Cliche’ Jo Fabbri

Jo Fabbri, a Swiss-Italian contemporary artist whose works are unique in every sense, including occasionally, even the material she uses: toilet paper!

ENSEMBLE: We must start by answering the obvious question: why toilet paper?

Before using toilet paper for my artworks I used more conventional medias like acrylic and powders on canvas, and my subjects were mainly portraits of people and common objects. I was constantly looking for an evolution in my style, but I had to wait until October 2013 for the “lightning.”

That October I had an exhibition scheduled in Washington, I went there a week before the opening to set up the show, although during that week the package with the paintings had not been delivered until the day after the opening. This transformed a week supposed to be fun into a nightmare. Everyday was all about non-stop calling to the shipper to receive information about tracking while working on plan B in a hotel room which meant painting something to have in the worst scenario that the paintings would not arrive on time, which is what really happened.

As a result, I had an exhibition with no paintings, after months of work it was quite a hard situation.

Traveling back to Europe, tired and sad, I passed by a souvenir shop in Dulles Airport realizing that due to the catastrophe I didn’t see Washington at all and I didn’t buy anything to bring home. There before me, was a toilet paper roll with the white house printed on, which was the only thing I bought. An apt memento for my horrific misadventure.

After some time while searching for different medias to paint on I saw again the roll displayed in my apartment and I had a flash of painting on that. The first test was a portrait of Anonymous Hackers on White House toilet paper, I was so excited about the result, that I adopted it as my new style. I started collecting rolls from all over the world and looked for subjects or symbols that would give birth to meanings when matched with the rolls’ graphics.

In addition to the paintings, I started working with toilet paper also on mannequins that made my work become tridimensional. I created a collection of pieces all made with toilet paper that I presented at my last show at Imago Art Gallery in Lugano in 2015.



ENSEMBLE: What are your future projects?

I am finishing now new artworks for the opening of two exhibitions in March, one in Milan and one in St. Tropez. In June I will probably exhibit at Scope during Art Basel.

Please contact Jo Fabbri with inquires: |

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About Ensemble 23 Articles
Ensemble magazine is a bilingual publication associated with Today Sotheby's International Realty with a focus on Architecture, Design, Creative Art and Fine Estates in San Francisco Bay Area and Around the World.

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