© Mario Cresci
© Eef Bongers
© Yasumasa Morimura


The idea of this exhibition came after visiting the Leonardo da Vinci show at Venaria Reale in Torino in 2011. That exhibition had a beautiful section of contemporary artists interpretating various works by Leonardo, but no references to Mona Lisa were included. The title puts attention to the ambiguity of the original painting of the Louvre, an ambiguity which we find in the conceptual works selected for the show: Mario Cresci, Francesco Acerbis, Mario Schifano, Yasumasa Morimura, Vik Muniz, Eef Bongers, Andrea Jemolo, each artist developed a personal controversial version of La Gioconda. The viewer is brought into a different vision which stands between illusion and reality in an perceptive lightness for each contemporary work. The show has been curated by Davide Faccioli and Fabiola Naldi who wrote, in a very interesting essay “We may say in that smile we find a great part of the conceptual path of the most recent contemporary art, a sort of open space, ephemeral in its own vision, although of keen importance in describing the power of art of the twentieth century”. The show has been travelling to Photology Milano (2012) and to Palazzo Nicolaci in Noto (2014).