CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium presents

Pop Surrealism
Lowbrow Art: From Mass Culture to Massive Culture

Group exhibition

► Introductory text
► Exhibited artworks and photo gallery
► Catalogue
► Directions

Pop Surrealism
20 December 2018 - 6 January 2019
CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium
Corso Buenos Aires 42 11
Lavagna, Italy

Download the invitation card

Dead Dolls House
Craig Hill
Mary M.
Michael Vincent Manalo
Abramo ‘Tepes’ Montini
Carolina Pulido
The Cici Artist
Catrin Welz-Stein

Introductory text

Pop Surrealism

«Modern mass culture, aimed at the “consumer”, the civilisation of prosthetics, is crippling people’s souls, setting up barriers between man and the crucial questions of his existence, his consciousness of himself as a spiritual being.»

Andrei Tarkovsky

Pop Surrealism

The exhibition renders a big picture of the style or aesthetic fashion that has recently been named Pop Surrealism and that was born within the Lowbrow genre, to which it overlaps and is assimilable but that can be distinguished from for a higher interest in the semiological contents. The Lowbrow rose in the 70s as a juxtaposition to the High Brow (elitist culture, academic intellectualism or, in the broad meaning, snobbery) and with Pop Surrealism it represents perhaps the only one contemporary cultural movement that can be identified in this epoch that has inherited the failure of all major ideologies and has seen the sunset of every organisation of the thought.

Pop Surrealism is rising more and more toward an outstanding success, confirming a ubiquitous and global reputation that pools diverse cultures and social classes, and it managed to seduce small and above all big art collectors, who made its quotations to grow and even skyrocket, although in the beginnings it was just about opposed by the art critics, possibly with the pretext of a lack of academic education of the artists, but just because they can not actually understand it at that time.

The locution Pop Surrealism essentially means what the two words that make it up do express in an almost banal way: a Pop Art that is evolving, but that turns the look toward the past, to the masters of Surrealism, going back even to Classical Art. But what would seem a regression, it is rather the research for an achievement, for a background where to find its own origins and where to establish its own historical importance, proving the discredits of critics wrong.

From Mass Culture to Massive Culture

Pop Surrealists usually represent the human dimension, most of the times through its outer appearances, associating it with a subtle and variegated usage of symbols, signs or atmospheres, sometimes with a naive look, but where we find metaphors to understand and meditate on the contemporary human being that, despite the pervasive materialism of society, is always tied to the psychic, spiritual or metaphysical sphere anyway. The figure, character, individual or person is often fulcrum of every pop surrealist work, it is Alpha and Omega, origin and purpose of everything is surrounding it, and of what it surrounds itself with, the Zeitgeist of this epoch.

Full texts and critical analises continue on the catalogue.

Exhibited artworks and photo gallery

Exhibition video souvenir

Exhibition video souvenir


Click here to ask for the catalogue on paper.

Catalogue of Pop Surrealism - Lowbrow Art: Da Cultura di Massa a Cultura Massiva, Italian | English, 56 pages A4 (21 × 29.7 cm)


The CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium exhibition room is located in the centre of Lavagna, in the midst of Riviera Ligure di Levante, northern Italy. The location is well serviced, a few steps from bus and railway stations, the touristic jetty, free 2h parking and near the highway exit. Access for impaired people and lift.

By foot, by train or bus: exiting the train station of Lavagna by the city side, go to the left going along the main street until the Poste Italiane post office, here turn right toward Via Cristoforo Colombo street, as soon as you arrive at the roundabout of Piazza Cordeviola square turn left in Corso Buenos Aires boulevard. The building n. 42 is at the start of the boulevard.
Bus stop "Lavagna - Cordeviola/Edicola" linee 4, 5, 31, 32, 34, 46 and 98.

By boat: on the maritime line fares Portofino / Lavagna / Cinque Terre disembark at the touristic harbour of Lavagna. Exiting the harbour, turn left in Via dei Devoto street and go beyond the railway by the underpass that takes you to the Poste Italiane post office, then follow the directions above.

By car: toll road A12 E80 Genova-Livorno, exit at Lavagna, go toward the town centre. At the roundabout of Piazza Cordeviola turn right in Corso Buenos Aires and stop at the start of the boulevard, number 42 .

By airplane: the nearest airport is the Cristoforo Colombo of Genoa, the shuttle bus VOLABUS will take you to the train station of Genova Brignole, from there you can reach Lavagna in 40-60 minutes.