Artist of Week 8: Eva and Franco Mattes

Eva + Franco Mattes The Pigs of Todat are the Hams of Tomorrow Plymouth, January 2010

Eva and Franco Mattes are a duo of Italian artists both born in Italy in 1976.  Although none of them received an art education, they have been successful in art.  They met in Madrid in 1994 and have been together ever since.  They operate under the pseudonym  They are considered as part of the second wave of the Internet artists, and are famous for their subversion of public media.

They were known as internet pranksters and thieves by stealing others work and ideas for their own entertainment.  A lot of their work is controversial in their originality.  What they usually do is take an already established piece of work or idea, and modify it a bit and give it their own little twist to it.  At first glance, what they do seems like what trolls do and I thought it was pretty funny.  After looking at the discussion and doing some research, it seems like they are really creative, even though most of the things they use were not originally their art or ideas.

Some of their works really caught my eye, such as “It’s Always six o’clock.”  It was interesting how they thought of taking some well-known and familiar cartoon characters and just placed them in different ways and made art.


Another interesting thing they did was convincing the people of Vienna that Nike had purchased the historic city of Karlsplatz.  It was a complete joke but people believed it and it was a public spectacle.  There was a video of it on Slack and a lot of the people had priceless reactions, while some people thought it was pretty cool.

Eva and Franco Mattes do a lot of stuff that has to do with “fantasy” and “reality”, which is something that we think about a lot.  We often want to put a twist on some things that are “real”, and make it a little better.  We often use filters on Instagram, or use social media to make our life seem more “fantasized” than it actually is.


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