The Lediesis, two anonymous Florentine street artists, who using the paste up technique, under the motto of “Il ruzzo will save the world”, are carpeting various Italian city centres with wink heroines, overflowing with emancipation, independence and cultural, creative, political, scientific, civic awareness, and who have become street art stars thanks to social media and a remarkable talent.
Not much is known about the Lediesis but it doesn’t matter, because their works speak for themselves and tell the story of the protagonists of modern and contemporary culture, strong women who became heroines, who in one way or another have, or are, revolutionizing the role of women. And they appear in blind windows or arches of the most beautiful cities in Italy, sporting the unmistakable “S” on the chest, the symbol of Superman and why not of Superwoman, combined with a “wink” of understanding that captures the observer. The choice to use Superman’s “S” and not Wonder Woman’s “W” is deliberately “in contrast” with a “traditionally male” superpower symbol. Even the wink has a “political” meaning: as a sign of mutual support and brotherhood, it means that “you who are watching are like me too, you have superpowers”. They became street artists by cultivating the idea of a creative process “capable of awakening hidden potential“.
And from there the “# Super8X8 Città” project: they do everything multiplied by eight because 8 March is Women’s Day in Italy, because it is the symbolic number of “the infinite, the immeasurable and the indefinable, the number of the eternal return and completeness, all characteristics inherent in the female nature“. Eight portraits of eight women in eight cities: in Venice pops up a Super Peggy Guggenheim, the last Dogaressa, secular queen of contemporary art in the Lagoon; Alda Merini, a greatest and most tormented Italian poetess, appears in Milan; in Bologna, the city of the famous Film Archive, the divine Marlene Dietrich comes out; while Marina Abramovic arrives in Florence, practically at home in the Tuscan capital; Oscar-winning director Lina Wertmuller turns up in Rome; in L’Aquila it is the turn of Frida Kahlo, resilient painter just like the city resurrected after the terrible 2009 earthquake; a magnificent Maria Callas, patron of the Petruzzelli Theatre, one of the Italy’s most renowned opera houses, materializes in Bari. Finally, Naples, the eighth city chosen with the chameleon Yayoi Kusama, symbol of post-modern oriental sensibility.
“We were thrilled by the idea that while most people tend to go north, just like the needle of a compass, we have reversed course and from the northern cities, step by step, we have headed south, in this symbolic place overlooked by an expanse of water that generates life and prosperity, a sea loved and hated, the bearer of joys and misfortunes. Capricious, benign, fickle, just like women are”
But Lediesis’ production does not end here, other places and other images of superheroes women such as Margherita Hack, “Super Sora Lella” in Trastevere, Sofia Loren, Anna Magnani, Rita Levi Montalcini, Vanessa Incontrada in her latest nude-look pose, the journalist Giovanna Botteri, Nefertiti, Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman in Kill Bill), Princess Leia from Star Wars, Barbie, Lara Croft, Eva Kant, Morticia Addams and the Madonna could not be missing.
Free and enlightened women who give a positive message of individual growth that is also reflected in the spiritual growth of society. All recognizable by two signature marks of these artists: the big “S” of Superman on the chest and the wink of complicity.
The intention is to make it clear that hat in each of us there is a superhero, especially in the case of women, who still have to fight for their rights today. These figures represent the desire to succeed by demonstrating how art is the best way to prove one’s worth.
“Regardless of who we are, the important thing is to share with the world, especially through lightness, the idea that superpowers reside within each of us. Lediesis’ superpower is invisibility “
“What moves us is the aim of making every person reflect, whether they are men or women. It’s not that only women, who we paint S on their chests, have superpowers, we all have them. And we all feel the need to affirm ourselves. But the first step is to overcome so many prejudices that block us in the beginning. Even towards the same sex. Very often we women are not at all in solidarity with each other”.
Of all the types of art, street art is certainly the one most in contact with the public: being able to notice a work of art on any given day, brings it drastically closer to those who are looking at it and “it is a means of communication with an incredible energy. The fact that it happens on the street is one more reason to convey positive messages. Street artists have a great responsibility because they are there for all to see “
The works are all acrylic paintings on tissue paper, first made and then attached during the night.
Lediesis have already appeared in various exhibitions: the first in Naples, with the exhibition “Superwomen 8 Women x 8 Cities” at the MANN – National Archaeological Museum; and then moved to the Semiottagono delle Murate in collaboration with the MAD – Murate Art District of Florence. And then in Lugano at the Wopart work on paper Extra Time Exhibition 2021.
Recently, the mysterious street artist collective created, in collaboration with the ”Il Cuore si scioglie” onlus Foundation, the #ilmomentoèadesso (the time is now) campaign to raise funds for solidarity projects (some also in the Rione Sanità) and to try to give an opportunity to those who have never had one. Inspired by the famous speech of Martin Luther King, 7 Superhumans have also appeared, people who have changed history with their will.