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For Immediate Release: FROM ITALY WITH LOVE – GALLERY 30 SOUTH ANNOUNCES AN EXTRAORDINARY EXHIBITION - “RELIGIOUS PAINTINGS OF THE EXPANDED GALAXY” ORIGINAL 17TH AND 18TH CENTURY PAINTINGS USE CHARACTERS FROM STAR WARS TO REIMAGINE THE EPIC FRANCHISE INTO MASTERFUL ART CREATIONS WHILE LAUNCHING A NEW POP CULTURE PHENOMENON GALLERY 30 SOUTH – December 2017 through January 2018 Pasadena, California – (December 21, 2017) – Gallery 30 South, Pasadena’s popular gallery for emerging and internationally renowned artists, has announced an extraordinary exhibition titled “Religious Paintings of the Expanded Galaxy.”  The exclusive exhibition features a rare collection of 17th and 18th century paintings remixed by Italian artist Riccardo Mayr who transformed each painting by painting Star Wars characters or effects directly onto the canvas.  The Star Wars iconography added to the antique oil paintings are part of the exclusive exhibition and the only one of its kind scheduled to take place in the U.S. It is a look into a family’s incredible history and a new modern day pop culture phenomenon. Star Wars and fine art collectors around the globe will have the opportunity to experience the bigger-than-life presentation where all art pieces are for sale. One may have never known what existed within the vast collection of family art in Italy until the artist, Riccardo Mayr, inventoried that family collection upon the death of his mother. At that time, Riccardo came across a collection of some very damaged paintings in their ancestral villa in Ferrara, Italy. A conservator informed Mayr that the paintings were worth less than what it would cost to restore. Mayr then upcycled each painting combining religious art of the past with pop culture mythology of today.  The paintings which Mayr has used include works by Franz Kaisermann and painters in the School of Ferrara.  Although his method stands to be controversial, the paintings were actually saved using his technique. One example of such a technique include Robert Rauschenberg’s erasing of Willem de Kooning’s drawings which set the precedent for an artist to alter art and make it totally transformative. Mayr’s collection is a remarkable example of how waiting an eternity for the last installment of Star Wars can also be preserved in a collection of art which spans centuries, in some cases feeling like an eternity. Mayr’s story is an interesting one and began in Ferrara, Italy, his birthplace. Ferrara is well known through the centuries as being a place unique to both politics and art. It was a crucible of Renaissance thought and art and some of the greatest contemporary painters of all time come from the area including Giovanni Bellini, Bartolommeo, Raphael, Titian and Dosso Dossi.  The palazzo in which Mayr grew up is over 500 years old and has belonged to the Mayr family for more than 200 years. The castle-of-sorts is a time capsule hosting a collection of paintings that span 500 years and assembled by Riccardo’s ancestors. Mayr grew up deeply affected by the colors, traditions and stories behind such art. When Riccardo’s mother, who was the matriarch of the family, passed away, it was up to Riccardo and his sister to take on the daunting task of looking after a vast collection of paintings put together during the last 200 years which still remained in the family. The collection included priceless antiques and paintings.  During this transition, Riccardo Mayr pondered the massive responsibility and spent time viewing the rows of ancient paintings. He considered the inherent sacrifice in the religious paintings of the family collection. It was at that time that he often remembered running through the sequence of Baroque rooms as a child and impersonating characters of the first Star War movies. Mayr connected the dots between his past and present and thus, the genesis of Religious Paintings of the Expanded Galaxy began.   Although widely controversial due to the nature of 17th and 18th century paintings being old and important, each painting has been given a new life and opportunity for collectors with the transformation featuring the Star Wars saga.  The collection is a tribute to Star Wars and an exceptional opportunity for collectors to own rare and unique one-of-a-kind art pieces. Examples of the collection include the painting titled “The Long Lost Hologram Message” painted over a 17th century Ferrarese School painting titled “St. Francis of Paolo” or “The Escape from Glies 832c, after Guido Reni painted on a 17th century painting titled “The Escape to Egypt.” Much like the movie in the theatres, collectors are mesmerized by the paintings which give new credibility to the value of collecting both art and movie memorabilia. It’s a new take or “mash up” as some call it, of art breathing an unexpected life into a movie or theme.  The exhibition opens and runs through the end of January 2018.  Hours are W-F 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Sat-Sun, 12Noon – 6:00 p.m.     “Religious Paintings of the Expanded Gallery is an inspiration from the past, an unexpected twist in our present and a proof for future generations,” said Matt Kennedy, owner of Gallery 30 South. “We are so honored to be the exclusive host of this extraordinary collection, one of which we may not see the likes of for many years to come.” The exhibition features such highly sought after artworks as Riccardo Mayr’s “Manchild,” “Arc of Constantine and Star Destroyer,” “Escape from Glies 832c (Darth Vader) after Guido Reni,” “Remote Training at Sicher’s Well” and others. All can be viewed with details at http://gallery30south.com/expanded-universe/ Media is invited to attend the exhibition. Media can confirm entry by contact press contact noted below.  The spectacular exhibition is the only one in California and represents the only time Riccardo Mayr’s masterpieces will be on display. ABOUT GALLERY 30 SOUTH Gallery 30 South was launched in February 2017 by La Luz de Jesus Gallery director Matt Kennedy and his wife Ai Honda Kennedy in Pasadena’s Green Street Village Landmark District. Since then, they have been joined by a group of international artists and prominent guest curators from the Norton Simon, LACMA and Bergamot Station. Gallery 30 South represents a broad selection of contemporary artists from emerging names to established international figures showcasing metallurgy, painting,  sculpture,  installation and new media. The gallery’s exhibition program has featured solo presentations by young Los Angeles-based performer and painter Lindsey Way, Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros’ controversial remixed Disney paintings, Panik Collective , the first Los Angeles gallery showing of Japanese neo-modernist Shigeru Idei, and Danish motion philosopher Torben Ulrich. The gallery also showcased groundbreaking installations by Dosshaus and Idecline and made international headlines when it presented Frances Bean Cobain’s first adult art exhibition which sold out in a single day. In 2018 the gallery will host the first exhibition of paintings by Hip-Hop legend Chuck D. of Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage. For more information on Gallery 30 South go to www.gallery30south.com.   Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest @gallery30south   Hi res images available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   PRESS CONTACT Caroline Galloway (440) 591-3807 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.