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Developed out of his recent Garden series and related to his project for ICI’s 2016 Leo Award, Matelli’s limited edition for ICI features an aged outdoor statue, crowned by a triad of perfectly ripe strawberries. Nothing is quite what it seems in this pairing, where the head is made of high-production, aged cast concrete and the fruit is meticulously painted cast bronze.
Signature: Certificate of authenticity included
Incorporating figurative, botanical, and abstract forms in his sculpture, Tony Matelli creates uncanny objects that are both unsettling and comical. His bronze sculptures feature ropes frozen in mid-air, as if the ropes were dropped on a plinth and cast just before collapsing into inert coils. Other works rely on unusual juxtapositions, such as his weeds series in which plants sprout from the space between gallery walls and floors. Across his oeuvre, and particularly in his mirror paintings, Matelli discards traditional genre categories in favor of experiential concerns. “I like sculpture because it’s unwieldy, and there is a resistance to decoration in sculpture that I like,” Matelli has said. “Genres are at the service of ideas, not the other way around.”
American, b. 1971, Chicago, Illinois, based in New York, New York