Lady Be, the artist’s beginnings
Letizia Lanzarotti was born in Rho (MI) on 27 October 1990. Raised in Dorno in the province of Pavia, from an early age she showed aptitude and ability for drawing and the visual arts. With the hope of becoming an artist, he graduated from the A. Volta Art School in Pavia and subsequently graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sanremo. At the age of 19 he began the creation of his first work with the technique of Contemporary Mosaic, a Pop image of Marilyn taken from Warhol’s icon.
The idea of expressing oneself with Contemporary Mosaic arises from the almost maniacal conservation of various personal items (toys, make-up wrappers, costume jewelery, stationery, caps and more), from their conservation, division and subsequent use for artistic purposes. Initially the material collected by Lady Be also included shells, small pieces of glass, cans, pieces of cloth, stuffed animals, batteries, coins, banknotes, paper, leather, CDs, metal. Subsequently she focused exclusively on plastic: light, versatile, of adequate consistency and with colors that do not change over time.
The material used also serves to “contextualize” the work over time: on many objects there is the date of manufacture, on some packaging the expiry date of the material is indicated, some series of toys are characteristic of a specific season or of a defined time frame.
Almost immediately, Letizia decided to adopt her stage name, Lady Be, which resonates with the Beatles song “Let it Be”; the name “Lady Be” is also adopted to take on a more international flavor. The first satisfactions come in fact from exhibitions in galleries in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
In Italy he participated in the I Biennale of Lecce and in 2013 at the I Biennale of Palermo, where he had his first meeting with the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi. Until that time, his works are made entirely of whole salvaged objects and the background is also made with objects. Observing Lady Be’s homage to Sicily, the Marilyn Trinacria, Professor Vittorio Sgarbi, without compliments and in no uncertain terms, advises the young artist to “streamline the work” by calling it a jumble, “a big mess”. From that moment, Lady Be will begin producing works with the background made of resin, which replaces the use of objects for the background, adopting it as a general rule for the clarity of the subject and the balance of the composition. The creation of a cleaner background makes the reading of each work more immediate, without detracting from the chosen salvaged objects, which are and will always be used only in their original color.
The provocative Performance Let it Be Naked
Also in 2013 Lady Be made a curious performance also inspired by the Beatles. He prepares 4 life-size Beatles silhouettes, covers them with pieces by “reconstructing” the Beatles’ clothes, and during the performance, each person in the audience is invited to detach a piece, in complete freedom, from the work. You can keep it as a souvenir and possibly ask the artist to autograph it. Gradually fewer and fewer pieces remain and therefore the work remains bare, with the silhouettes of the naked Beatles (the base image is photographic). The performance is very provocative and arouses conflicting opinions. The idea stems from the fact that during the exhibitions the spectators always demonstrate an almost “childish” temptation to detach the pieces from the works. The artist then decides to satisfy this “desire” of the public by transforming it into an artistic gesture with a precise meaning: that of “removing”, revealing, feeding curiosity, letting oneself be tempted, yielding, going beyond appearances, finding the meaning of work, make it more essential. The aim is also to create interaction with the public, introducing a different concept of art, contrasting with that of the “sacred” and “untouchable” work of the Museums in which the spectator must stay in his place and indeed, keep to a some distance to admire the work.
The success, the exhibitions and the series to say No to Violence against Women
Lady Be receives several critical reviews and publications, and her technique is for the first time referred to as “Contemporary Mosaic”. He moved to Rome and from 2014 other important foreign exhibitions arrived which contributed to his success: he exhibited in Fairs, Museums and Foundations in New York, Malta, Barcelona, Berlin, London and several times in Paris, where he exhibited in the Fair under the Pyramid of the Louvre and even the Eiffel Tower, on the first floor, inside the Salon Gustave Eiffel.
In 2016 Lady Be decides to introduce social themes in her works and creates the first Barbie Tumefatta, or the face of a Barbie with the signs of Violence, to sensitize people on the theme of Violence against Women. The work, presented in Verona at the Palaexpo on the occasion of the Triennial of Contemporary Art, was very successful and was published in various newspapers and magazines and received a positive review by Vittorio Sgarbi, who expressed in particular his appreciation for the peculiar technique. The work also had a strong impact on the public, impressed by the perfect face of Barbie, in which the woman has identified for more than 50 years, “ruined” by the signs of violence.
Recent and upcoming exhibitions
Lady Be collaborates with Legambiente and in 2019 she collaborated with Disney Pixar, reinterpreting some of the main characters of Toy Story 4 with her technique. Furthermore, the artist realizes live performances and special exhibitions not expressly in traditional artistic contexts, such as his exhibition of works with musical subjects reserved for the backstage of the May 1st Concert in Rome, and the live performance at the K Fair in Düsseldorf, the most important fair of plastics in the world. He exhibits in Museums, Palaces, Monuments, Foundations, Galleries in various cities: New York, Paris (on the Eiffel Tower), Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Brussels, Malta, and in the main Italian cities. Past personal exhibitions include the one in Milan (Brera) at the Ex Studio of Piero Manzoni and the one inside the historic Palazzo Oddo in Albenga (SV), at the Visconteo Castle of Pavia, at Palazzo Bocconi in Milan, at the Terminal 1 of Milan Malpensa airport.
With Back to College he exhibited in 2019 at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Borghetto Santo Spirito (SV).