Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Un Momento' by Daria Melnikova at eastcontemporary, Milan

The show is an insight into one day of a fictional character Mr. Jazzy Sunday who rather is a personification of an emotion than a specific personality.

Mr. Jazzy Sunday was born in 2018 as a representation of spontaneity, freedom and improvisation among the density of daily routines. Since then, the character has been involved in adventures that are mixed with boring regularity and spiced-up with an unpredictability оf an upcoming moment. As a result, with playful and ironic approach, inspirations аnd historical references are bonded in narrative and detailed compositions, that are driven by jazzy tunes as a reminder of a captivating weekend mood. Mr. Jazzy Sunday becomes a conductor of scenario for seemingly perfect turn of events.

This time the presence of an Italian influence coming through architecture, time, culture and daily socialising habits is undeniable. Partially inspired by the art of Renaissance, where in ordinary everyday scenes one can observe the trends of an era, that reveal nuances to be explored again and again, works are created using different techniques, materials and styles united into eclectic compositions. Repetitive arcades – adopted by Romans in 4th century BC, that shape cities, live through generations and depicted in metaphysical period of De Chirico’s paintings – serve as background for my works. Arches, symbolising harmony, foundation, strength and support, lightness and openness, are used as a threshold in time and space, which connects flashes from the past with today’s experience, myths and utopias with realities. Walks through passages which are so typical to almost any Italian town or city, are accompanied by meditative immersion into historical events that echoes in uplifting gaze to the future.

Geometrical and floral patterns evoke memories of casual things seen in exteriors, interiors or household accessories: floorings, facade decorations, tapestry, curtains, tablecloths etc. Both classic ornamentations have been traveled through time and trends without losing its charm and ability to catch an eye. Perfectly balanced on the one hand and disturbingly “loud” on the other, simple and versatile, a checkboard pattern, used since time immemorial, creates mesmerising tension to be compared with coffee-induced anxiety.

And there is no wrong time for a coffee. Especially now, with decaffeinato options available. That bitter taste bites a tip of tongue and brings you back to reality. So you find yourself standing by the bar talking to a random silver-headed person about the weather or the best parmigiana recipe, that the most definitely is their nonna’s. And while the sunshine paints long shadows with a soundtrack of melodious chatting and clinking coffee cups on the background, you feel happy enough to call it a good day.

Daria Melnikova (b. in 1984, Latvia) lives and works in Riga. Melnikova’s artistic practice results from a meditative study of daily routine, clichés, architectural details and mere casual moments attempting to reconstruct their inner logic as well as to bring to the light private experiences that once made them possible and necessary. Using elements coming from architecture, interior, and graphic design, Daria’s visual language is rooted in her love for Constructivism, Suprematism and Surrealism art movements. As a result, she creates eclectic but unobtrusive combinations of materials where the diversity of materials does not compromise harmony while light becomes a very important visual element seen as constructive matter.

Melnikova has recently exhibited at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga, Kunsthalle Kohta in Helsinki, Kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Kunsthalle Bratislava and Kiasma in Helsinki. Her works are part of Zuzeum Art Centre in Riga, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga and private collections

Daria Melnikova
Un Momento
solo show at eastcontemporary
via Giuseppe Pecchio 3, 20131 Milan, Italy
07/03 – 19/04/2024

Photography: eastcontemporary