Self-portrait – RaffaEllo

Rivoli Castle – Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

In the 1970s, Ontani produced refined tableaux vivants that reflected his stance halfway between Appropriation and Body Art, as a controversial artist who embraced the commonplace in certain performances and products. He dressed up to ritually recreate self-contented masterpieces of Western art and Asian culture. In his RaffaEllo self-portrait, he re-enacted the famous painting (1504-1506) of Raphael at the Uffizi by donning the same clothes and showing the same narcissistic pride as the Renaissance artist from Urbino. Displaying humanistic awareness and a contemporary crossover spirit, Ontani makes his body into a work, crossing and stylizing it with irony and iconographic elegance. He also “played” figures such as Pinocchio, Dante and Leonardo da Vinci.