Monday, May 16, 2011

Tony Matelli Falkenrot-Preis 2011 exhibition 29th April 22nd May 2011 Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH Berlin, DE, by craniv boyd.

Tony Matelli Falkenrot-Preis 2011 exhibition 29th April 22nd May 2011 Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH Berlin, DE, by craniv boyd.


Budweiser blasé, or getting comical with the king of beers are jokey off color remarks that would work to address a prevalent feeling of Beer Angst that artist Tony Matelli winner of a mysterious 2011 edition of the Falkenrot Prize, for current art that seems to exhibit its recent laureates in Künstlerhaus Bethanien, "ateliers und projektwerkstatt für Künstlerishe und kuratorishe konzepte". Has installed under the ægis of the prize.


Artists can at times be unreliable commentators on their own work.  To his credit Tony Matelli's own words about his production retain a kind of tough-guy cum intellects cavalier tenor popular on Home Box Office television, like the Sopranos, his words provide an air of irony and when printed out for the press release of the exhibition we read a man talking from what appears to be an expansive mood, one of the guys you would like to grab a beer with hunker down and watch the "game" and by game we definitely mean super bowl and not Fifa.


"Passing the time is not as easy as you think. There's s#*? Scattered all over the world that attest to that. All kinds of retarded monuments. They keep us occupied for a while but at a certain point enough is enough…I've always thought that things should just disappear after a while. I read that in primitive cultures there is no concept of time, no past and future…A constant now." Tony Matelli, the previous words having been re framed in the context of reflections on his exhibition. That monuments would be "retarded" is what I deem an American posing as a kind of laid back buddy to Europeans who have a problematic relation with monumentally, a kind of healthy considered skepticism. "Retarded" is a politically incorrect term if there ever was one, and children in North America are often steered away from using it to describe the irrevocably congenital mentally handicapped. The word "s#*?" and it being scattered all over the world as proof of the retardation that follows clues us in that Matelli, is not a fan of Ozymandias, Nebuchadnezzar, or Kublai Khan, types he would be more keen to join camp with Shelly, or J. Donne in their critique of Xanadu or toppled colossi. That being said, Matelli's oeuvre in its current instance in it's choice of materials and technical perfection and deliberate fooling of the eyes is not quite a home with a grouping of English romantic poets and their thinly veiled critique of the English commonwealth and its territories that at the time knew no sunset. Matelli is more of a mid career artist in the career artist cannon that makes work that although having some similar concerns of a J. Koons, baroque manipulations of post pop art, He is much more "Jeff Dark" with his painted cast stainless steel objects that are finished to appear like simple plebeian Bud, Coors or Miller Light card board cases with eye and mouth holes punched through them.


Fake pizza supported by a house of cards or one should say bronze cast then painted in to look like half eaten pizza, the house of cards towering over visitors but try as they may to topple this delicate structure they cannot because it is one solid piece of cast bronze that has been painted to look like a construction fabricated by a bored baby Mozart some where in suburban America. Globalism is addressed in what could be a cynical yet tender portrait of Matelli's European gallery representation, an improbable tower with a micro keg of Baltica a Russian made beer with a proof spectrum from 2% to 12%, could be interpreted as a nod an ironic distant depiction of Adréhn-Schliptjenko his Stockholm gallery.


Matelli's mirrors leaning reflecting back our own despair? Apathy? Smug narcissism? Back to us through a filter of dust that has been smeared back in a way that speaks two oddly conflicting messages of ha tricked you again, and please do not touch the artworks delicate surfaces, at the same time. They work on a more cynical minimal cerebral level, than the gross out of the "meat Head" a big hit at the Armory Fair on the piers of New York back in the fast times of 2007, or of the affect weird, given with Matelli's D. Hanson type to real life scaled wax works of man falling back and resting on the back of his head only. All this heavy intricate layered expensive time intensive tromp l'oie "stuff" placed with great care in the exhibition hall deeply contradicts the voluntary statement of: "I've always thought that things should just disappear after a while" in the words of the Chicago born now Brooklyn based Matelli. by craniv boyd.

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