Italian, b. 1972
Gehard Demetz creates fascinatingly detailed sculptures and objects from lime wood. The introverted facial expressions and provocative poses in his figures of children invite the viewer to confront them, testifying to his strong and highly individual artistic pictorial language.
The children are usually equipped with various nightmarish props: One young boy is tied up holding holding a saw in his hands, another raises his empty hands high above his head, carrying a cross on his belt like a weapon. Demetz' works question the value system of our contemporary society by re-contextualizing religious symbols and everyday objects, thus creating new meanings.
Demetz's technical approach develops out of the craft of »Herrgottschnitzerei«, a traditional form of religious wood sculpture of great importance in his native South Tyrol. Through a constant examination of traditional techniques and figures from this genre, the artist has developed an unmistakably contemporary language. His sculptures are not created by removing the wood from a trunk, but by assembling a large number of individual pieces. Through deliberate gaps between the individual parts, Demetz points to ideas of completeness, emptiness, and fragmentation.