ‘Tree of Dreams’ are instead a representation of metaphorical places.
“I created the canvases to immerse myself in their peace and find, in exchange, the peace I need to create my works.”
We invite you to view and have the opportunity to buy Simafra art to decorate your home and invest in an emerging talent. Perhaps you simply want to experience these astounding paintings in the flesh. Please pay this stunning exhibition a visit at Maddox Gallery from 27th January, at 9 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2QE.