Last week I was back in Venice at Palazzo Mora to meet a collector and film an interview on what makes Anthony Moman tick.
I had a stimulating and frank discussion with a group of extremely bright, future art professionals and was definitely out of my comfort zone.
There were some sharp and challenging questions about my technique and thought processes and at the end I felt drained but some somehow exhilarated at the same time.
I was delighted to welcome artist Hemi Bawa who flew in from India to see my sculptures in Personal Structures,hosted by the European Cultural Centre during the Venice Biennale.
We had a great time visiting the many exhibits in Palazzo Mora and discovered a recurring theme with my syringe sculptures, acupuncture needles and staples from Dolk. Curators take note.
Later on we visited Glasstress and saw some ethereal glass work and then we went on to the Arsenale.
At this stage I was probably suffering from art fatigue, if that is possible for an artist.
I enjoyed the Argentina Pavilion with The Horse Problem – surely one of the most reposted images from the Biennale.
I appreciated the symbolism of folk masks but the masks continued on and on and on and I was relieved to see something quite different in the striking imagery of Food for Thought by Maha Malluh from Saudi Arabia made from audio tapes in bread baking trays.
The Italian pavilion left me feeling a sense of dread and not the Magic World I had hoped for. I left the Arsenale without going to the Giardini as I empathised with Lani Maestro’s neon words No Pain Like This Body.
I had seen a lot of art and yes, call me biased but I still thought that the best exhibition in town during the Venice Biennale is Personal Structures.
Personal Structures Group Exhibition is on until November 27th and is free entry, open every day except Tuesdays from 10 am – 6pm
Moving on from contours ( see Divine Object which is currently on show in Personal Structures at Palazzo Mora for the Venice Biennale ) I am creating waves.
If you are lucky enough to be visiting either of these beautiful cities and would like to see some innovative,fresh contemporary art please look out for Anthony Moman’s sculptures.
From a distance they could be led lights or ball bearings, but move closer and they are revealed as….syringes.
Anthony Moman’s sculptures are on show during the Venice Biennale until the 26th of November 2017.
The exhibition is hosted and supported by the European Cultural Centre in two of its prestigious Palazzo’s in the centre of Venice -Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora and the Giardini Marinaressa.
Anthony’s work is to be found at Palazzo Mora (with Jeff Koons,Yoko Ono, Julian Opie,Gunther Uecker,Francois Morellet, Joseph Kosuth and many more)
Anthony Moman is also in Florence at the De Freo gallery
Florence is in the central Italian region of Tuscany and is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities in Europe.
The gallery is located in one of the most important art districts in Florence just before the Ponte Santa Trinità, next to the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli
He can transform a mundane medical instrument into the sensuous curves of a voluptuous female form, and it doing so does he render our fears or phobia of needles and syringes merely an impulsive, unjustified reaction ?
If you agree or disagree go and judge for yourself.
I have been in a reflective mood lately, torn between elation to be exhibiting in one of the most stunning locations in the world Venice, and what has been happening in my home town, London, and indeed anywhere else in the world.
This syringe sculpture has been on my mind and on the drawing board for some time but I have accelerated its release because I believe it transmits a message of hope in these challenging times.
PERSONAL STRUCTURES – Open Borders
OPENING PERIOD: 13 May – 26 November 2017
Arriving in Venice last week, I was greeted by dark skies, rumbles of thunder and then rain….but wait a minute ! Who cares about the weather. I have been invited to exhibit my artwork at the preeminent cultural event in the most beautiful city in the whole world !
The Venice Biennale draws hundreds of thousands of art lovers and professionals from all over the world and I am going to be a part of this for the next 7 months, so I repeat, who cares about the weather.
After checking in to my apartment, I decided to head off to Palazzo Mora early to check that the lights did not reflect too much off the plexiglas cases. This palazzo is one of the three palazzi taken over by the European Cultural Centre for the Personal Structures group exhibition and also the Kiribati National Pavilion. Kiribati and Venice have similar environmental challenges…they are both sinking.
As I feared, the lights were too fierce but I felt churlish complaining that the great Hermann Nitsch’s blood paintings were vividly reflected on my artwork. This calls for tact and diplomacy.
I looked around at my other fellow artists and who should be behind my wall but none other than the great Jeff Koons…how blessed am I ! Nitsch’s blood and gore paintings, Anthony Moman’s syringe sculptures and Jeff Koon’s balloon dogs. Well this is the Venice Biennale,after all.
At 6pm there was a steady trickle of people arriving and by 6.30 it became a torrent as they arrived by the hundred. By 7pm with the Prosecco flowing, and trays of exquisite canapés passing me by, it was barely breathing room.
Many people did a double take as they realized that my shapes were formed not by led lights or ball bearings (now there’s an idea ) but real, fully armed syringes. The reactions were mixed from surprise, disgust – phobia for needles, to incredulous, but at least no one was complacent. That is what I had hoped for, to provoke a strong reaction amongst all this art.
Syringes are really symbolic and can provoke a host of different emotional reactions, mostly negative.
They can, however, alleviate pain, cure and protect against life threatening diseases, and change the way we look and feel about ourselves.
Our very existence can depend on one syringe, and they therefore deserve our respect and their place in the history of humanity.
The globe sculpture is called ” To Be One ” and it’s name was inspired by the poem
” To Be One With Each Other ” by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)
” What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together
to strengthen each other in all labour
to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other
in the silent unspoken memories ? “
I guess my interest in skulls and syringes can be traced back to my childhood where family dinner conversations usually centred around my father’s daily experiences as a family practitioner. From the tender age of three I was aware of life, death and something vague in between.
I like to transform ugly, unloved materials into attractive and alluring objects without any structural interference.
Syringes are very symbolic, invoking a host of different emotional reactions, mostly negative. They can, however, alleviate pain, cure and protect against life threatening diseases and change the way we look and feel about ourselves. Our very existence can depend on one syringe and they deserve our respect and their place in the history of humanity.
I was invited to participate in the group exhibition Personal Structures hosted by the European Cultural Centre and organised by the GAA Foundation.
I was drawn to the exhibition’s title “PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders” which shows the commonness and differences between Europeans in dialogue with works of non-Europeans. In addition, the exhibition stimulates a more conscious relationship from the spectator towards his daily surrounding aiming to increase the awareness of their own personal Existence as human beings influenced by a specific Culture within Time and Space.
Here in pictures is the passage to Venice.
|EXHIBITION TITLE||PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders|
|VENUES||Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and Giardini Marinaressa|
|HOST||European Cultural Centre|
|ORGANISERS||Valeria Romagnini, Lucia Pedrana, Sara Danieli, Alesia Varnaeva, Bianca Bonaldi, Elena Volpato, Alessandra Valle, Anaïs Hammoud|
|OPENING PERIOD||13 May – 26 November 2017 (preview 11-12 May 2017)|