«Der Zeit ihre Kunst, der Kunst ihre Freiheit»
«A ogni epoca la sua arte, all'arte la sua libertà»
Experiments like the Bauhaus or the Wiener Werkstätte were of seminal importance for the development of modern design, taking the quest to produce a synthesis of functionality and art to the limits. Diamond has taken up this legacy, not only transforming it, but also provoking his audience by turning everyday objects into precious hybrids on the boundary between art and design.
His provocation becomes even more sensational if we take into account his artistic career as a street artist; when street art, often judged to be nothing but vandalism, turns into a sort of post-modern Art Nouveau capable of transforming the commonplace into highly prized objects.
Almost a century after the end of the Viennese experience, it is Rome’s turn to pursue the ideal of “Gesamtkunstwerk”, or the total work of art. The exhibition comprises a series of works created by Diamond in his applied arts studio. Following in the footsteps of Kolo Moser and Josef Hoffmann during the Vienna Secession, Diamond presents his works as if they are a collection of contemporary design objects; the functionality of which transcends their mere utility, giving rise to their aesthetic value.
Diamond goes in search of everyday objects which he then transforms into unique instruments adhering to the Klimtian ideal of life whereby the boundary between art and functionality disappears. Windows, doors, screens and other objects destined for the rubbish dump, become works of art, but without losing their original functionality. Although the art works in this exhibition respect the theme dear to street art, that of the objet trouvé, Diamond’s works are never mere urban fetishes, but elevated to precious objects of design. Like Kolo Moser, Diamond uses an essential, graphic style which combines elements of street art with the mood of the Ver Sacrum.
His works are produced using techniques ranging from acrylic to spray paint and seem to have been created for show in the modern incarnation of the Secession Building in Vienna. In fact this turn-of- the-century Viennese monument has inspired Diamond’s installation in our project room, where the artist will show his personal version of Beethoven’s Frieze; a mural inspired by the Secession which Diamond will work on and complete during the course of the exhibition.