Rome

Tony Matelli

Gian Enzo Sperone

Three life-size figures were placed on pedestals shaped in some cases like rocks, in others like tree stumps. Around the sculptures, the gallery walls were decorated with wallpaper bearing a marine motif: a digitized photographic image of waves melting into the horizon. Tony Matelli effaced the reality of the room to open up an imaginary world located someplace far, far away. And so, like shipwreck survivors on an island of dreams, we were invited to give ourselves over to fears, anxieties, and feelings of abandonment, but also to curiosity and a sense of mystery. The three figures, all highly detailed self-portraits of the Chicago-based artist, were given disproportionate, caricature-like heads, the nose assuming abnormal dimensions, the eyeglasses becoming massive, and the artificial hair tangled like that of someone who has just awoken from a deep sleep, perhaps to represent the way

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