Josep Maynou at UNA

Artist: Josep Maynou

Exhibition title: Self Bazar

Curated by: UNA

Venue: UNA, Piacenza, Italy

Date: October 2, 2021 – January 8, 2022

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and UNA, Piacenza

UNA is happy to announce Self Bazar, the first solo exhibition in Italy by Josep Maynou (*1980, Barcelona).

Josep Maynou’s multidisciplinary approach is both performative and object based. It comes together as a form of contemporary storytelling, a fictional take on everyday life in the form of humorous ideas that expand onto his objects. Like a diary, these objects recount the story of a specific moment, offering historical references and giving direction to the performance aspect of Maynou’s practice.
Any everyday object is susceptible to become a base for Maynou’s drawings; such as tables or chairs, a pine panel, glass bottles or ceramic plates. Hand painted, the artworks from the series
Gallerists’ Favourites introduce themselves as the most known dishes of the Italian tradition, and, even more, the favourite ones of UNA gallerists’. Empty chocolate bar wrappers, that Josep began to repurpose during the lockdown period in Paris, are the protagonists of the Chocolate Diaries series. Improvising in the wake of a lack of materials, these wrappers were transformed into notebooks capturing ideas for works not yet realised, overheard phrases that felt important not to forget, fragments of exercises from a French class, drawings etc…
Josep Maynou’s exhibition transforms the gallery space into a “Self Bazaar”,  a playfully disorganized presentation of everyday objects, which become artworks telling an individual and collective story.

“We are on the 26th of July and we need to get in touch with Josep. Even though we hung out together a few days ago in Barcelona, it is always a surprise where to find him. As we expect, Josep is no longer in Barcelona and he is now in Berlin.
Josep seems to have this magical power to be in many places at the same time. He moves constantly from place to place, from city to city, from country to country that it feels he is able to be omnipresent. His new exhibition Self Bazar at UNA gallery illustrates accurately Maynou’s nomadic life, and similar to a bazar, the objects we find in it are very diverse and of distinct provenance. Understanding Josep’s style of life allows us to read through the objects that surround him, all likely to become artworks and capture a story. Stories that he gathers on the way to somewhere merge with other invented ones and end up encapsulated in his rugs, performances or posters that await becoming films. Like Fast Bab Doukkala, the film that is part of this collection of films never realised, which only exist in posters. Maynou commissions draughtsmen, poster artist and other artists friends to make them, an invitation to illustrate his scripts and be part of the project.
There are also stories that start with an object, like Bat/Boomerang, shown at the gallery. A baseball bat that is slightly bended and enters in symbiosis with its brand’s name “Boomerang”. The other day Josep explained us how a man on the street spotted the bat in his bag and instantly became fascinated by the object. That fascination with the object was shared with other neighbors of the area Josep just happened to pass by.
This kind of sporadic encounters, that often end up in social gatherings and friendships, play an important role in his practice.
The dishes with drawings of the favourite recipes of the gallerist in Piacenza, the family of pepper grinders, the ashtrays in Paris that together make a crucifixion or the branch (a gift from his friend Roger) that becomes a vigilant smoking detective. These are the type of objects that surround Josep and become artworks. With no limits between his life and his artistic practice.
He travels, often by train or bus because it takes longer and more things happen. He observes, collects stories, puts them together, making them flow in a magical way. Clack! Like the incredibly difficult acrobatic challenges he makes with domestic objects or the sound of the Manequen pis becoming attached to a magnet in perfect harmony.
A Bazar is a place where you can find all sorts of things. Self Bazar by Josep Maynou is a self-portrait; a space where trips, interests and the people he collaborates with all come together. His first exhibition with Marta and Paola from UNA, a presentation of who he is as an artist, as well a person.”

Bernat & Joana from Bombon

Josep Maynou (b.1980, Barcelona) studied Fine Arts at UB (Barcelona), Facultade Belas Artes Porto (Porto) and Middlesex University (London). Past solo shows include: This must be the place, L+S Projects, Porto (2020); 13, Idealfrühstück, Paris (2019); LE LUCKY, HVW8, Berlin (2019); The Return of the Junker. JM2000, Bombon projects, Barcelona (2019); Populaire, Lehman&Silva, Porto (2019); Leisure, Bombon Projects, Barcelona (2017); Thing1, Thing2, Broken Dimanche, Berlin (2017); Things: To do, Beverly’s, NYC (2017) or The Ninja from Marrackech, Galerie Suvi Lehtinen, Berlin (2015). Recent group shows include: Parar a la fresca, Fonteta summer space, Bombon Projects in colab with Joan Prats and Nogueras Blanchard Gallery, Fonteta, (2021); RESET, Instruccions per comencar en un nou present, TACA, Mallorca (2021); S.M.S (Shit Must Stop), Bombon Projects, Barcelona (2020); Thundercage, Edition 19, Paris (2020); THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. Curated by Sofia Lemos, L+S Projects, Porto (2020); Telephone. OGR, Turin (2019);  Textus ex Machina. Cu, aqb PROJECT SPACE, Budapest (2019); Hunter of World, Salts, Basel (2018); Supersimetrica, Matadero, Madrid (2018); How to do things…, Lehmann + Silva, Porto (2017); Black garden, Galería L21, Palma de Mallorca (2013); Alpina huus, Le Commun, Geneve (2017); A Lovers Discord, Moca, London (2016); Warped Miami, GSL Projekt, Miami Basel, Miami (2015) or The inclination of the jungle, Junefirst Gallery, Berlin (2015). Recent performances include ENSEMBLE, survivre maintenant, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); TIME, The Institute for Endotic Research, Berlin (2019); Pane Per Poveri, Laatrac, Athens (2017); Making Public Program, Fundació

Josep Maynou, Self Bazar, 2021, exhibition view, UNA, Piacenza

Josep Maynou, Self Bazar, 2021, exhibition view, UNA, Piacenza

Josep Maynou, Chocolate Diaries, tecnica mista su cartoncino (involucro barretta di cioccolato), cm 30 x 30 cad.. , 2020-2021

Josep Maynou, Chocolate Diaries, Time (fronte), tecnica mista su cartoncino (involucro barretta di cioccolato), cm 30 x 30, 2021

Josep Maynou, Chocolate Diaries, Time (retro), tecnica mista su cartoncino (involucro barretta di cioccolato), cm 30 x 30, 2021

Josep Maynou, LV Brown, LV Black, sandali e giornali, cm 28 × 12 cad, 2019

Josep Maynou, La famiglia 2021, legno pirografato, cm 41 × 50 × 9, 2021

Josep Maynou, Detective, ramo di legno e sigaretta, cm 35,5 × 8,5, 2021

Josep Maynou, Little Cinema, installation view @ UNA, 2021

Josep Maynou, Gel Chart, scarpe da corsa, livella, lampada, cm 45 x 34 x 15, 2019

Josep Maynou, CK Chair, sedia in metallo e elastici di mutande, cm 75 × 49 × 54, 2021

Josep Maynou, Barbès-rochechouart, legno e tessuto (maschera e cappello), cm 50 x 20, 2017

Josep Maynou, Self Bazar, 2021, exhibition view, UNA, Piacenza

Josep Maynou, Self Bazar, 2021, exhibition view, UNA, Piacenza

Josep Maynou, Not Here, saracco, cm 54 x 13, 2021

Josep Maynou, Fast Bab Doukala, pittura su tessuto, cm 97 x 70, 2017