Tony Matelli's work is a well-crafted play of illusions. Superficially, Matelli's sculptures are immediately gratifying, like the special effects of Hollywood, but his hyper-realistic sculptures tend to have a thoughtful and deceptive depth. From painted bronze playing cards to full scale human manikins with real human hair, Matelli's sculptures not only exhibit a sophisticated technical execution but grapple with ideas that range from a stylized romanticism, that delves into personal destruction and reinvention, to the negation of consumer society. Matelli's pieces are memorable because they solicit a wonderful reaction of repulsion, humor, shock, fascination and confusion, while remaining pertinent and significant through their conceptual connotations.
He has had solo exhibitions at Leo Koenig in New York, Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Uppsala Konstmuseum, and a mid-career survey at the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum. His work has been included in group exhibition at institutions such as Serpentine Gallery in London, PS1 in New York, CAPC in Bordeaux, Barbican Center in London, Chicago’s MOCA, Swiss Institute in New York, Tate Liverpool, State National Centre of Contemporary Art in Moscow, and Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm, among many others.
Courtesy of The Green Gallery