After graduating high school in the Art Institute of Porta Romana in Florence (IT) Mattia Papp moved to The Hague (NL) to study at the KABK where he graduated in 2017. His work takes classical elements of Italian tradition, its streets, its smells, old shops and architecture, and translates them into a contemporary language using different media, from paint to ceramics and videos. He has been working with theatre, painting, installations since then, aiming to engage Florence and the Netherlands in a creative and active dialogue.
"As you walk through Florence, there are many things you can touch. There is 'pietra serena', there is moss and there is marble. There are columns and statues, altars and piss stains. The city smells, it smells ancient, it smells good. The weight of centuries above your shoulders, and this weight is that of an old man, that walks with a limp, tries not to fall and balances himself on his stick and your neck.
The columns are full of pores, carved from wind and fingertips in centuries. The stones are smudged in their corners and the floor is uneven, and shiny of friction. Walls of palaces are blackened by pollution, and marble is oxidized by ammoniac.
Go to Piazza Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and as you approach the intricate facade of the church you notice that, if you want, you can steal it. Not the whole but perhaps some fragments of stone that, if touched, falls apart just right there at the height of your wrists."