TONY MATELLI

Тони Мателли

source: artforum

“The Constant Now,” Tony Matelli’s fourth solo exhibition at this gallery, presents five new sculptures and three paintings that are reminiscent of his previous explorations. For example, there are obvious similarities between his sculpture Josh, 2010, and Sleepwalker, 2001: Both eerily depict displaced human figures and appear to be conspicuous mockeries. This show more fully formulates a question that his earlier work touched on: What particular value can be found in art that overstates a seemingly directionless, wasted state of being?

Josh appears to magnify an ambivalent condition that stems from the psychological detachment required of anyone wishing to start anew. In the work, a pale, masculine figure sporting fair-weather attire floats barely above ground, seemingly unaffected by gravity. Much is relayed through the faces of Matelli’s humanoid creations; the visage of Josh, for instance, is frozen and resigned. The uneasy quality of betweenness that characterizes Josh is also highlighted in Hell, 2010, a grimy mirror with the name JASON traced in its thick covering of dust. The murky word is discernible, yet there is no guarantee how long it will remain before another name replaces it, before another moment takes precedence.

Often choosing to reproduce manifestly leftover materials––as in The Constant Now, 2010, which offers a lone Camel cigarette propped in used chewing gum on a gutted cardboard box, and Yesterday, 2010, an unstable pyramid of empty beer cans, playing cards, and gnawed pizza crusts––Matelli here fixates on the unseen made seen, and on the transitory, communicating a desire to unveil the fleeting moment.
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source: i-grad

As a continuation of the topic on the disturbing in art, Matelli is very straight forward in picking on fears universal for all people. The main topic of his work is loss: of life, possessions or balance. He materializes these fears in durable art materials – fiber glass, urethane foam, bronze and paint. The precise, permanent and realistic sculptures depict frozen in time ephemeral objects or setups, happenings or results of something that happened. I may take ideas from his work as it goes beyond the unsettling. Or maybe not, sometimes he is trying too hard to be scandalous and that annoys me. The lack of a well defined agenda in his work is a weakness too. Or maybe he has given up the very difficult and obscure task to make a difference in order to support himself as a studio artist. Tony Matelli exhibits worldwide.

“…with Matelli’s art, its not enough to focus on just one work; you must employ a peripheral vision to see how he seizes on one oafish cliché after the next making them testify against their own crude sincerity, finally admitting that their one-dimensional values are in the end inconsequential. This is Matelli’s style of moralizing.”
Roland Jones

” Lost, absurd and debased, Tony Matelli’s figures experience the complexities of life with ever-present possibility of both death and rejuvenation on the horizon. Sleepwalkers, lost boy scouts, rotting vegetables, sprouting weed, beer cans and card stacks signal the banal passing of time. As hyperrealist bronze sculptures, these scenarios instead are frozen in time, captured in visceral detail. Matelli’s often vulgar sense of humor rivals the delicacy of his tedious technical process.”
Natalie Westbrook
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source: dobask

Tony Matelli je tak trochu podivín. Odráža sa to na jeho tvorbe. Diela, ktorými sa preslávil sú hyper-realistické sochy či už ľudí, zvierat ale vecí, no zakaždým však v netradičných polohách. Obrazne, ale aj doslova. Opice zachytené v drsnom súboji, polomŕtvy pár na ktorý dopadá rozbíjajúci sa klavír a podobne.

Tieto energiou nabité sochy slúžia ako metafory pre naše vlastné sociálne nepokoje a poukazuje na náš každodenný boj o prežitie. Parafrázujú vnútorné stavy zúfalstva, paniku a rozpoltenosť.. teda časté stavy spojené so snahou nájsť sám seba v našom vlastnom sociálnom svete.