Art Heals: LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep

In Dialogue with Laura Mega

Laura Mega is wearing one of the 20 limited edition surgical masks she created. All proceeds went to Feeding America for Covid-19 emergency aide.

Laura Mega is an Italian visual artist based in Rome and New York. As everything around her in Rome became sad and empty when Europe was hit by Covid-19, she felt the need to connect with the outside world through the language she is most familiar with, art. As all the museums and galleries were closed, she thought —what if I video project the art outside, connecting people trapped at home around the world? In Laura Mega’s mind, ideas have no value if there is no one who believes and supports them. Her international project Art Heals, presented by LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep, is a video projection exhibition offering an element of brief happiness. 

How did you make your vision into an international art project?

I was very lucky because I explained the idea to Claudia Pecoraro , who is an innovative curator and researcher based in Rome, and without hesitation she jumped into the project. Fast-forward, LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep is born. LAZZARO is the biblical character, LAZARUS in English, and a perfect name because we were resurrecting from a lifeless situation. Since we don’t believe in borders and limitations, we decided to connect artists and ordinary citizens around the world in this difficult historical period that the whole world is experiencing.

Tell me about some of the artwork that is included in Art Heals and are you looking to create a cohesive sense throughout all the sites on a global scale?

Art Heals is the 5th edition of LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep exhibition (the 1st edition was in May 2020), and it includes various types of art; from painting to digital art to drawing and collage. Right now, our focus is on artworks produced during the Covid-19 lockdown isolation. We want to connect people using art, as a bridge crossing borders to heal and break down the physical and psychological barriers of our homes. It is a community project, born from two people but grown dramatically in recent days.

LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep showcases the art that does not sleep, the art that awakens, the art that raises, and the art that is not afraid to show fear.

MILAN (ITALY), LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep, photo by Aurora Destro on the right: artwork by Laura Mega, on the left: artwork by Alberto Casiraghy
CASOLI, LUCCA (ITALY), LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep, photo and projection by Roberto Perruccio. From left: artwork by Malaki To, Stefan Sagmeister and Michele Palazzo/streetfauna

What made you choose these specific sites?

The choice of sites depends on the artists we select. As we are an independent project, we have the freedom to search for and choose interesting artists that we like. For this Art Heals exhibition we have involved great artists based in the cities of Rome, Latina, Alba, Naples, Milan, Tehran, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Mexico City, Montreal, Maastricht, New York, Los Angeles, Lima. If you want to find out who are the 30 artists involved in this edition, we invite you to follow our social channels here and here.

What was your curatorial process?

LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep is structured as an exhibition that one would curate within a museum. We build relationships with the artist, properly curate the artwork to showcase, and create a meaningful branding/ social strategy for every exhibition. We create a concept and properly curate the Art for our exhibition, by hand selecting the involved artists’ work. Once the exhibition is ready for viewing, we open up the exhibition distribution process and ask not only our artists involved, but individuals (not necessarily linked to the art world, associations, public or private institutions) to place their projectors out of their windows and project onto the walls of the buildings in front of them. The ambition is to spread art for the benefit of the neighborhood and pervade urban spaces, public and private, such as streets, squares, courtyards, gardens, monuments, forced into silence in the past months. For this reason, the projectionists are not only essential collaborators for the realization of the project, but co-authors responsible for the widespread diffusion of art in the city.

What are your plans next?

LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep takes us on unexpected paths every time we do it. We are working on our 6th edition and we are excited to share that soon.

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY (U.S.A.), LAZZARO_art doesn’t sleep, photo and video projection by Chris Klapper and Patrick Gallagher. Artwork by Jorit, Simone Fugazzotto, Angelica Bergamini, Chris Klapper and Patrick Gallagher

Etty Yaniv works on her art, art writing and curatorial projects in Brooklyn. She founded Art Spiel as a platform for highlighting the work of contemporary artists, including art reviews, studio visits, interviews with artists, curators, and gallerists. For more details contact by Email: