International Sculpture Center
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January/February 2014
Vol. 33 No. 1

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
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Human Echo: A Conversation with Tony Matelli
by Robert Preece
Tony Matelli’s imperfect human figures and macabre self-portraits might be described as expressions of hyperrealistic angst. Over the past 15 years, he has reinterpreted the human condition through an interplay of humor and horror, a strategy best demonstrated in Total Torpor, Mad Malaise (2003). In this grotesque parody of a classical reclining figure, a deformed, nude man overcome by boils smiles curiously at us over the remains of his bingeing—a reference to the foot of Tracey Emin’s iconic Bed (1998), with its carpet-strewn garbage and associated questions. Matelli has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions across Europe and North America, including “Personal Structures,” a collateral event/exhibition at the 2011 Venice Biennale. His most wide-ranging solo exhibition, “Tony Matelli—A HUMAN ECHO,” was shown at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Denmark in 2012. Matelli grew up in Chicago and Wisconsin and received a BFA in sculpture from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and an MFA in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He now lives and works in New York

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Detail, Double Veg Head 2, 2008. Bronze and vinyl paint, dimensions variable (Fresh: 18 x 15 x 12 in.; Rotten: 4 x 8 x 10 in.).

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